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Found 85 results
  1. Content Article
    The results found there were 129 unique mentions of barriers to patient safety; these barriers were categorised into five major themes. ‘Limited resources’ was the most prominent theme, followed by barriers related to health systems issues, the medical culture, provider training and patient education/awareness. Although inadequate resources are likely a substantial challenge to the improvement of patient safety in India, other patient safety barriers such as health systems changes, training, and education, could be addressed with fewer resources. While initial approaches to improving patient safety in India and other low- and middle-income countries have focused on implementing processes that represent best practices, this study suggests that multifaceted interventions to also address more structural problems (such as resource constraints, systems issues, and medical culture) may be important.
  2. News Article
    A leading doctor has warned that trusts will struggle to get back to anything like pre-covid levels of endoscopy services and will need to prioritise which patients are diagnosed. Endoscopy procedures are part of the diagnostic and treatment pathway for many conditions, including bowel cancer and stomach ulcers. Most hospitals have not done any non-emergency procedures since the middle of March because they are aerosol generating — meaning a greater covid infection risk and need for major protective equipment. Although some areas are now starting to do more urgent and routine work, capacity is severely limited. Kevin Monahan, a consultant gastroenterologist at St Marks’s Hospital, part of London North West Healthcare Trust, and a member of the medical advisory board for Bowel Cancer UK, said the time taken for droplets to settle in rooms after a procedure can be up to an hour and three quarters, depending on how areas are ventilated. Only then can the room be cleaned and another patient seen. Dr Monahan said his trust had restarted some endoscopy work and was currently doing around 17 per cent of its pre-covid activity. “We can provide a maximum of about 20 per cent of normal activity — and that is using private facilities for NHS patients,” he said. “I am not at all confident we will be able to double what we are doing now, even in three to four months’ time." Read full story Source: HSJ, 12 June 2020
  3. News Article
    Thousands of people lost their lives “prematurely” because care homes in England lacked the protective equipment and financial resources to cope with the coronavirus outbreak, according to council care bosses. In a highly critical report, social care directors say decisions to rapidly discharge many vulnerable patients from NHS hospitals to care homes without first testing them for COVID-19 had “tragic consequences” for residents and staff. In many places, vulnerable people were discharged into care facilities where there was a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) or where it was impossible to isolate them safely, sometimes when they could have returned home, the report says. “Ultimately, thousands have lost their lives prematurely in social care and were not sufficiently considered as part of wider health and community systems. And normality has not yet returned,” James Bullion, the president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), said in a foreword to the report. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 June 2020
  4. News Article
    Senior doctors repeatedly raised concerns over safety and staffing problems at a mental health trust before a cluster of 12 deaths, an HSJ investigation has found. The deaths all happened over the course of a year, starting in June 2018, involving patients under the care of the crisis home treatment services at Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust. The causes of the deaths included suicides, drug overdoses, and hanging. Coroners found several common failings surrounding the deaths and have previously warned of a lack of resources for mental health services in the city. HSJ has now seen internal documents which reveal senior clinicians had raised repeated internal concerns about the trust’s crisis home treatment teams during 2017 and early 2018. The clinicians warned of inadequate staffing levels, long waiting lists, and a lack of inpatient bed capacity. In the minutes of one meeting in February 2018, just two months before the first of the 12 deaths, a consultant is recorded as saying he had “grave concerns over safety in [the home treatment teams]”. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 June 2020
  5. News Article
    Dozens of intensive care units are still running well over their normal capacity – in some cases more than double – weeks after the peak of demand, figures seen by HSJ reveal. It contrasts with the picture painted at some government coronavirus press conferences that there is huge “spare capacity” in critical care and has been throughout the outbreak, with Downing Street charts putting England-wide occupancy at around 20% currently. The government’s assertions include the additional “surge” capacity which was hurriedly established at the start of the outbreak. But intensive care staff have been frustrated by this being labelled spare capacity, when the number of patients being treated is still well above normal levels. In addition, the ongoing reliance on keeping surge beds open – with ICUs still spilling over other spaces and calling on staff and equipment from other services – will limit hospitals’ ability to resume normal care, such as planned surgery. Steve Mathieu, a consultant in intensive care medicine in the south of England, said: “The majority of ICUs will currently be operating at over 100 per cent capacity and typically somewhere around 130-150 per cent, although there is significant regional variation". “There are uncertainties whether this will now represent the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future and there is a national need to plan for further potential surges in activity requiring more critical care demand." Read full story Source: HSJ, 21 May 2020
