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Found 18 results
  1. News Article
    Pupils should learn what health problems they must not bother the NHS with, doctors and pharmacists have said. In a new strategy paper they call for a “wholesale cultural shift” towards more self-care, insisting this could both empower patients and reduce demand. Conditions like lower back pain, the common cold and acute sinusitis can generally be treated without the need for GPs or hospital visits, experts said. They called for the national curriculum to include requirements for both primary and secondary pupils to be taught to treat and manage common health problems at home. Medical students or pharmacists could go into school to offer lessons on “self-care techniques and signposting to appropriate use of NHS services”, they said. The paper is from the Self-Care Strategy Group, a coalition of pharmacy bodies and GP and patient groups. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 9 January 2023
  2. News Article
    Antibiotics could be given to children at schools affected by Strep A to stop the spread of the infection, schools minister Nick Gibb has said. Mr Gibb told Sky News that the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) is "working closely with the schools involved and giving very specific advice to those schools which may involve the use of penicillin". He added that health officials will "have more to say about that". "They're providing more general advice to parents, which is to look out for the symptoms - so, sore throat, fever, high temperature and also a red or raised rash on the skin are symptoms of this invasive Strep A outbreak." His comments came after the ninth death of a child from the infection. Read full story Source: Sky News, 6 December 2022
  3. News Article
    Mental health professionals have unveiled a "toolkit" to help school nurses support pupils with eating disorders. Bath-based campaigner Hope Virgo developed the strategy with the School and Public Health Nurses Association (Saphna) after a rise in cases. The toolkit aims to equip school nurses with techniques to discuss eating disorders, and also "what not to say". Ms Virgo has called on the government to deal with the backlog those waiting for treatment, which totalled 1,946 at the beginning of March, data from eating disorder charity Beat shows. Sharon White, Saphna's chair, said the organisation had been promoting the toolkit among its members. "We can't solve the huge waiting lists and reduced services, but what we can do is inform ourselves better," she said. The toolkit provides "the hints, the tips, the language, the stock phrases, and importantly, what not to say", Ms White added. The Department of Health and Social Care has been supportive of the scheme, Ms White said, adding it may adopt it as part of its own guidance in future. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 October 2022 Read a recent blog Hope Virgo wrote for the hub: People with eating disorders should not face stigma in the health system and barriers to accessing support in 2022
  4. Content Article
    The toolkit provides information and guidance on the following topics: What are eating disorders? How do you know if it is an eating disorder? Breaking myths about eating disorders Confidentiality Consent How to speak to a child or young person who is struggling What to do if a child of young person is unable to open up What not to say to someone with an eating disorder How to speak to parents/carers if you have concerns Taking action Referrals NICE guidance It also includes a template safety plan that can be completed with the child or young person.
  5. Content Article
    This guideline includes recommendations on: hand decontamination use of personal protective equipment safe use and disposal of sharps waste disposal long-term urinary catheters enteral feeding vascular access devices. Who is it for? commissioners and providers healthcare professionals working in primary and community care settings, including ambulance services, schools and prisons children, young people and adults receiving healthcare for which standard infection-control precautions apply in primary and community care, and their families and carers.
  6. News Article
    A group of survivors and relatives of people who died in the infected blood scandal are suing a school where they contracted hepatitis and HIV after being given experimental treatment without informed consent. A proposed group action lodged by Collins Solicitors in the high court on Friday alleges that Treloar College, a boarding school in Hampshire that specialised in teaching haemophiliacs, failed in its duty of care to these pupils in the 1970s and 80s. The claim could result in a payout running into millions of pounds, and is based on new testimony given by former staff at the school to the ongoing infected blood inquiry. Gary Webster, 56, a former pupil who was infected with hepatitis C and HIV after being treated with contaminated blood at the school in the early 80s and gave evidence to the inquiry last year, is the lead claimant of the 22 survivors in the group. Speaking to the Guardian, he said: “We were lab rats or guinea pigs. We always thought that we may have been experimented on for research purposes, but we had no proof until the evidence given in the inquiry.” Last year in testimony to the inquiry, the former headteacher of Treloars, Alec Macpherson, confirmed that doctors at the school were “experimenting with the use of factor VIII”, an imported pooled plasma that was later discovered to be contaminated with HIV and hepatitis. He said he and other teaching staff did not question doctors about the trials. He told the inquiry: “We didn’t have any authority or reason to interfere. You can’t – doctors are god, aren’t they?” Macpherson said he consented to the treatment because he trusted the doctors, and he could not recall if parents were informed and consulted. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 23 January 2022
  7. News Article
    Academy-style hospitals will be set up to improve patchy NHS leadership under a shake-up planned by Sajid Javid to deal with post-pandemic waiting lists. The health secretary is formulating the reorganisation to give well-run hospitals more freedom as well as forcing failing trusts to improve. A new class of “reform trust” will be established as Javid signals an appetite for wide-ranging changes to deal with a “huge” variation in performance across the health service. Modelling reforms on the Blairite academies programme could lead to failing hospitals being forcibly turned into reform trusts, as happens with schools that are rated inadequate. It is possible that chains of hospitals will be run by leading NHS managers, or even outside sponsors, although this is yet to be decided. Boris Johnson is said to want to focus on cutting NHS waiting times as part of an “operation red meat” designed to shift the focus from rows over Downing Street parties. Allies of Javid say, however, that his desire for reform long predates the prime minister’s present problems and that as the Omicron wave recedes he believes he has a “six-month window” to introduce changes before planning for next winter takes over. His proposals raise the prospect of ministers embarking on another NHS reorganisation, even before the government’s Health and Care Bill — itself designed to reverse previous Tory reforms – becomes law. The plans are still at an early stage but are due to feature in a white paper that will set out Javid’s plans for dealing with weak leadership and slow adoption of best practice in parts of the NHS. A Whitehall source said: “Sajid’s reform agenda is all about driving up performance across the NHS. To achieve that we are going to apply some lessons from the academies programme.” Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 18 January 2022
