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Found 190 results
  1. News Article
    Four in 10 NHS hospitals in England are using outdated medical equipment including 37-year-old X-ray machines, according to research from the Lib Dems, who are calling for extra funding to replace outdated devices. NHS hospitals are using hundreds of old X-ray machines, CT scanners and radiotherapy machines, with some dating back to the 1980s, according to research based on freedom of information requests to 69 hospital trusts. Of these, 41 said they had at least one X-ray machine that was more than 20 years old. The Liberal Democrat leader, Ed Davey, said he would call for urgent government investment in medical equipment at the party’s spring conference. “It beggars belief that NHS staff are having to rely on results from decades-old hospital scanners, machinery that may have been built before they were even born. Understaffed and exhausted NHS staff are being pushed to breaking point, while patients are treated in crumbling hospitals with outdated equipment,” he said. “The potential for error from poor-quality machines doesn’t bear thinking about. People up and down the country will be worried about whether they will get an accurate reading from these decades-old machines.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 20 March 2023
  2. News Article
    Hospitals are being asked to offer a wider range of gown sizes to better protect patients' dignity. It follows the experience of a patient from Wiltshire who said she was offered a gown that was "far too small" during a hospital stay in Bristol. Barbara Gale said it gaped at the back and made her feel "embarrassed". The experience sparked calls for more sizing options.. An independent study conducted by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow in 2019 asked patients across the UK for their thoughts on the issue of hospital gowns. Consultant clinical psychologist for the NHS, Nicola Cogan, led the research and said the findings showed Ms Gale's experience was not an isolated case. She said: "We spoke to a 1,000 patients and found over two thirds reported they struggled to get a gown on themselves and 70% reported the gown did not fit". "It's not cost effective for the NHS, but also it shows that the gown is currently not fit for purpose." Read full story Source: BBC News, 13 March 2023
  3. News Article
    NHS trusts are to be told to remove devices linked to more than 120 never events caused by ‘unconscious errors’. A national patient safety alert from NHS England which urges trusts to remove all air flowmeters from wall medical gas outlets. It is likely to be published next month. The alert comes after 121 never events in the last three years involved staff members accidentally connecting patients to air instead of oxygen. This number is close to 10% of all never events recorded during that period. These types of never events have been recorded by 57 NHS organisations during 2018-19, 2019-20 and 2020-21. The incidents took place mostly on medical wards and in emergency departments. They occurred despite NHSE issuing a patient safety alert in 2016, which recommended removing the flowmeters from wall outlets when not in active use. According to NHSE documents - seen by HSJ - the never events often went undetected “for some time”, even when other staff responded to deteriorating patients or took over their care. The regulator concluded this makes it more likely that there have been other unreported incidents. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 May 2021
  4. Content Article
    The list for 2023 1. Gaps in recalls for at-home medical devices cause patient confusion and harm. 2. Growing number of defective single-use medical devices puts patients at risk. 3. Inappropriate use of automated dispensing cabinet overrides can result in medication errors. 4. Undetected venous needle dislodgement or access-bloodline separation during hemodialysis can lead to death. 5. Failure to manage cybersecurity risks associated with cloud-based clinical systems can result in care disruptions. 6. Inflatable pressure infusers can deliver fatal air emboli from IV solution bags. 7. Confusion surrounding ventilator cleaning and disinfection requirements can lead to cross-contamination. 8. Common misconceptions about electrosurgery can lead to serious burns. 9. Overuse of cardiac telemetry can lead to clinician cognitive overload and missed critical events. 10. Underreporting device-related issues may risk recurrence. You can download the full report via the link below. ECRI Members can also download the Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2023 Solutions Kit on their member page.
