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Found 265 results
  1. News Article
    A network of specialist surgical mesh removal centres is to be set up around England, with a launch planned for April 2021. The move implements a recommendation of the review, chaired by the Conservative peer and former health minister Julia Cumberlege, into three treatments which caused avoidable harm. These included the use of transvaginal tape and pelvic mesh to treat pelvic organ prolapse and urinary incontinence. The review, which published its report in July, heard “harrowing” stories about women left with serious complications. The mesh is hard to remove and only a few surgeons in the UK are able to carry out the procedure. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 25 November 2020
  2. News Article
    Ministers are to invest millions in making Britain's maternity wards safer, it was announced on Wednesday after The Independent exposed a series of cases in which mothers and babies had suffered avoidable harm during childbirth. The new money, almost £10m, was announced as part of the spending review unveiled by Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, in the Commons and will deliver new pilots of what the Treasury called “cutting-edge training” to improve practice during childbirth. Significant failings in maternity safety units across the NHS have devastated families and left some babies needing tens of millions of pounds to look after them in later life. In November last year, The Independent joined with the charity Baby Lifeline to call for a new fund to be set up after exposing the single largest maternity scandal in NHS history at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals Trust, where dozens of babies have died or been left with brain damage. The new funding will also cover the final year of the independent investigation into the Shrewsbury trust. Read full story Source: The Independent, 26 November 2020
  3. Community Post
    What is your experience of having a hysterscopy? We would like to hear - good or bad so that we can help campaign for safer, harm free care. You can read Patient Safety Learning's blog about improving hysteroscopy safety here. You'll need to be a hub member to comment below, it's quick and easy to do. You can sign up here.
  4. News Article
    Several patients were harmed after leaders at an acute trust failed to act on multiple concerns being raised about a surgeon, documents obtained by HSJ suggest. The documents reveal a catalogue of governance and safety concerns over the trauma and orthopaedics department at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust in the last three years. They include an external review which described the process for investigating clinical incidents as akin to “marking your own homework” and found the T&O department at Royal Lancaster Infirmary driven by “internecine squabbles”. It comes as the trust, which is widely known for a patient safety scandal within its maternity department, also faces a major investigation into whistleblowing concerns over its urology services. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 November 2020
  5. News Article
    Lawyers have begun legal action on behalf of 200 UK women against the makers of a sterilisation device, after claims of illness and pain. The device, a small coil called Essure, was implanted to prevent pregnancies. Manufacturer Bayer has already set aside more than $1.6bn (£1.2bn) to settle claims from almost 40,000 women in the US. It has withdrawn the device from the market for commercial reasons but says it stands by its safety and efficacy. The metal coil was inserted into the fallopian tube to cause scarring, blocking the tube and preventing pregnancy. Introduced in 2002, it was promoted as an easy, non-surgical procedure - a new era in sterilisation. But many women who had the device fitted have now either had hysterectomies or are waiting for procedures to remove the device. Tracey Pitcher, who lives in Hampshire, felt she had completed her family and did not want any more children. Her doctor strongly encouraged her to have an Essure device fitted, she says. But after it had been, she began to feel very unwell. "I just started to have heavy periods, migraines, which I had only ever had when I was pregnant so they were hormonal," she says. "My back was so painful I'd wake up crying in the middle of the night with pains in my hips and my back." Tracey says she battled to persuade doctors to take her symptoms seriously. But the only information she received was from a Facebook group. "... there's nobody there, there's no support apart from people that we've found ourselves, no-one will listen, because it's just 'women's things'." Read full story Source: BBC News, 15 November 2020
  6. Content Article
    As a result of the investigation, one recommendation has been made to the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on assessing factors such teamwork and psychological safety in its regulation of maternity units. Based on the evidence gathered, the report also sets out a series of questions to consider in order to help staff identify strengths and opportunities for improvement within their own maternity unit. Safety recommendation It is recommended that the Care Quality Commission, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, includes assessment of relational aspects such as multidisciplinary teamwork and psychological safety in its regulation of maternity units. Questions to consider Does your unit have a role, or another means, separate from the labour ward co-ordinator, dedicated to monitoring and anticipation of activity across the maternity service and troubleshooting, such as a roving bleep holder? Do you have regular multidisciplinary ward rounds throughout the day? Do you have regular safety huddles and multidisciplinary handovers using a structured information tool? Do you hold multidisciplinary in situ simulation and facilitated debriefing that includes both technical and non-technical skills? Are scenarios and incidents encountered in your unit included in the training? Do you know what your staff’s perceptions of teamwork, psychological safety and communication are within your unit? Are actions taken in response? How are midwifery staff empowered to contact consultants directly if they have concerns? Is time and resource dedicated to regular multidisciplinary forums that provide a safe space to openly discuss scenarios where things did not go well? Do these forums also include discussion and reflection on scenarios where things went well despite unexpected events? Are senior midwifery staff assigned to triage and assessment areas? Is there adequate medical presence in these areas? In larger units, is the workload on the labour ward separated into elective and emergency work? If so, are there separate labour ward co-ordinators for each? How does the physical infrastructure support work? For example, use of DECT telephones, availability of equipment, consultant offices on/near the labour ward, proximity of antenatal ward and neonatal unit to the labour ward. How are issues with staffing and workload escalated and responded to? Are senior trust personnel aware and involved?
