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Found 91 results
  1. Content Article
    Face masks for the public during the covid-19 crisis Face coverings for the public: Laying straw men to rest
  2. News Article
    Amid warnings that BAME nursing staff may be disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey reveals that they are more likely to struggle to secure adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) while at work. The latest RCN member-wide survey shows that for nursing staff working in high-risk environments (including intensive and critical care units), only 43% of respondents from a BAME background said they had enough eye and face protection equipment. This is in stark contrast to 66% of white British nursing staff. There were also disparities in access to fluid-repellent gowns and in cases of nursing staff being asked to re-use single-use PPE items. The survey found similar gaps for those working in non-high-risk environments. Meanwhile, staff reported differences in PPE training, with 40% of BAME respondents saying they had not had training compared with just 31% of white British respondents. Nearly a quarter of BAME nursing staff said they had no confidence that their employer is doing enough to protect them from COVID-19, compared with only 11% of white British respondents. Dame Donna Kinnair, RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary, said: “It is simply unacceptable that we are in a situation where BAME nursing staff are less protected than other nursing staff. Read full story Source: Royal College of Nursing, 27 May 2020
  3. Content Article
    This first insight document focuses on adult social care: reviewing data on outbreaks, deaths and availability of personal protective equipment (PPE), and in particular highlighting the impact of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing and the financial viability of adult social care services. It describes the need – now more acute than ever – for whole system working across different sectors to ensure safer care. It also outlines future areas of focus, including infection control both within and between services, how local systems are engaging social care organisations in the management of COVID-19, and how care for people from vulnerable groups is being managed through the crisis.
  4. News Article
    Up to a fifth of patients with COVID-19 in several hospitals contracted the disease over the course of the pandemic while already being treated there for another illness, NHS bosses have told senior doctors and nurses. Some of the infections were passed on by hospital staff who were unaware they had the virus and were displaying no symptoms, while patients with coronavirus were responsible for the others. The figures represent NHS England’s first estimate of the size of the problem of hospital-acquired COVID-19, which Boris Johnson last week said was causing an “epidemic” of deaths. In a national briefing last month on infection control and COVID-19, NHS England told the medical directors and chief nurses of all acute hospitals in England that it had found that 10%-20% of people in hospital with the disease had got it while they were inpatients. Senior doctors and hospital managers say that doctors, nurses and other staff have inadvertently passed on the virus to patients because they did not have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or could not get tested for the virus. Doctors say that hospital-acquired COVID-19 is a significant problem and that patients have died after becoming infected that way. One surgeon, who did not want to be named, said: “Multiple patients my department treated who were inpatients pre lockdown got the bug and died. Obviously the timeline supports that they acquired it from staff and other patients.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 May 2020
  5. News Article
    A joint letter from the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust has been delivered to the Health and Social Care Select Committee identifying five key aspects which need addressed ahead of their evidence session on delivering core NHS and care services during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock told the House of Commons on 22 April 2020 that the pandemic had reached its peak and talked of his intention to ‘gradually reopen’ the NHS as soon as it was safe to do so. For the joint authors of the letter, before any services look to begin being restarted key areas need addressed including a reliable supply of PPE to protect staff and a clear understanding within the system of the full extent of unmet need – particularly important as at present, from a big picture view, it is not clear how many services have been suspended. The joint letter puts five key questions to the Select Committee to address: How and when will appropriate infection prevention and control measures be available for all settings delivering care, and what impact will these have on capacity to reopen? How will the system understand the full extent of unmet need? How will the public’s fear of using NHS and social care services be reduced? What is the strategy for looking after and growing the workforce? Can the system improve as it recovers? Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 14 May 2020
  6. News Article
    Ministers faced fresh allegations on Wednesday of failing to prepare care homes for a pandemic, as it emerged that COVID-19 may have killed 22,000 residents in England and Wales – more than twice the official toll. Council social care directors in England warned the government two years ago, in a series of detailed reports, about care homes’ exposure to a pandemic, the Guardian has learned. They called for better supply plans for personal protective equipment (PPE) – warning that “demand for PPE could rapidly outstrip supply” – plus improved infection control and a system to enlist volunteers to help services expected to be stretched to breaking point. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (Adass), which represents directors of adult social services in England, told the Guardian it carried out the work to improve government planning for a flu pandemic at the request of the Department of Health and Social Care. But it said: “We are not aware of whether government departments picked up on any of the recommendations set out.” A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “As the public would expect, we regularly test our pandemic plans – allowing us to rapidly respond to this unprecedented crisis. Our planning helped prevent the NHS being overwhelmed and means we are past the peak of the virus.” Read full story Source: Guardian, 13 May 2020
  7. Content Article
    Key findings: The nursing staff provided exemplary care to the six patients on the ward; they were compassionate, professional and worked to ensure the patients were provided with the best care possible. The decision to transfer the residents was made quickly on a Friday, and staff had a short time to plan and respond putting together a COVID-ready ward. The patients required full nursing care and deteriorated relatively quickly. Consequently, nurses needed to spend long periods of time at the patients’ bedsides. There was no way for nursing staff to communicate with staff outside the patients’ rooms which increased the frequency of donning and doffing PPE. Full PPE was available to staff at all times. However, there were problems with the usability of the PPE and changes in types of PPE provided, which was stressful for staff.