  6. News Article
    Intensive care capacity in London must be doubled on a permanent basis following the coronavirus pandemic, according to the chief executive of the city’s temporary Nightingale hospital. Speaking to an online webinar hosted by the Royal Society of Medicine, Professor Charles Knight said London had around 800 critical care beds under normal operations but “there’s a clear plan to double intensive care unit capacity on a permanent basis”. He added: “We must have a system of healthcare in this country that means, if this ever happened again, that we wouldn’t have to do this, that we wouldn’t have to build an intensive care unit in a conference centre because we had enough capacity under usual operating so that we could cope with surge.” It would also mean the NHS would no longer be in a position “where lots of patients, as we all know, get cancelled every year for lack of an ITU bed,” he said. Read full story Source: HSJ, 28 April 2020
  7. Content Article

    Midwifery during COVID-19: A personal account

    Anonymous
    Birth choices Our pregnant women are still being offered good choices in their birth experience such as homebirth and water birth, so long as they are well. I did two lovely home births this week. We are definitely seeing a rise in people transferring to our homebirth service. I do think there is a concern nationally about high risk women choosing to homebirth unassisted, in areas where maternity services have suspended homebirth as an option. Because women in my area still have the option of a homebirth, it’s not something we’re experiencing. Birthing partners and limited visits Partners are allowed at births including cesarean sections. Also, we’ve had lots of very positive feedback from the women to say that not having their partners or visitors on the wards hadn’t been as bad as they thought, as they have talked and bonded more with other new mums and made new friends. It’s difficult for them without the support of family in the postnatal period but with encouragement they can usually see it as a positive, a time for them to bond as a family and get to know their little ones. Dads are actually very positive realising that it means they get to spend much more time with their partners and new baby. Appointments and new ways of working My Trust are doing just as many face to face antenatal visits. We do virtual appointments at booking and 16 weeks in the vast majority of cases but GPs locally are refusing to see women at 25 and 31 weeks, so we have changed the schedule to include these in midwifery care. We are using well midwives, who are isolating at home for whatever reason, to do phone clinics for booking and 16 week appointments which lifts the pressure off those of us working clinically. They also ring around all of the women due to be seen to make sure they’re well and understand that they need to attend appointments alone. I’m a case loading midwife so I know my mums to be/new mums well and do feel I’ve been able to support and reassure them effectively. I know that sadly not everyone is in this position though. Staff levels and wellbeing Annual leave has been cancelled. Nobody has complained about this though (or at least nobody that I’m aware of). We were expecting it and realise it’s vital. Lots of staff are also picking up extra shifts. If staffing levels drop though the pressure will be enormous. My trust have been very proactive regarding training and we are all being supported in terms of wellbeing. Accommodation has been provided for staff unable to go home and wellness packages and mental health support is in place. We’ve even been provided with a pop-up supermarket. Our local community are also amazing. Most staff could access a free hot meal most days if they chose to from various donations, school, restaurants and local sports teams. Hand cream, treats, snacks etc are always coming in. We feel so appreciated and loved One of our biggest issues is PPE Even for confirmed COVID-positive women we are given less protection than we are normally given when caring for women with flu. Working in community, this has its own issues. Statistically we know that the chances are that viral loads in homes are likely to be high due to the number of people present in small spaces, more soft furnishings, less stringent cleaning routines etc. The apron and mask we are given are unlikely to offer us any real protection. When we leave the houses we then have to transport the contaminated personal protective equipment (PPE) in our own vehicles, we’re wearing uniform that is likely to be contaminated and we are stood on pavements trying to clean the equipment we have used because that too will be contaminated. We’re not protected in the same way that hospital staff are. We are walking in to homes where there may be 4 or 5 people in the same room that we need to be in, as everyone is at home. We keep being told effective hand washing is key but we’re doing that in environments which are often less than clean, and in cases of COVID-confirmed women we can’t wash our hands at all as we’re unable to remove our PPE until we’ve left the house. It all feels very unsafe both in terms of staff contracting COVID-19 and cross contamination to other women, colleagues and our family. The support we are lacking comes from Public Health England and the Government. PPE guidance and availability is pitiful and dangerous and I believe is based on availability rather than need or any scientific basis. Do you work in maternity services? Or perhaps you are expecting a baby? Does this midwife's account reflect the maternity services in your area at the moment, or are you seeing different positives and challenges? We want to hear from patients and staff, so please sign up to comment below or contact us directly (content@pslhub.org) to share your story.