  5. News Article
    Thousands of severely disabled children's lives are at risk because of long waits for ambulances, doctors and other experts have warned. Emergency care is a vital part of their everyday lives, the British Academy of Childhood Disability says. Almost 100,000 children have life-limiting conditions or need regular ventilator support in the UK. They often rely on ambulances as part of their healthcare plan, because their condition can become life-threatening in an instant. Dr Toni Wolff, who chairs the British Academy of Childhood Disability, told BBC News some families with severely disabled children had "what are essentially high-dependency units" of medical equipment at home. "As part of their healthcare plan, we would normally say, 'If the child starts to deteriorate, call for an ambulance and it will be there within 10 or 20 minutes,'" she said. "Now, we can't give that reassurance." Despite their child being classed as a priority, parents have told BBC News they face the difficult decision to wait for an ambulance or take them, often in a life-threatening condition, to hospital themselves - a risk because of the huge amounts of equipment needed to keep them alive, Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 February 2023
  6. News Article
    Patients across the UK are set to benefit from access to safe, effective and innovative equipment and medical devices as part of the first ever medical technology (medtech) strategy published today. The blueprint for boosting NHS medtech will focus on accelerating access to innovative technologies, such as the latest generation of home dialysis machines that enable patients to manage their own health at home and in their day to day lives. It also sets out steps which need to be taken to ensure patients can access safe, effective and innovative technology through the NHS, which can help diagnose, treat and deliver care more quickly, freeing up clinician time. The NHS spends £10 billion a year on medtech including syringes, wheelchairs, Minister of State for Health Will Quince said: "The UK’s innovative spirit delivered revolutionary technology during the pandemic - from COVID tests and ventilators - and we want to harness this in promoting cutting-edge medical advancements to improve patient care. The NHS spends around £10 billion a year on medical technology and I’m looking forward to working with industry to use this as we focus on reducing hospital stays, enhancing diagnosis, preventing illness and freeing up staff time. This new medtech strategy will help build a sustainable NHS with patients at the centre so people can continue to access the right care at the right time." The key aims of the strategy are to: boost the supply of the best equipment to deliver greater resilience to health care challenges, such as pandemics, and enhance NHS performance through modernised technology which will enable faster diagnosis, treatment and ultimately discharge to free up hospital beds. encourage ambitious, innovative research to secure the UK’s position as a global science superpower and attract vital investment for the UK economy and create jobs across the country. In 2021, there were already around 60 different research programmes supporting innovative technologies, representing over £1 billion of funding. increase understanding and awareness of medtech by clinicians which will lead to more informed purchasing on new products and deliver better value for taxpayer money and better services for patients. build on the Life Sciences Vision to improve collaboration between the NHS, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) as an innovation partner to ensure patients can access the right products safely. Read full story Source: DHSC, 3 February 2023
  7. Content Article
    Vision for medtech The vision focusses on 3 central objectives: right product right price right place. These concepts centre on delivering the highest quality of care for patients and interact with and balance against each other - often, as focus on one component increases, focus on the others can decrease. Striking the best possible balance between these objectives is difficult, but the aim is to reach an optimal point where all 3 elements are weighted appropriately so the UK medtech sector best supports the UK health and care system in delivering improved health outcomes for patients. Four priority areas Having considered the broader landscape and current activity, the strategy has identified four priority areas: Priority 1: resilience and continuity of supply. Priority 2: innovative and dynamic markets. Priority 3: enabling infrastructure. Priority 4: specific market focusses.