  7. News Article
    Study finds 54 days after discharge, 69% of patients still had fatigue, and 53% were suffering from persistent breathlessness. Almost seven out of 10 patients hospitalised due to coronavirus still suffer from debilitating symptoms more than seven weeks after being discharged, according to a new study. Researchers from the University College London (UCL) division of medicine, in collaboration with with clinicians at the Royal Free London (RFL) and UCL, followed 384 patients who had tested positive and had been treated at Barnet Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital or UCLH. Collectively the average length of stay in hospital was 6.5 days. The team found that 54 days after discharge, 69% of patients were still experiencing fatigue, and 53% were suffering from persistent breathlessness. They also found that 34% still had a cough and 15% reported depression. In addition 38% of chest radiographs (X-rays) remained abnormal and 9% were getting worse. Dr Swapna Mandal, an honorary clinical associate professor at UCL division of medicine, said the data shows so-called long COVID is a real phenomenon and that further research is needed to understand how the symptoms of COVID-19 can be treated over an extended period. She said: "Patients whose COVID-19 illness is serious enough for them to require hospital care often continue to suffer significant symptoms for many weeks after their discharge." Read full story Source: Sky News, 11 November 2020
  8. News Article
    A nurse is due in court charged with eight counts of murder following an investigation into baby deaths at the Countess of Chester hospital neonatal unit in Cheshire. Lucy Letby, 30, is due to appear at Warrington magistrates court on Thursday. She was arrested for a third time on Tuesday as part of the investigation into the hospital, which began in 2017. A force spokesman said: “The Crown Prosecution Service has authorised Cheshire police to charge a healthcare professional with murder in connection with an ongoing investigation into a number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester hospital.” He said Letby was facing eight charges of murder and 10 charges of attempted murder relating to the period from June 2015 to June 2016. On Tuesday, police said parents of all the babies involved were being kept fully updated on developments and were being supported by officers. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 November 2020
  9. Content Article
    Problems related to the care home and the company were known well before the Panorama expose in 2016. When the Panorama programme was aired it resulted in immediate closure of one home and all the homes which were operated by Morleigh being transferred to new operators. The Review includes reports of abuse against residents; residents being left to lie in wet urine-soaked bedsheets; concerns from relatives about their loved ones being neglected; reports of there being insufficient food for residents, no hot water and no heating; claims that dozens of residents were sharing one bathroom. Here's a summary of the report's findings: More than 100 residents had concerns raised more than once. More than 200 safeguarding alerts were made for individuals but only 16 went through to an individual adult safeguarding conference. More than 80 whistleblower or similar reports were made concerning issues that put residents at risk. 44 inspections were undertaken at Morleigh Group homes in the three-year period, the vast majority identifying breaches. There was a period of at least 12 months when four of the homes had no registered manager in place. During the three-year period reviewed the police received 130 reports relating to the care homes. A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: “We have different procedures and policies in place and have invested time, money and staffing into making sure that we can respond better when concerns are raised.'' “One of the problems was that all the partners had their own policies and procedures but they weren’t integrated. That is probably one of the key issues that we have now addressed.” “The assessment is so different now and the organisations are working much more closely that it reduces the risk dramatically.'' This is an important and long-awaited review. This situation echoes other care home scandals across the UK. I urge everyone to read the full report and reflect on the real root causes of the problem, which I believe go well beyond failings in inter-agency policies and communication. What would your action plan be? How would you monitor it?
  10. Content Article
    The review looked back over the period from 2013 to 2016 and catalogues a number of failings and missed opportunities to address the situation. Among its findings are: More than 100 residents had concerns raised more than once. More than 200 safeguarding alerts were made for individuals but only 16 went through to an individual adult safeguarding conference. More than 80 whistleblower or similar reports were made concerning issues that put residents at risk. 44 inspections were undertaken at Morleigh Group homes in the three-year period, the vast majority identifying breaches. There was a period of at least 12 months when four of the homes had no registered manager in place. During the three-year period reviewed the police received 130 reports relating to the care homes. In total there are 15 recommendations made by the review which have been accepted by Cornwall Council and the Safeguarding Adults Board. These include changes to contract management for the provision of care services so that they link with safeguarding and inspections. On whistleblowing the review says there needs to be a clear whistleblowing process for all staff, residents, families and professionals to follow and to ensure that information is shared across all agencies. Other recommendations include better enforcement to ensure action is taken when breaches are identified. And it calls for a “front door” for all alerts made about care providers so that there is no confusion about who should take responsibility to deal with concerns.