  8. News Article
    The deaths of more than 50 hospital and care home workers have been reported to Britain’s health and safety regulator, which is considering launching criminal investigations, the Guardian has learned. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigates the breaking of safety at work laws, has received 54 formal reports of deaths in health and care settings “where the source of infection is recorded as COVID-19”. These are via the official reporting process, called Riddor: Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences. Separately, senior lawyers say any failures to provide proper personal protective equipment (PPE) may be so severe they amount to corporate manslaughter, with police forces drawing up plans to handle any criminal complaints. Despite weeks of pleading, frontline medical staff complain that PPE is still failing to reach them as hospitals battle the highly contagious virus. Senior barristers say criminal investigations should be launched, and that there are grounds to suspect high-level failures. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 10 May 2020
  9. News Article
    The shipment of 400,000 gowns from Turkey which was part of a delayed consignment of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been impounded in a warehouse after falling short of UK standards. The personal protective equipment (PPE) was flown into the UK by the RAF last month, arriving three days late, but has been held in a government warehouse near Heathrow since, the Daily Telegraph said. During mid-April, when coronavirus deaths in the UK were at their highest, the NHS required 150,000 gowns each day. Cabinet minister Brandon Lewis said the gowns were “not be of the quality that we feel is good enough for our frontline staff”. Speaking on Sky News, Mr Lewis said: “Well when we’re securing PPE from around the world you do it based on a set of standards that you’re looking to acquire to, but obviously once it’s here we check that it is good enough for what we want to use and in this instance some of this PPE turned out not to be good enough.” “I think it is right that if we have got particular standards for what we want our frontline staff to be able to have access to we make sure we stick to that. If something isn’t right, if we’re not even sure about it then I think it is better to be safe and not use that product and stick with products we are confident are the right products and the right standards.” Read full story Source: ITV News, 7 May 2020
  10. News Article
    A planned Amazon-style delivery system for personal protective equipment to care workers will not be nationally available for at least another fortnight, the housing and communities secretary has told MPs, before weekly figures for deaths in care and nursing homes which are on course to rise by more than 2,000. Robert Jenrick told the housing, communities and local government select committee on Monday that the logistics system for PPE could take three more weeks to launch. Clipper Logistics was contracted by the government at the end of March and care home operators have been increasingly outspoken in their warnings that a lack of masks, aprons, gloves, gowns and face shields is causing the spread of the virus in their facilities and putting workers’ lives at risk. About 340 people a day have been dying in care homes of COVID-19, according to official figures. The largest private care home provider, HC-One, said on Monday that 703 of its residents had died across the UK while last week, Sam Monaghan, the chief executive of MHA, the largest charitable provider, warned: “Our residents and staff have not received the enhanced level of protection they need. The government will be held to account for this.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 4 May 2020
  11. News Article
    Public Health England PHE) has made new changes to its guidance on the use of face masks as “a pragmatic approach for times of severe shortage”. The update came as trust procurement leads reported receiving substandard face masks from national stocks over the weekend, although a PHE spokesman told HSJ that this had not caused the change to guidance. PHE on Sunday updated its guidance on the use of certain facemasks facing “acute shortages”. The new advice states that FFP2 respirators can be worn without fit testing in lieu of surgical masks in non-surgical settings. The new guidance says: “This is a pragmatic approach for times of severe shortage of respiratory protective equipment, FFP2 respirators being used in this way will not be carrying out the function they were designed to perform.” However, FFP2 respirators must still be properly fit-tested in situations where this level of protection is required, the new PHE advice states. Read full story Source: 4 May 2020
  12. News Article
    Inquests into coronavirus deaths among NHS workers should avoid examining systemic failures in provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), coroners have been told, in a move described by Labour as “very worrying”. The chief coroner for England and Wales, Mark Lucraft QC, has issued guidance that “an inquest would not be a satisfactory means of deciding whether adequate general policies and arrangements were in place for provision of PPE to healthcare workers”. Lucraft said that “if there were reason to suspect that some human failure contributed to the person being infected with the virus”, an inquest may be required. The coroner “may need to consider whether any failures of precautions in a particular workplace caused the deceased to contract the virus and so contributed to death”. But he added: “An inquest is not the right forum for addressing concerns about high-level government or public policy.” Labour warned the advice could limit the scope of investigations into the impact of PPE shortages on frontline staff who have died from COVID-19. “I am very worried that an impression is being given that coroners will never investigate whether a failure to provide PPE led to the death of a key worker,” said Lord Falconer, the shadow attorney general. “This guidance may have an unduly restricting effect on the width of inquests arising out of Covid-19-related deaths.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 April 2020
  13. News Article
    There is growing concern that standard personal protective equipment (PPE), which often has a unisex design, doesn't always fit women properly. The Department of Health said the kit is designed to protect "both genders". However, healthcare workers are saying that even the smallest sizes are too big for some women - who make up 77% of the NHS workforce, according to NHS Digital figures from 2018. If it is too big it can be less effective in providing a complete barrier to the virus. "PPE is designed to be unisex and offer protection for both genders, although some products are available in different sizes to enable fit to both small and larger frames," said the Department of Health, in a statement. But the Royal College of Nursing has described "one-size-fits-all" personal protective equipment as "problematic" and "restrictive" when it can be worn for up to 12 hours during shifts. PPE includes gloves, masks, gowns and face shields. "Nurses can find it very difficult to treat patients if this equipment is so uncomfortable it makes them hot and unwell," said Rose Gallagher, professional lead for infection prevention and control. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 April 2020
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