  8. News Article
    A school has brought in a dental charity to treat pupils with such bad toothache they have missed lessons. Staff at Trinity Academy Grammar in West Yorkshire have had to take pupils to hospital as they were in agony but unable to access an NHS dentist. The Department for Health said an extra £50m funding had been given to NHS dental services for more appointments. Charlie Johnson, headteacher of the school in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, said as well as being forced to take days off, some students had been left in tears during lessons due to toothache. After becoming concerned, Mr Johnson said he had contacted public health officials who said there was a shortage of local NHS dentists taking on patients. The school was put in touch with Dentaid, a UK charity which normally provided dental treatment to people in developing countries who cannot access it, or to vulnerable people such as the homeless. As a result, a mobile clinic was brought to the school and volunteer dentists found around one in 10 of its 900 pupils needed treatment for conditions such as decay, cracked teeth and abscesses. The school said it was "frustrating" it had been forced to step in to provide dental treatment, but added that parents often found it "impossible" to access help. The British Dental Association said the fact that Trinity Academy had been forced to call on a charity for help illustrated that NHS dentistry was on its "last legs". Chairman Eddie Crouch said: "We salute these volunteers, but this isn't the Victorian era. "A wealthy 21st Century nation shouldn't be relying on charities to provide basic healthcare to our children." Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 April 2022
  9. News Article
    The number of nurses in schools has fallen in recent years, prompting fears that pupils’ lives are being put “at risk”. Teaching assistants are being asked to carry out medical interventions, such as injections, without adequate training or support, the GMB union, which represents school staff, has said. Data, obtained by the GMB union through a Freedom of Information request, shows the number of school nurses has fallen by 11 per cent in four years – from 472 in 2015 to 420 in 2018. Karen Leonard, National Schools Officer at the GMB union, said: “The uncomfortable truth is that in too many schools children are not getting the medical support they need.” Ms Leonard added: “School staff should not administer medicine unless they feel fully confident in their training and lines of accountability, but often they are placed in uncomfortable situations." “This is a highly stressful state of affairs for children, parents, and staff, who fear they will be blamed if something goes wrong. It is not alarmist to say that lives are at risk.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 23 February 2020
  10. Content Article
    Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man” is an American musical set in 1900’s River City Iowa. First seen on Broadway and then as a 1960s film, the story rests on hope that arrives in town on the shoulders of a con man, Harold Hill. There are lots of themes we could track from this story into our times today – but one scene in particular is on point for this month’s letter. Hill distributes music and instruments to his students with instructions to practice on their own and they come together to play for the town. Let’s just say it doesn’t go so well. Although committed to the goal, the kids can’t play the music without solid instruction, synchronised development, collective practice and effective leadership. A band needs to follow the same score of the same tune in order to MAKE music that works. The COVID response in the US seems to have put patients, the public and clinicians in a situation similar to that of the River City kids. States, schools and cities seem to be playing from different arrangements of the same tune resulting in a lack of coordination and consistency across the country. The result is not just noise but profound failure. Ed Yong in The Atlantic summarises the systemic discord that has contributed to an estimated 183,000 deaths in the US. He highlights how despite ample warnings the country was unprepared for a pandemic, and suggests it remains unprepared for the next one. Weaknesses in leadership, testing, state policies, data capture and dissemination, public health infrastructure and information inaccuracies set the stage for the spread of COVID. Lack of respect for science, ingrained bias against people of colour and an ineffective health system perpetuated much of what could have been prevented. The situation Yong describes in his article has led the USA to a patchwork response to the pandemic. Across the country a variety of populations are being put at risk. For example, students and teachers at colleges and universities are having to navigate their way through the crisis – sorting through local concerns and statistics to devise a course that will serve their communities best while serving a mobile population of students who come from home to learn while potentially carrying or picking up the virus to take home or to their dorms. As examined in Kaiser Health News students arriving for classes are experiencing varying approaches to testing, hybrid online/in person class models and stay-at-home and masking orders. And should students become ill, universities may not be well equipped to keep those patients safe. Strategies to address these problems from politicians, researchers and healthcare abound. There is a recognised need of a national policy that aligns efforts to manage the COVID situation. As noted in USA Today, countries that have had relative success in managing the virus, such as Germany and Denmark, have a collective approach to address the problem they have committed to. The article compares international responses to those of the US to illustrate gaps and highlight areas where coordination and collaboration are desperately needed to move the country’s effort forward. Healthcare seems particularly suited to offer suggestions for improving the situation. The American Association of Medical Colleges recently published a guidance to set a direction for a safer future. The Way Forward on COVID-19: A Road Map to Reset the Nation’s Approach to the Pandemic outlines 11 recommendations to support and motivate the nation to adopt a systemic, collective plan to reset the country. Informed by expert insights from a variety of fields, the document shares actionable suggestions on topics such as testing improvement, national standards on face coverings and other safety protocols, and vaccine deployment planning. Suggestions include undertaking research to determine efficacy of face coverings to reduce transmission of COVID-19, distribution data to compare the impact of school reopening and designing a government-funded vaccine distribution and use process that involves a wide range of providers. The Music Man ends with a rousing performance of “76 Trombones.” The kids in the band follow a course toward success, resplendent in full uniform, high stepping and proud, seamlessly working together. The families and townsfolk people beam with accomplishment and join in on the celebration of collective achievement. When will we be ready to take up our instruments and perform cohesively together with no one left behind due to having a different COVID-19 score?
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