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Found 265 results
  1. News Article
    The government must set out plans for an inquiry into its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, the health service ombudsman has said. This was not about blaming staff but about "learning lessons", he said. Ombudsman Rob Behrens said patients were reporting concerns about cancelled cancer treatment and incorrect COVID-19 test results. Ministers have not committed to holding an inquiry, but have accepted there are lessons to be learned. The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) stopped investigating complaints against the NHS on 26 March, to allow it to focus on tackling the COVID-19 outbreak. But people had continued to phone in with these concerns, Mr Behrens said. "Complaining when something has gone wrong should not be about criticising doctors, nurses or other front-line public servants, who have often been under extraordinary pressure dealing with the Covid-19 crisis," he said. "It is about identifying where things have gone wrong systematically and making sure lessons are learned so mistakes are not repeated." Read full story Source: BBC News, 1 July 2020
  2. News Article
    Initial survey findings show the long road to recovery for people who have faced COVID at home without going into hospital New survey findings from over 1,000 people show that those recovering from mild-moderate COVID are struggling for weeks with symptoms, raising concerns that there is not adequate support for people who have not been in hospital with the illness. The ongoing survey is being run by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation, through their post-COVID HUB, which they set up, alongside a helpline and WhatsApp service, to support anyone left with breathing difficulties after COVID. Read full article here
  3. News Article
    Delays in going to the emergency department because of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown may have been a contributory factor in the deaths of nine children, a snapshot survey of consultant paediatricians in the UK and Ireland has shown. Three of the reported deaths associated with delayed presentation were due to sepsis, three were due to a new diagnosis of malignancy, in two the cause was not reported, and one was a new diagnosis of metabolic disease. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 30 June 2020
  4. News Article
    People who were seriously ill in hospital with coronavirus need to be urgently screened for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), leading doctors say. The Covid Trauma Response Working Group, led by University College London and involving experts from south-east England, said those who had been in intensive care were most at risk. The experts said regular check ups should last at least a year. More than 100,000 people have been treated in hospital for the virus. The experts say tens of thousands of these would have been seriously ill enough to be at risk of PTSD. The working group highlighted research which showed 30% of patients who had suffered severe illnesses in infectious disease outbreaks in the past had gone on to develop PTSD, while depression and anxiety problems were also common. Tracy is just one of many people who has been left with psychological scars from her coronavirus experience. She was admitted to Whittington Hospital in north London in March and spent more than three weeks there - one of which was in intensive care. "It was like being in hell. I saw people dying, people with the life being sucked from them. The staff all have masks on and all you saw was eyes - it was so lonely and frightening." Since being discharged in April the 59-year-old has been struggling to sleep because of the thought she will die and she has constantly suffered flashbacks. She is now receiving counselling. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 June 2020
  5. News Article
    More children died after failing to get timely medical treatment during lockdown than lost their lives because of coronavirus, new research by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) suggests. Six children under the age of 16 have died from COVID-19 in Britain since the pandemic began, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, seeking medical help too late was a contributory factor in the deaths of nine children in paediatric care new analysis has found, with the figure likely to be higher. A survey of 2,433 paediatricians, carried out by the RCPCH, found that one in three handling emergency admissions had dealt with children who turned up later than usual for diagnosis or treatment. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 25 June 2020
  6. News Article
    The government’s contact-tracing programme failed to reach almost 30% of people who tested positive for the coronavirus in England last week, the latest figures show. Only 70% of the 6,923 people who tested positive for COVID-19 during the period were reached by NHS Test and Trace staff, according to the Department of Health and Social Care. This means that 2,054 people with the virus – and potentially thousands of their close contacts – could not be traced by the new system. The fact that one in four people with the virus had not been reached since the launch was “surprising and worrying”, said Keith Neal, emeritus professor of the epidemiology of infectious diseases at the University of Nottingham. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 June 2020
  7. Content Article
    The charities have put together a 12-point plan across the two phases of the pandemic that NHS England are planning for, restoration (phase II) and recovery (phase III). Across all of these recommendations close monitoring and adequate action is needed to ensure inequalities are addressed. In addition, they have set out plans to get the significant transformation agenda for June 2020 cancer services back on track, as simply restoring to pre-COVID-19 levels and models of service is not sufficient to deliver the improved outcomes that patients in this country expect and deserve. Keeping baseline services running. Covid-protected environments. Diagnosis and referrals. Personalised care. Clinical trials. Supporting the vulnerable. Preventing cancer. Workforce. Screening programmes. Guidance. Innovation. Long-term ambitions.
