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Found 68 results
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. News Article
    Several trust procurement leads have expressed frustration with the government’s response to covid-19, with HSJ being told of shortages of crucial personal protective equipment, unpredictable deliveries and a lack of clarity from the centre NHS Supply Chain, which procures common consumables and medical devices for trusts, has been “managing demand” for an increasing number of PPE and infection control products for since the end of February to ensure “continuity of supply”. Some products, like certain polymer aprons, are unavailable altogether because of the increased demand and disrupted supply caused by the covid-19 outbreak. One procurement lead told HSJ: “They aren’t supplying enough, they aren’t fulfilling orders. It’s completely chaotic.” Another said his trust had “just enough to manage for the time being.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 20 March 2020
  5. News Article
    NHS staff say they are being put at risk during the coronavirus outbreak because of a lack of protective gear. One doctor told the BBC that frontline healthcare workers felt like "cannon fodder" as they do not have access to equipment such as face masks. Health workers also expressed concerns that not enough of them were being tested for the virus. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the UK had "stockpiles" of personal protective equipment (PPE). But Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, from lobbying group the Doctors' Association, said she had heard from doctors who had not got access to PPE - or it had expired or run out. "All these doctors are worried that that's increasing their likelihood of contracting the virus and then ultimately spreading it to patients," she said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 18 March 2020
  6. News Article
    Frontline NHS staff are at risk of dying from Covid-19 after the protective gear requirements for health workers treating those infected were downgraded last week, doctors and nurses have warned. Hospital staff caring for the growing number of those seriously ill with the disease also fear that they could pass the infection on to other patients after catching it at work because of poor protection. Doctors who are dealing most closely with Covid-19 patients – A&E medics, anaesthetists and specialists in acute medicine and intensive care – are most worried. A doctor in an infectious diseases ward of a major UK hospital, who is treating patients with Covid-19, said: “I am terrified. I am seriously considering whether I can keep working as a doctor.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 March 2020
  7. News Article
    Matt Morgan, an intensive care doctor, describes in this Guardian article how his ICU are preparing for the coronavirus crisis. "ICUs are as prepared as they can be. Locally business as usual has made way for preparations for caring for high numbers of patients. We are finding every ventilator we may have and identifying every suitably qualified member of staff. We will work together to fill gaps as best we can. There’s a sense of anticipation about what the next eight, 10, 12 weeks are going to bring in terms of work. Anyone who works in healthcare is also a mum, dad, daughter, brother, son. We want to give everything to saving lives and work and care, but equally we’re thinking about the logistics of personal lives and elderly relatives too." Matt says his worst nightmare is having insufficient workforce and equipment to meet patient needs. Whether or not that will come to fruition is tough to predict. He also says that his ICU has a psychologist who’s doing a huge amount of thinking about putting in place wellbeing resources for staff who might be in moral distress after having to prioritise one patient over another. "If there are 500 patients and only 200 ventilators then that’s when we need national guidance from the government and other bodies. It can’t be up to individual doctors. The age of playing God is long behind us. The question is who should we be making decisions with: the public, government or within the profession?" Read full story Source: The Guardian, 13 March 2020
  8. News Article
    NHS hospitals have been told to expect a “several-fold” increase in demand for intensive care beds during a serious coronavirus outbreak. Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s incident director for the coronavirus outbreak, told a secret briefing of chief nurses from across the NHS that they needed to prepare now for the unprecedented demand which could overwhelm existing critical care services. Sources who were in the briefing told The Independent Prof Willett warned the demand was likely to be not just double but “several fold” the existing 4,000 intensive care beds in the NHS. Prof Willett said the NHS will also be holding large-scale simulations next week for an expected coronavirus surge in an effort to “stress test the system” ahead of rising cases of infection. If the predictions are right the NHS will likely be forced to cancel large numbers of operations and re-deploy nurses and doctors. Read full story Source: The Independent, 12 March 2020