  8. News Article
    Complications after a procedure to treat IBS left Jennifer Hill in pain – and fighting for compensation. Earlier this year, an NHS inquiry found surgeon Anthony Dixon had caused women to “suffer harm” as a result of the mesh operations he carried out between 2007 and 2017. Dixon, who is now banned from practising in the UK, carried out hundreds of laparoscopic ventral mesh rectopexy (LVMR) operations for both the North Bristol NHS Trust and privately at Bristol’s Spire Hospital. Mesh is used to repair the pelvic floor, but the inquiry concluded that women should have been offered alternative treatments first. Jennifer Hill, from Herefordshire, is one of those women. She wishes she could go back in time and not have her mesh operation, which took place in May 2012. “I was totally unaware of the controversy surrounding mesh,” she says. “I still kick myself that I didn’t get a second opinion or ask more questions.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 11 January 2023
  9. News Article
    A record number of "foreign objects" have been left inside patients' bodies after surgery, new data reveals. Incidents analysed by the PA news agency showed it happened a total of 291 times in 2021/22. Swabs and gauzes used during surgery or a procedure are one of the most common items left inside a patient, but surgical tools such as scalpels and drill bits have been found in some rare cases. A woman from east London described how she "lost hope" after part of a surgical blade was left inside her following an operation to remove her ovaries in 2016. The 49-year-old, who spoke to PA on condition of anonymity, said: "When I woke up, I felt something in my belly. "The knife they used to cut me broke, and they left a part in my belly." She added: "I was weak, I lost so much blood, I was in pain, all I could do was cry." The object was left inside her for five days, leading to an additional two-week hospital stay. Commenting on the analysis, Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, said: "Never events are called that because they are serious incidents that are entirely preventable because the hospital or clinic has systems in place to prevent them happening. "When they occur, the serious physical and psychological effects they cause can stay with a patient for the rest of their lives, and that should never happen to anyone who seeks treatment from the NHS. "While we fully appreciate the crisis facing the NHS, never events simply should not occur if the preventative measures are implemented." Read full story Source: Sky News, 4 January 2022
  10. News Article
    Ambulance staff are being urged to conserve oxygen supplies because of a national shortage of small cylinders used both on ambulances and in some A&E departments. South East Coast Ambulance Service Foundation Trust has told staff the shortage is caused by the high number of patients with respiratory conditions and “the suppliers are reporting that this is higher than during the first wave of the covid pandemic”. In a message to staff last week, East of England Ambulance Service Trust said: “Oxygen suppliers, including BOC, are currently unable to supply sufficient numbers [of small cylinders] to fulfil our orders. “This has been escalated nationally and NHS Procurement are working to support ambulance trusts with supplies.” But it added that over the next few days it would need to “carefully manage” supplies. The type of cylinder affected typically provides about 30 minutes of oxygen on full flow and is widely used on ambulances and also where patients are cohorted in accident and emergency departments or kept in corridors waiting to be passed to hospitals, without access to the normal piped supply. Many ambulances will carry several smaller cylinders, and sometimes they also carry one larger one. However, if a patient requiring oxygen can’t be handed over quickly at A&E, ambulance supplies may start to run low. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 December 2022
  11. News Article
    The reform of the UK’s Medical Device regulation offers a golden opportunity to drive innovation and growth in the UK’s Life Science sector while ensuring patient safety remains at the heart of the regulatory approach. But there is an urgent need for action to ensure we do not lose this opportunity. Senior members of the Life Sciences Council, Will Quince MP, Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care, Dr June Raine, CEO, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Peter Ellingworth, CEO, Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI) have today announced a new agreement to accelerate the delivery of the future UK HealthTech regulatory system. Acknowledging the Chancellor’s priorities of stability and growth supported by regulatory reforms, and the importance of the success of the system to UK patients and the Life Science sector, they have formed an advisory group on behalf of the Life Sciences Council to drive the delivery of the ambition of the Life Sciences Vision to have a best in class regulatory system. The advisory group has agreed that aligned proposals will be published on three priority areas: international recognition routes for innovation system capacity. Read full press release Source; Gov.UK, 16 December 2022
  12. Event