  8. News Article
    Health leaders are calling for an urgent review to determine whether the UK is properly prepared for the "real risk" of a second wave of coronavirus. In an open letter published in the BMJ, ministers were warned that urgent action would be needed to prevent further loss of life. The presidents of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons, Nursing, Physicians, and GPs all signed the letter. It comes after Boris Johnson announced sweeping changes to England's lockdown. Following the prime minister's announcement, health leaders called for a "rapid and forward-looking assessment" of how prepared the UK would be for a new outbreak of the virus. "While the future shape of the pandemic in the UK is hard to predict, the available evidence indicates that local flare-ups are increasingly likely and a second wave a real risk," they wrote in the letter. "Many elements of the infrastructure needed to contain the virus are beginning to be put in place, but substantial challenges remain." The authors of the letter, also signed by the chair of the British Medical Association, urged ministers to set up a cross-party group with a "constructive, non-partisan, four nations approach", tasked with developing practical recommendations. "The review should not be about looking back or attributing blame," they said, and instead should focus on "areas of weakness where action is needed urgently to prevent further loss of life and restore the economy as fully and as quickly as possible". Read full story Source: BBC News, 24 June 2020
  9. Content Article
    Findings: Almost two-thirds of respondents continued to report they – or someone in their organisation's Freedom to Speak Up network – had been asked to take on other duties to support efforts to respond to the pandemic. Workers continued to be encouraged to speak up. 93%)of respondents to this survey believe workers were being encouraged to speak up – up from 72% in April. When asked about the types of issues workers were speaking up, the biggest percentage of respondents (79%) selected worker safety and wellbeing. This included matters such as PPE, social distancing and risk assessments. There was a large increase in the percentage of respondents reporting that workers were speaking up about the impact of COVID-19 on BAME workers. There has also been a sharp increase in respondents indicating workers were speaking up about behavioural issues, such as bullying and harassment.
  10. News Article
    Commenting on the newly-released Office for National Statistics (ONS) data on deaths registered weekly in England and Wales, the Health Foundation’s Chief Executive, Dr Jennifer Dixon, has expressed concerns that people are still avoiding visiting hospitals over fear of catching COVID-19. Hospital admissions have plummeted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak as people look to avoid exposure to the virus, but as we begin to emerge out of the other side of the pandemic and begin the restoration of services there has been a need to rebuild that faith in patients. Dr Dixon said: “Today’s data show that deaths from COVID-19, and overall excess deaths, are decreasing. But while deaths in hospital are now below normal levels, deaths at home – just over 900 excess deaths in the week ending 12 June – remain higher than usual for this time of year. “As COVID-19 now recedes from hospitals, a key question is whether enough has been done to reassure people of their safety when accessing care, balanced against the risks of not seeking care.” Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 24 June 2020
  11. News Article
    Over 90 civil society groups and individual signatories are calling on all public authorities and private sector organisations to protect those who expose harms, abuses and serious wrongdoing during the COVID-19 crisis. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency, worrying reports concerning hospitals and public authorities retaliating against healthcare professionals for speaking out about the realities of COVID-19 have emerged worldwide, from China to the United States. Transparency International urges decision-makers at the highest level to resist the temptation to control the flow of information and instead offer assurances to individuals who witness corruption and wrongdoing to blow the whistle. Marie Terracol, Whistleblowing Programme Coordinator at Transparency International said: “The need for transparency and integrity, heightened in this time of crisis where abuses can cost lives, illustrates the essential role of those who speak up in the public interest." “National governments, public institutions and companies should listen to workers and citizens who come forward and report abuses they witness and protect them from retaliation, including in countries which still do not offer robust legal whistleblower protection. If people feel they can safely make a difference by speaking up, more instances of abuses will be prevented and addressed, and lives might be saved.” Read full story Source: Transparency International. 22 April 2020