  9. News Article
    The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has issued a warning about insufficient staffing in the NHS in the wake of a mental health trust being downgraded. Earlier this week, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys (TEVW) NHS Foundation Trust being rated as "requiring improvement" by the Care Quality Commission. It had previously been rated as "good" but inspectors said some services had deteriorated. Among the concerns raised were ones over staffing, workload and delays. Glenn Turp, Northern Regional Director of the RCN: "The CQC has rightly highlighted some very serious concerns and failings which call into question whether this trust can provide safe patient care. After the very tragic and sad deaths of two vulnerable patients last year and the findings of the CQC, the trust and NHS commissioners must take immediate action to ensure patient and staff safety." "They have a responsibility not to commission and open new beds with insufficient nursing staff to provide safe patient care. Having the right number of nursing staff with the right skills in the right place at the right time is critical to protecting patients. It also protects those staff who too often find themselves struggling to maintain services in the face of nursing vacancies." Read full story Source: The Northern Echo, 7 March 2020
  10. Content Article
    Key points The Commonwealth Fund surveyed 13,200 primary care physicians across 11 countries between January and June 2019. This included 1,001 general practitioners (GPs) from the UK. The Health Foundation analysed the data and reports on the findings from a UK perspective. In some aspects of care, the UK performs strongly and is an international leader. Almost all UK GPs surveyed use electronic medical records and use of data to review and improve care is relatively high. The survey also highlights areas of major concern for the NHS. Just 6% of UK GPs report feeling ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with their workload – the lowest of any country surveyed. Only France has lower overall GP satisfaction with practising medicine. GPs in the UK also report high stress levels and feel that the quality of care that they and the wider NHS can provide is declining. A high proportion of surveyed UK GPs plan to quit or reduce their working hours in the near future. 49% of UK GP respondents plan to reduce their weekly clinical hours in the next 3 years (compared to 10% who plan to increase them). UK GPs continue to report shorter appointment lengths than the majority of their international colleagues. Just 5% of UK GPs surveyed feel ‘extremely’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the amount of time they can spend with their patients, significantly lower than the satisfaction reported by GPs in the other 10 countries surveyed. Workload pressures are growing across general practice, and UK GPs report that they are doing more of all types of patient consultations (including face-to-face, telephone triage and telephone consulting). Policymakers expect GPs to be offering video and email consultations to patients who want them in the near future but the survey suggests that this is currently a long way from happening. Only 11% of UK GPs report that their surgeries provide care through video consultation.
  11. News Article
    The health service lacks the beds, staffing and resources to cope with a serious outbreak of the coronavirus, The Independent has been told by senior doctors and nurses. NHS staff from across the country warned hospitals are already unable to cope, with patients being looked after in spill-over wards and waiting hours for a bed, with one doctor saying it was already a “one in, one out mentality” for intensive care. Other staff reported delays in lab tests, rationing of protective masks and equipment, and a lack of isolation areas for suspected coronavirus patients. Suggestions from the Health Secretary Matt Hancock that the NHS would use “home ventilation kits”, and that an extra 5,000 intensive care beds could be created, were labelled “fanciful” by the chair of the British Association of Critical Care Nurses today. Nicki Credland said: “If you already have a system running at 100 per cent capacity, the idea you can get a significant amount of additional beds is just not realistic. There simply aren’t enough beds for them. We will need to make difficult decisions about which patients are going to be admitted to intensive care." Read full story Source: The Independent, 5 March 2020
  12. News Article
    The failure to address the mental-health needs of people with HIV could lead to an increase in infections, a cross-party group of MPs suggests. People with HIV are twice as likely to experience mental-health difficulties. However, in those with depression, support raises adherence to medication by 83%. But most HIV clinics have no mental-health professionals on staff, which, the MPs say, could be reversing progress made over the past decade toward ending the epidemic in the UK. The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on HIV and AIDS met with patients living with HIV at a range of hospital trusts throughout England, as well as numerous healthcare professionals. Unless serious mental-health treatment shortfalls are addressed, the government will fail to achieve its target of zero transmissions by 2030, its report says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 March 2020
