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Found 218 results
  1. News Article
    Deaths from COVID-19 in England in the first half of 2021 could exceed those seen in the whole of 2020 unless the vaccination programme is vastly increased and a national lockdown implemented—with educational settings closed for at least a month—researchers have warned. In a preprint released on 24 December, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used modelling to compare the effects of varying COVID-19 restrictions on the virus spread, hospital and intensive care admissions, and deaths from 15 December 2020 to 30 June 2021. The model took account of the new variant spreading rapidly in southern England, which it estimated to be 56% more transmissible than non-variant COVID-19. The study, which has yet to be peer reviewed, said that control measures similar to the November national lockdown would be “unlikely to reduce the effective reproduction number to less than 1, unless primary schools, secondary schools, and universities are also closed.” It added that it would be necessary to “greatly accelerate vaccine rollout to have an appreciable impact in suppressing the resulting disease burden.” Read full story Source: BMJ, 29 December 2020
  2. Content Article
    These tips can be used by clinicians to trouble shoot with their patients if they see someone struggling with their mask. They can also be used by anyone looking for advice on how to avoid some of the pitfalls associated with wearing a mask.
  3. News Article
    The number of people likely to have caught COVID-19 in NHS hospitals in England has risen by more than a third in the last week. The 35% rise in probable hospital-acquired COVID-19 from 6 to 13 December is the highest weekly increase since 30 October, HSJ analysis of NHS England data reveals. Hospital-acquired infections are rising across areas such as London, the South East, and South West, and also at some hospitals in the North East, Yorkshire and the Midlands. At some trusts, the weekly total of likely hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections has more than doubled since last week. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 18 December 2020
  4. News Article
    Research by a group of doctors has found ‘major deficiencies’ around infection control within hospitals in the North West region. The study looked at trusts’ adherence to Public Health England guidance around limiting the spread of COVID-19 within orthopaedic services. The study found patients were routinely being allocated to hospital beds before they had been confirmed as covid-negative, “thus allowing spread of COVID-19 not only between patients but also between nursing and medical staff”. Fewer than half of patients were nursed with the appropriate screens in place, while it was uncommon for doctors to be tested regularly. Separate statistics published by NHS England suggest almost 20 per cent of new covid cases in North West hospitals from August to December were likely to be nosocomial, meaning they were acquired on the wards. This was a higher proportion than any other region. Read full story Source: HSJ (paywalled), 16 December 2020
  5. News Article
    The government’s plan to allow up to three households to mix at Christmas is a “major error that will cost many lives” and should be stopped, the editors of two leading medical journals have said. In a rare joint editorial, the editors of the British Medical Journal and Health Service Journal have said the government’s plan to relax coronavirus restrictions for five days between 23 and 27 December is a serious “blunder” that will put more pressure on the NHS and cause thousands of operations to be cancelled. The article published jointly on Tuesday says: “The government was too slow to introduce restrictions in the spring and again in the autumn. It should now reverse its rash decision to allow household mixing and instead extend the tiers over the five-day Christmas period in order to bring numbers down in the advance of a likely third wave.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 15 December 2020
  6. News Article
    Trusts’ infection control measures will be put under greater scrutiny by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HSJ has been told. In an effort to cut hospital-acquired COVID-19, the CQC will carry out focused inspections which will assess “in more detail the leadership and delivery of infection prevention control”. According to NHS England/Improvement figures, around 9% of covid inpatients definitely caught the virus in hospital. However, the number could be higher as NHSE/I figures — released on Friday — showed 21% of COVID-19 patients in hospitals were “probably” acquired in hospitals. HSJ understands the CQC plans to carry out up to 20 infection control focused inspections in the early part of 2021. The CQC told HSJ it is reviewing local nosocomial infection rates on a weekly basis, using the data alongside “wider intelligence” from other sources to monitor trusts’ risk, with inspections carried out at providers where specific concerns are picked up. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 14 December 2020
  7. News Article
    The number of COVID-19 infections likely to have been acquired in hospital are rising again for the first time in three weeks and their proportion of all cases has reached record levels for the second wave, HSJ can reveal. NHS England data covering the week to 6 December (the latest available) shows 1,787 COVID-19 cases were acquired in-hospital – a rise of almost 14% on the week before. The number of hospital-acquired, or “nosocomial”, infections had been falling since the week to 15 November, when 1,794 were recorded. This week, hospital acquired covid infections amounted to 21% of the 8,337 new cases which were recorded in hospitals – the highest proportion in the second wave. On 6 December alone, 24% of infections had probably been acquired in hospital rather than the community. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 11 December 2020
  8. News Article
    A hospital has apologised after an elderly cancer patient tested positive for coronavirus, having been left in a ward with another patient suffering from COVID-19 for several days. The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, which serves the Royal Gwent Hospital in Newport, Wales, has confirmed that it is dealing with an outbreak of the virus at the hospital. It comes after Lesley Pook accused the hospital of “locking” her father James ‘Jim’ Pook and others in a ward with a coronavirus patient and “waiting for them all to develop symptoms”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 9 December 2020
  9. News Article
    A hospital serving the prime minister’s constituency has been issued a warning notice by inspectors over poor infection control, including staff having to share two small toilet cubicles for changing. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced it has issued the notice to The Hillingdon Hospitals FT today following an unannounced inspection in September. It comes after the watchdog placed urgent conditions on the provider following a coronavirus outbreak among staff at Hillingdon Hospital in August. At least 70 members of staff had to isolate, some of whom had tested positive for covid. The watchdog said it found there had been improvements, but that “further work is needed”. The CQC’s inspection report, published today, said there were no staff changing rooms available for people to change in and out of their scrubs, and that they were sharing two small toilet cubicles at the start and end of shifts. These were not cleaned with an “enhanced” cleaning schedule, it added, and the lack of separate changing rooms “caused a risk of cross-contamination”. However, senior leaders were aware of the risk and were seeking ways to improve access to changing areas for staff. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 4 December 2020
  10. News Article
    Health inspectors in England have been moving between care homes with high levels of COVID-19 infection without being tested, raising fears they have put more residents at risk of catching the virus, leaks to the Guardian have revealed. In recent weeks all care home inspections carried out in the north of England have been of infected homes, including a facility where 38 of the 41 people receiving care and 30 staff – almost half of the workers – had tested positive, internal documents from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show. Over the last two months inspectors have been checking infection control procedures and care standards in up to 600 care homes, many of which were dealing with outbreaks of COVID-19, but the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has yet to provide testing. The CQC said on Friday it was expecting to start testing inspectors “in the coming weeks”. Weekly Covid deaths in care homes have been rising. In the week to 20 November, 398 people were notified to the CQC as having died from Covid, up from 138 a month earlier. The death toll remains lower than at the peak of the pandemic, when more than 2,500 people were dying a week in late April. The situation has sparked “very real anxieties about contracting the disease” and spreading it between infected homes, the leaked memos reveal. One inspector described work to his managers as like “going into the eye of the storm”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 27 November 2020
  11. Content Article
    The link below will take you to all of the associated resources on the THIS.institute website including: Video: Managing obstetric emergencies in women with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 COVID-19: Five key goals in managing an obstetric emergency Downloadable poster of the five key goals.