    This conference from the Westminster Health Forum will focus on the future for diagnostics and medical devices in England - looking at developments and next steps for strategy and regulation. The discussion takes place in the context of the upcoming MedTech strategy from DHSC, and will be an opportunity to examine priorities for improving flexibility and transparency in MedTech supply and procurement, securing value for money, and supporting the adoption of innovation in healthcare settings. Delegates will discuss implementation of the MHRA update to the regulation of medical devices, as well as priorities for safety, assessment and contribution to better patient outcomes. Overall, areas for discussion include: Regulation and evaluation: transition to the new medical device regulations and the updated evaluation process - implementation of the new MHRA medical device regulation proportionate regulation and support for businesses - addressing capacity constraints of authorisation of Approved Bodies patient access: establishing new device frameworks for supporting adoption of innovative medical technology - supporting patient access to devices currently on the market the supply chain: flexibility, transparency and responsiveness in the procurement and supply of medical technology collaboration between healthcare providers and suppliers - engaging healthcare professionals in procurement. Supporting the NHS: workforce efficiency and earlier diagnosis - innovation in diagnostic pathways to address backlogs and wait times - improving patient outcomes and the speed of recovery the role of the new community diagnostic centres - encouraging adoption of new diagnostic methods in the centres and across the NHS. Register
  13. News Article
    Performance failings at NHS Supply Chain are impacting patient care, staff wellbeing and retention, and local procurement teams are struggling to mitigate their impact, local procurement chiefs have claimed. The group of senior NHS buyers have raised their concerns in a highly critical letter to NHS Supply Chain chief executive Andrew New and NHS England’s chief commercial officer Jacqui Rock. The letter, seen by HSJ, was signed by 22 heads of procurement at trusts and integrated care systems. It raises concerns about the NHSSC’s core functions, like delivering products on time and in full, its governance, and highlights unanswered questions about how it interacts with NHSE’s new central commercial function. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 November 2022
  14. News Article
    Research led by Trinity College in Ireland has found that a regulation which came into effect in May 2021 with the aim of improving the oversight of medical devices in Ireland is leading to unintended consequences which may put some surgeries for children, and the treatment of rare diseases, at risk. The study has been published in the journal Pediatric Cardiology. Medical devices include a great diversity of technologies, which are evaluated and approved in the European Union (EU) according to a revised law that came into effect on 26 May 2021, known as the Medical Device Regulation or MDR (EU 745/2017). It has a transition period that allows products that were approved under the previous rules (the EU Medical Device Directives) to continue to be marketed until 26 May 2024 at the latest. As a result of a series of unforeseen factors, there is a possibility that the MDR may result in products becoming unavailable, with the consequent risk of a loss of some interventions that are reliant upon those devices. Devices that are used for orphan or paediatric indications are particularly vulnerable to this. The paper provides an example of one device, the Rashkind balloon catheter, first developed by Dr William Rashkind in 1966 to open the upper chambers in the heart in neonates with congenital heart disease. A number of these balloons were once available in Europe and now there is only one. This device may become unavailable next year. If this happens, it will not be possible to continue this procedure, and alternative surgeries or treatments are far less optimal. The paper also describes the timeline and cost of bringing the device to market in the EU, the US and Canada, and the cost and time needed to access the EU market has become much greater. Researchers believe there is now an urgent need for policy to be developed to protect essential medical devices for orphan indications and for use in children, to ensure that necessary interventions can continue, and to ensure a more sustainable system in Europe over the longer term. Read full story Source: Trinity College Dublin, 20 October 2022
  15. Content Article
    During a cardiac ablation procedure, the catheter irrigation fluid bag emptied and was replaced by staff. While priming the tubing, air was noted in the tube, and the catheter was immediately removed from the patient. The patient experienced a decrease of heart rate and blood pressure requiring a code response. Radiofrequency cardiac ablation requires the use of heparinised irrigation fluid to cool and anticoagulate the ablation site. If the procedure requires more fluid than originally hung, it requires the bag to be replaced. This introduces an opportunity for air to enter the irrigation tubing. Air emboli can then be infused into the patient causing cardiac arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, respiratory symptoms and/or neurologic symptoms, and, potentially, total cardiovascular collapse. Solutions During cardiac ablation procedures, air should be removed from any bags and the pump (or any other pressurized delivery device) tubing primed before being connected to a patient. Do not bypass alarms that detect air in the pump or tubing systems. Do not prime the irrigation line without first disconnecting the tubing set from the patient, even if a stopcock is in use. Review the manufacturer’s instructions for how to change fluid bags to ensure safe operations. Be aware of potential access points for air to enter the system and mitigate the risk.