  11. News Article
    Hospital hotspots for COVID-19 have been highlighted in a new report by safety investigators. The report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) makes a series of observations to help the health service reduce the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings. Hospital hotspots for COVID-19 included the central nurses’ stations and areas where computers and medical notes were shared, the HSIB found. The investigation was initiated after a Sage report in May which found that 20% of hospital patients were reporting symptoms of Covid-19 seven days following admission – suggesting that their infection may have been acquired in hospital. In response to the report, NHS England and NHS Improvement confirmed they would publish nosocomial – another term for hospital acquired infections – transmission rates from trusts, the HSIB said. Read full story Source: Express and Star, 28 October 2020
  12. News Article
    Minority ethnic people in UK were ‘overexposed, under protected, stigmatised and overlooked’, new review finds. Structural racism led to the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, a review by Doreen Lawrence has concluded. The report, commissioned by Labour, contradicts the government’s adviser on ethnicity, Dr Raghib Ali, who last week dismissed claims that inequalities within government, health, employment and the education system help to explain why COVID-19 killed disproportionately more people from minority ethnic communities. Lady Lawrence’s review found BAME people are over-represented in public-facing industries where they cannot work from home, are more likely to live in overcrowded housing and have been put at risk by the government’s alleged failure to facilitate Covid-secure workplaces. She demanded that the government set out an urgent winter plan to tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid on BAME people and ensure comprehensive ethnicity data is collected across the NHS and social care. The report, entitled An Avoidable Crisis, also criticises politicians for demonising minorities, such as when Donald Trump used the phrase “the Chinese virus”. The report, which is based on submissions and conversations over Zoom featuring “heart-wrenching stories” as well as quantitative data, issued the following 20 recommendations: Set out an urgent plan for tackling the disproportionate impact of Covid on ethnic minorities Implement a national strategy to tackle health inequalities Suspend ‘no recourse to public funds’ during Covid Conduct a review of the impact of NRPF on public health and health inequalities Ensure Covid-19 cases from the workplace are properly recorded Strengthen Covid-19 risk assessments Improve access to PPE in all high-risk workplaces Give targeted support to people who are struggling to self-isolate Ensure protection and an end to discrimination for renters Raise the local housing allowance and address the root causes of homelessness Urgently conduct equality impact assessments on the government’s Covid support schemes Plan to prevent the stigmatisation of communities during Covid-19 Urgently legislate to tackle online harms Collect and publish better ethnicity data Implement a race equality strategy Ensure all policies and programmes help tackle structural inequality Introduce mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting End the ‘hostile environment’ Reform the curriculum Take action to close the attainment gap Read full story Source: The Guardian, 28 October 2020
  13. News Article
    In ‘Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed For Men’ author Caroline Criado Perez writes about Rachael, a woman who suffered years of severe and incapacitating pain during her period. It takes, on average, eight years for women in the UK to obtain a diagnoses of endometriosis. In fact, for over a decade, there has been no improvement in diagnostic times for women living with the debilitating condition. You might think, given the difficulty so many women experience in having their symptoms translated into a diagnosis, that endometriosis is a rare condition that doctors perhaps don’t encounter all that often. Yet it is something that affects one in ten women – so what is going wrong? Read the full article here in The Scotsman
  14. Content Article
    The authors found that fire occurs when the three elements of the fire triad, fuel, oxidiser and ignition, coincide. Surgical fires are unusual in the absence of an oxygen-enriched atmosphere. The ignition source is most commonly diathermy but lasers carry a relatively greater risk. The majority of fires occur during head and neck surgery. This is due to the presence of oxygen and the extensive use of lasers. The risk of fire can be reduced with an awareness of the risk and good communication. Surgery will always carry a risk of fire. Reducing this risk requires a concerted effort from all team members.
  15. News Article
    The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has called for ‘ministerial ownership’ to end the ‘inhumane’ care of patients with learning difficulties and autism in hospital – after finding some cases where people had been held in long-term segregation for more than 10 years. Following its second review into the uses of restraint and segregation on people with a learning difficulty, autism and mental health problems, the CQC has warned it “cannot be confident that their human rights are upheld, let alone be confident that they are supported to live fulfilling lives”. The review was ordered by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock in late 2018 in response to mounting concerns about the quality of care in these areas. According to the report, published today, inspectors found examples people being in long-term segregation for at least 13 years, and in hospital for up to 25 years. It also found evidence showing the proportion of children from a black or black British background subjected to prolonged seclusion on child and adolescent mental health wards was almost four times that of other ethnicities. Looking at care received in hospital the CQC found many care plans were “generic” and “meaningless” and patients did not have access to any therapeutic care. Reviewers also found people’s physical healthcare needs were overlooked. One women was left in pain for several months due to her provider failing to get medical treatment. The regulator also reviewed the use of restrictive practices within community settings. While it found higher quality care, and the use of restrictive practices was less common, it said there was no national reporting system for this sector. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 22 October 2020
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