  8. News Article
    The availability of dialysis equipment used to treat more than a quarter of ventilated COVID-19 patients has reached “critical” levels, HSJ has learned. Concerns are growing over an “exceptional shortage” of specialist dialysis machines used to treat intensive care patients with acute kidney failure. Although hospitals are able to deploy alternative machines which are not typically used in intensive care, this is logistically challenging and can carry increased risks for patients. Read full story Source: HSJ, 22 April 2020
  9. News Article
    Dozens of patients with Covid-19 have been turned away from the NHS Nightingale hospital in London because it has too few nurses to treat them, the Guardian can reveal. The hospital has been unable to admit about 50 people with the disease and needing “life or death” care since its first patient arrived at the site, in the ExCeL exhibition centre, in London’s Docklands, on 7 April. Thirty of these people were rejected because of a lack of staff. The planned transfer of more than 30 patients from established London hospitals to the Nightingale was “cancelled due to staffing issues”, according to NHS documents seen by the Guardian. The revelation raises questions about the role and future of the hospital, which up until Monday had only treated 41 patients, despite being designed to include almost 4,000 beds. One member of staff said: “There are plenty of people working here, including plenty of doctors. But there aren’t enough critical care nurses. They’re already working in other hospitals and being run ragged there. There aren’t spare people [specialist nurses] around to do this. That’s the problem. That leads to patients having to be rejected, because there aren’t enough critical care nurses.” Read full story Source: The Guardian. 21 April 2020
  10. News Article
    One in 10 nurses working in acute hospitals are off work due to coronavirus, according to internal NHS figures seen by HSJ. Internal NHS figures from the COVID-19 national operational dashboard state that, on Saturday, English acute trusts reported that 41,038 nurses and midwives were absent . 28,063 (68%) were COVID-19 related. The total nursing and midwifery headcount in acute trusts is about 280,000 — meaning roughly 10% are off on covid-related absence. There are ongoing complaints from staff about their access to COVID-19 tests — which, it is hoped, will hope reduce the absence rates from suspected cases — while national officials say these are now being made available. Read full story Source: HSJ, 14 April 2020
  11. News Article
    Hospitals are turning to the veterinary workforce to fill staffing gaps on intensive care wards ahead of an expected peak of COVID-19 patients, HSJ can reveal. Torbay and South Devon Foundation Trust has recruited 150 vets to enrol as “respiratory assistants”, amid preparations for a 10-fold increase of intensive care patients. Another trust, Hampshire Hospitals FT, has asked vets and dentists to become “bedside support workers” as part of its response to COVID-19 pressures. Read full story Source: HSJ, 9 March 2020
  12. Community Post
    Do you usually access services, receive treatment or take medication for mental health difficulties? How is this being impacted by the coronavirus outbreak? We’re asking for patients, carers, family members and friends to share their stories, highlight weaknesses or safety issues that need to be addressed and share solutions that are working. We will be identifying themes and reporting to healthcare leaders with your insights. We want to help close the gaps that might emerge as everyone focuses on the pandemic. Please share your stories in the comments below. You’ll need to sign up (for free) to join the conversation. Register here - it's quick and easy.