  16. News Article
    Rolling power cuts enforced this winter if gas supplies run extremely low could endanger thousands of people who use life-saving machines at home, health leaders have warned. They spoke out after National Grid warned on Thursday that households could experience a series of three-hour electricity outages this winter to manage extreme gas shortages, for example if Vladimir Putin shuts off supplies from Russia and cold weather sends demand soaring. Such an event would mean consumers in different parts of the country being notified a day in advance of three-hour blocks of time during which their power would be cut off. The prospect of rolling power outages caused alarm among some health groups, with particular concerns for the thousands of vulnerable patients who rely on electrical devices to keep themselves alive and healthy. Laurie Cuthbert, a director of Kidney Care UK, a health charity, said thousands of adults and children depended on a constant source of power to provide life-saving dialysis at home. Andy Fletcher, the chief executive of Together for Short Lives, which advocates for the UK’s 99,000 seriously ill children and their families, said: “For seriously ill children a three-hour blackout could deprive them of vital life-saving equipment such as ventilators, oxygen and temperature control. Families would be forced to decide whether to admit their child to hospital, which would be extremely disruptive and distressing.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 6 October 2022
  17. Content Article
    Ian Lindsley, Secretary of the SHBN, began by welcoming those on the call and talking through the speakers and the presentations. The first presentation was given by Martin McMahon of the Health and Safety Executive on the Post Implementation Review (PIR) of the Sharps Regulations 2013 by the HSE. The PIR will assess post implementation effectiveness of these legislative regulations against the objectives as laid out in the original impact assessment and must be concluded, submitted and agreed by Minister by 10 May 2023. The HSE are currently engaged in the evidence and analysis process to inform the final report to Parliament and asked those on the webinar and others to complete the questionnaire. The next presentation was given by Terry Grimmond, Consultant Microbiologist, and provided attendees with an update on the progress of the new national Blood and Body Fluid Exposures (BBFE), or sharps injuries, survey and database. Attendees were informed of the importance of the creation of a national database for sharps injuries. To date, thirty trusts have responded to the survey which has now been shortened to three key questions in order to encourage further responses. Trusts informed the BBFE working group that workloads are currently incredibly high so it was agreed a shorter survey could increase response rates by taking significantly less time than the original 20+ question survey. The data so far indicates a lower rate of sharps injuries than perhaps expected, especially when compared with the RCN survey published in 2021. Terry called for more trusts to complete the survey and encouraged attendees to reach out with any questions or queries. The third presentation continued with the theme of sharps injuries and healthcare worker safety and was given by Rose Gallagher, Professional Lead Infection Prevention and Control and Leona Cameron, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, Royal College of Nursing. The presentation explained, in terms of sharps injuries, it is not just healthcare staff who are at risk; ancillary staff who work in healthcare environments or handle healthcare waste or equipment are also at risk. The RCN Survey published in 2021, with responses from more than 7,000 members, found that 63% have had a sharps injury in their career. Employers have a legal duty to carry out a suitable and sufficient sharps risk assessment in order to identify and implement adequate control measures to reduce the risk of harm. Controls in practice aim to change the behaviour of workers to reduce exposure to occupational hazards and should be implemented widely. The presentation concluded with a note on sustainability – healthcare is the 5th largest greenhouse gas producer globally and therefore action to reduce its climate warming emissions through procurement, transport, waste management and energy consumption are key. The fourth presentation was given by Lindsay Keeley, Patient Safety & Quality Lead of the Association for Perioperative Practice (AfPP) and covered the topic of theatre safety. The presentation explained the current legislation in place around theatre safety and focussed on risk management and safety in the perioperative environment. The point was made that risk management and patient safety is one of the most fundamental principles of service delivery in healthcare today especially in the operating theatre. There is a minimum benchmark standard of five staff for each operating theatre depending on skill mix, speciality, complexity, and patient care and those staff have a duty to take reasonable care of their own health and safety and that of others who may be affected by their actions. The presentation concluded by setting out the six key elements of effective safety programmes: hazard assessment, training, policies & procedure, accident investigations, measurement and management commitment. Lindsay informed attendees that the AfPP provides evidence-based guidance, standards and recommendations on risk management to enhance perioperative practitioners’ knowledge on safe handling and positioning of patients in the perioperative environment. The final presentation was a case study on surgical smoke and creating a smoke free environment in theatres by Lisa Nealen, from the Queen Elizabeth Foundation Trust, Newcastle. Lisa spoke about her own personal experiences of not only the hazards of surgical smoke but also the health hazards posed by surgical fluid waste and explained why it is so important that we create safer theatre environments for patients and staff. The presentation detailed how to create a smoke free operating theatre and the guidelines which have been adopted which help to deliver a safer working environment.