  12. News Article
    People aged 50 to 64 in England will be able to get a free flu jab from 1 December in an attempt to fight the "twin threats" of flu and COVID-19. The group has been added to a list of people who are already eligible for a flu jab in England, such as those over 65 and health and social care workers. Thirty million people are being offered the vaccine in England's largest flu-immunisation programme to date. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was a winter "like no other". "We have to worry about the twin threats of flu and COVID-19," he said, adding that the coronavirus pandemic meant it was "more important than ever" that people got their flu jabs. Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast that all over 50s would be able to get the vaccine by January. Read full story Source: BBC News, 20 November 2020
  13. News Article
    The NHS is going into this winter with 5,500 fewer general acute beds than last year, NHS England data has revealed. The numbers of general and acute beds open overnight from July to September this year was 94,787 compared with 100,370 for the same period in 2019, a fall of 5.6% or 5,583 beds. The reduction in bed numbers is thought to be partly because of covid infection control measures, such as creating more distance between beds. HSJ reported this week that Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust had taken nearly 100 beds out of use to allow for better social distancing. The figures showed significant regional differences. London had 8% fewer beds available compared with last year, while the East of England and the North East only had 3.4% fewer. The North West, which has been badly affected by the second wave of covid, had 6.6% fewer beds than last year. NHS Providers deputy chief executive Saffron Cordery said: “We have been arguing for some time that the NHS is short of beds as we head into winter… This is a real problem as trusts deal with pressures posed by the virus, growing demand for urgent and emergency care and the work to recover the backlog of routine operations.” Nuffield Trust deputy director of research Sarah Scobie said: “This drop in the number of beds available bears out our warning that infection control will mean a loss of capacity even between waves of the virus. Many of these will have been beds too close to others for physical distancing. This is why it will be so difficult to return to previous rates of activity while the virus remains at large, worsening waiting times and forcing difficult decisions about who gets priority." Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 19 November 2020
  14. News Article
    Lifting lockdown must be handled better this time round to avoid a surge in Covid that could overwhelm the NHS, doctors say. The British Medical Association has published a blueprint for how it thinks England should proceed with any easing. It includes replacing the "rule of six" with a two-households restriction to reduce social mixing and banning travel between different local lockdown tiers. Government has yet to say if or exactly how England will exit on 2 December. It will decide next week, based on whether cases have fallen enough and how much strain hospitals are under. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 November 2020
  15. News Article
    Coronavirus cases in the US will spike after Thanksgiving, further stressing health care systems and prompting new restrictions, an emergency physician said Saturday, as states continued to report soaring numbers of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Dr. James Phillips, chief of disaster medicine at George Washington University Hospital, told CNN's Erica Hill he is "terrified" about what's going to happen this holiday season. "We're going to see an unprecedented surge of cases following Thanksgiving this year, and if people don't learn from Thanksgiving, we're going to see it after Christmas as well," Phillips said. Already, grim indicators offer a glimpse of what's to come. A little more than a week after the US first topped 100,000 daily infections, it reported a record of more than 184,000 new cases Friday. Hospitalisations also hit a new high – for the fourth consecutive day – with more than 68,500 COVID-19 patients nationwide, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And the country's daily death toll has topped 1,300 at least three times this week. "Things are going to get much, much worse," said Dr. Leana Wen, a CNN medical analyst and former Baltimore Health Commissioner. She expressed concern over the impact on the already-strained health care system when the new cases added in recent days are reflected in hospitalisations. Read full story Source: CNN, 15 November 2020
  16. Content Article
    Consider your balance between remote and face to face care – have you got it right and how might it need to change in the months to come? Think about how you are going to manage respiratory symptoms over the winter and be aware of the issues with COVID-19 in children and what to do if resuscitation is needed.Shielding is paused and is unlikely to return in the same form as at the start of the pandemic.Know about the standard operating procedure (SOP) for primary care Appraisal is restarting in a very light-touch way and there are other changes to administration.Continue to wear PPE when seeing patients face to face, and continue planning for a much bigger flu vaccination season than usual. Death certification requirements are relaxed for as long as the Coronavirus Act is in force.Look after yourself and your staff.Continue to plan ahead; this will be a marathon, not a sprint.Your core clinical skills are still important.