  13. Content Article
    "In one of the most vivid scenes in the Home Box Office (HBO) miniseries 'Chernobyl' (among many vivid scenes), soldiers dressed in leather smocks ran out into radioactive areas to literally shovel radioactive material out of harm's way. Horrifically under-protected, they suited up anyway. In another scene, soldiers fashioned genital protection from scrap metal out of desperation while being sent to other hazardous areas. Please don't tell me that in the richest country in the world in the 21st century, I'm supposed to work in a fictionalized Soviet-era disaster zone and fashion my own face mask out of cloth because other Americans hoard supplies for personal use and so-called leaders sit around in meetings hearing themselves talk. I ran to a bedside the other day to intubate a crashing, likely COVID, patient. Two respiratory therapists and two nurses were already at the bedside. That's 5 N95s masks, 5 gowns, 5 face shields and 10 gloves for one patient at one time. I saw probably 15-20 patients that shift, if we are going to start rationing supplies, what percentage should I wear precautions for? Make no mistake, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is loosening these guidelines because our country is not prepared. Loosening guidelines increases healthcare workers' risk but the decision is done to allow us to keep working, not to keep us safe. It is done for the public benefit – so I can continue to work no matter the personal cost to me or my family (and my healthcare family). Sending healthcare workers to the front line asking them to cover their face with a bandana is akin to sending a soldier to the front line in a t-shirt and flip flops. I don't want talk. I don't want assurances. I want action. I want boxes of N95s piling up, donated from the people who hoarded them. I want non-clinical administrators in the hospital lining up in the ER asking if they can stock shelves to make sure that when I need to rush into a room, the drawer of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) I open isn't empty. I want them showing up in the ER asking 'how can I help' instead of offering shallow 'plans' conceived by someone who has spent far too long in an ivory tower and not long enough in the trenches. Maybe they should actually step foot in the trenches. I want billion-dollar companies like 3M halting all production of any product that isn't PPE to focus on PPE manufacturing. I want a company like Amazon, with its logistics mastery (it can drop a package to your door less than 24 hours after ordering it), halting its 2-day delivery of 12 reams of toilet paper to whoever is willing to pay the most in order to help get the available PPE supply distributed fast and efficiently in a manner that gets the necessary materials to my brothers and sisters in arms who need them. I want Proctor and Gamble, and the makers of other soaps and detergents, stepping up too. We need detergent to clean scrubs, hospital linens and gowns. We need disinfecting wipes to clean desk and computer surfaces. What about plastics manufacturers? Plastic gowns aren't some high-tech device, they are long shirts/smocks... made out of plastic. Get on it. Face shields are just clear plastic. Nitrile gloves? Yeah, they are pretty much just gloves... made from something that isn't apparently Latex. Let's go. Money talks in this country. Executive millionaires, why don't you spend a few bucks to buy back some of these masks from the hoarders, and drop them off at the nearest hospital. I love biotechnology and research but we need to divert viral culture media for COVID testing and research. We need biotechnology manufacturing ready and able to ramp up if and when treatments or vaccines are developed. Our Botox supply isn't critical, but our antibiotic supply is. We need to be able to make more plastic Endotracheal tubes, not more silicon breast implants. Let's see all that. Then we can all talk about how we played our part in this fight. Netflix and chill is not enough while my family, friends and colleagues are out there fighting. Our country won two world wars because the entire country mobilised. We out-produced and we out-manufactured while our soldiers out-fought the enemy. We need to do that again because make no mistake, we are at war, healthcare worker s are your soldiers, and the war has just begun." First published on www.telegram.com/news
  14. Content Article
    Although participants tended to feel a general obligation to work during an influenza pandemic, there are barriers to working, which, if generalisable, may significantly reduce the NHS workforce during a pandemic. The barriers identified are both barriers to willingness and to ability. This suggests that pandemic planning needs to take into account the possibility that staff may be absent for reasons beyond those currently anticipated in UK planning documents. In particular, staff who are physically able to attend work may nonetheless be unwilling to do so. Although there are some barriers that cannot be mitigated by employers (such as illness, transport infrastructure etc.), there are a number of remedial steps that can be taken to lesson the impact of others (providing accommodation, building reciprocity, provision of information and guidance etc). The authors suggest that barriers to working lie along an ability/willingness continuum, and that absenteeism may be reduced by taking steps to prevent barriers to willingness becoming perceived barriers to ability.
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