  13. News Article
    A new poll has found only 8 out of the 1,618 respondents believed the health service was ready to deal with an outbreak when asked by The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK), despite the prime minister’s insistence that the NHS will cope if it is hit by a surge in the number of people falling ill. Common concerns included difficulties coping with increased demand, a shortage of beds and poor staffing levels, according to the group who led the poll. Some doctors asked said they were worried that there could be not enough laboratory space to do testing in the case of a pandemic. Others claimed that NHS 111 had been giving out “inappropriate advice” to go to A&E and GP practices, according to DAUK. “The NHS has already been brought to its knees and many frontline doctors fear that our health system simply will not cope in the event of a Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak,” Dr Rinesh Parmar, the DAUK chair, said. “Many hoped the threat of Covid-19 would prompt an honest conversation to address the issue of critical care capacity and our ability to look after our sickest patients. By simply saying ‘the NHS is well prepared to deal with coronovirus’ it seems that yet again doctors’ concerns have been brushed under the carpet.” The findings come after the number of people infected with the coronavirus which rose to 39 in the UK on Monday. Read full story Source: The Independent, 3 March 2020
  14. News Article
    NHS patients could be denied lifesaving care during a severe coronavirus outbreak in Britain if intensive care units are struggling to cope, senior doctors have warned. Under a so-called “three wise men” protocol, three senior consultants in each hospital would be forced to make decisions on rationing care such as ventilators and beds, in the event hospitals were overwhelmed with patients. The medics spoke out amid frustration over what one said was the government’s “dishonest spin” that the health service was well prepared for a major pandemic outbreak. The doctors, from hospitals across England, said the health service’s existing critical care capacity was already overstretched and “would crumble” under the demands of a pandemic surge in patients who may all need ventilation to help them breathe. Those denied intensive care beds could be those suffering with coronavirus or other seriously ill patients, with priority given to those most likely to survive and recover. Doctors said this would lead to “tough decisions” needing to be made about the wholesale cancellation of operations to free-up beds. Read full story Source: Independent, 28 February 2020
  15. News Article
    A&E units are so overcrowded that growing numbers of patients have to be looked after in hospital corridors, warn nurses and doctors. There are rising concerns that the “shameful” trend means people stuck in corridors are not getting the care they need, or they may be even coming to harm. A&E health professionals say “corridor nursing” is becoming increasingly widespread as emergency departments become too full to look after the sheer number of people seeking treatment. In a survey of 1,174 A&E nurses in the Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) Emergency Care Association, 73% of those polled said they looked after patients in a “non-designated area” such as corridors every day and another 16% said they did so at least once a week, while 90% said they feared patient safety was being put at risk by those needing care having to spend time in areas of hospitals which did not have medical equipment or call bells. Staff have had difficulty administering urgent doses of intravenous antibiotics to such patients, some of whom have been denied privacy and found it harder to use a toilet or been left in distress, nurses said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 26 February 2020
  16. News Article
    The number of patients stuck in hospitals because they could not be transferred is at its highest quarterly level since 2017, reversing years of progress amid ongoing crises in health and care services. “Delayed transfers of care” – often known as “bed blocking” – rose in the mid-2010s as austerity hit council-run adult-care services, meaning hospitals were unable to discharge patients into the community. The number of “delayed days” in the NHS increased from an average of 114,000 a month in 2012 to more than 200,000 in October 2016, before extra funding and higher council taxes brought the numbers back down. But the latest NHS figures show the problem is returning. December 2019 saw 148,000 delayed days across England, 15% higher than the same month a year earlier. The combined figures for the last quarter of 2019 were the highest in two years. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 February 2020
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