  12. Content Article
    Report recommendations Mandate comprehensive and quality ethnicity data collection and recording as part of routine NHS and social care data collection systems, including the mandatory collection of ethnicity data at death certification, and ensure that data are readily available to local health and care partners to inform actions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities. Support community participatory research, in which researchers and community stakeholders engage as equal partners in all steps of the research process, to understand the social, cultural, structural, economic, religious, and commercial determinants of COVID-19 in BAME communities, and to develop readily implementable and scalable programmes to reduce risk and improve health outcomes. Improve access, experiences and outcomes of NHS, local government and integrated care systems commissioned services by BAME communities including: regular equity audits; use of health impact assessments; integration of equality into quality systems; good representation of black and minority ethnic communities among staff at all levels; sustained workforce development and employment practices; trust-building dialogue with service users. Accelerate the development of culturally competent occupational risk assessment tools that can be employed in a variety of occupational settings and used to reduce the risk of employee’s exposure to and acquisition of COVID-19, especially for key workers working with a large cross section of the general public or in contact with those infected with COVID-19. Fund, develop and implement culturally competent COVID-19 education and prevention campaigns, working in partnership with local BAME and faith communities to reinforce individual and household risk reduction strategies; rebuild trust with and uptake of routine clinical services; reinforce messages on early identification, testing and diagnosis; and prepare communities to take full advantage of interventions including contact tracing, antibody testing and ultimately vaccine availability. Accelerate efforts to target culturally competent health promotion and disease prevention programmes for non-communicable diseases promoting healthy weight, physical activity, smoking cessation, mental wellbeing and effective management of chronic conditions including diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Ensure that COVID-19 recovery strategies actively reduce inequalities caused by the wider determinants of health to create long term sustainable change. Fully funded, sustained and meaningful approaches to tackling ethnic inequalities must be prioritised.
  13. News Article
    The NHS contact-tracing app will not be ready before winter, a health minister has said, despite initially being promised in mid-May. Lord Bethell said the Department of Health was "seeking to get something going for the winter". But, he told a committee of MPs, the app wasn't "the priority at the moment". Lord Bethell confirmed the government still planned to introduce a contact-tracing app, describing it as "a really important option for the future". The app has been the subject of a trial on the Isle of Wight, where the Department of Health says it has been downloaded by 54,000 people. Lord Bethell said the trial had been a success, but admitted that one of its principal lessons had been that greater emphasis needed to be placed on manual contact tracing. Asked why the app had taken so long to release, Lord Bethell told the Science and Technology Committee the Isle of Wight trial had shown that people "weren't frightened of it, as we were worried that they might be" - and had also provided "concrete examples" of successes in breaking transmission chains. But he admitted there had been "technical challenges", as well as an "ongoing battle" to persuade people the system was safe and privacy-protecting. Read full story Source: Sky News, 18 June 2020
  14. News Article
    A contact tracing system has this week been launched in Wales, initially a telephone based process, followed by an online system next week. Anyone who has a positive coronavirus test result will be contacted by a team of contact tracers and asked for details of everyone they have had close contact with while they have had symptoms. From Monday 8th June, a new online system will be used to support the process. People will have the option to use the system to provide details of their close contacts electronically. The system has been trialled in four health board areas over the last two weeks and more than 600 contact tracers have so far been employed, with more to be employed. Health Minister, Vaughan Gething said “Today’s roll-out of the contact tracing element of our Test, Trace, Protect strategy is a significant step forward in the gradual move out of lockdown.” Read full story Source: HTN, 2 June 2020
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