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Found 46 results
  1. News Article
    A significant relaxation of infection control guidance has been announced in a bid to free up more capacity to tackle substantial waiting lists and demand for emergency care. New guidance issued jointly by the Department of Heath and Social Care, the UK Health Security Agency, NHS England and health bodies in the devolved nations, recommends the relaxation of isolation requirements for inpatients who either test positive for Covid-19 or are considered close contacts of people with the virus. The isolation period for inpatients with Covid-19 can now be reduced from 10 days to seven if
  2. Content Article
    Key points The government is expected to publish its COVID-19 exit plan on 21 February. This comes a month earlier than initially scheduled and is expected to lift existing restrictions – including the requirement to isolate after testing positive – in England from 24 February. Given the continued high prevalence of the Omicron variant, and pressures on services, this plan must represent a cautious and carefully planned exit if the NHS is to continue to concentrate on delivering the full range of care that people value and expect. A survey of NHS Confederation members, which
  3. News Article
    Tens of thousands of new mothers have been left feeling “hopeless” and “isolated” during the pandemic, with the NHS seeing record numbers of referrals to mental health services. Requests for help from new, expectant and bereaved mothers jumped by 40% in 2021 compared with 2019, analysis by The Independent has revealed. NHS data shows mental health referrals hit an all-time high of 23,673 in November last year, with average monthly referrals for the whole of 2021 running 21% higher than the year before, jumping from 17,226 to 21,990. Among those affected when support systems were
  4. News Article
    Up-to-date registers of clinically vulnerable patients must be created to ensure that those who are most at risk during Covid-19 and any future pandemics are protected and can access the support they need, a report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Vulnerable Groups to Pandemics has recommended. The report considered vulnerable people’s experiences during the pandemic and makes 16 recommendations on what the government and the health service can do better to plan and prioritise extremely vulnerable patients during further Covid-19 outbreaks and future pandemics. These
  5. Content Article
    Recommendations Guidance and information 1. For the UK Health Security Agency, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and Department of Health and Social Care: To more intensively and widely communicate facemask exemptions to the public and guidance about employment legislation to employers. 2. For the UK Health Security Agency, Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, and Department of Health and Social Care: To improve the timeliness, clarity, and medical accuracy of shielding guidance. This includes the publication of guidance alongside announcements and providin
  6. News Article
    Medically vulnerable people say the decision to end Covid restrictions means their freedoms being eroded. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that legal requirements, including the need to self-isolate if you test positive, will end on Thursday. Two clinically vulnerable women in the West say not knowing who is infected means it is now more dangerous for them to leave their homes. "It doesn't feel safe," said Chloe Ball-Hopkins, from Gloucestershire. "My friends and family will continue to try and keep me safe, my partner will keep me safe, they'll continue to test befor
  7. News Article
    As surges of COVID-19 cases driven by the highly infectious Omicron variant recede, parts of the United States, Canada, and Europe are moving swiftly to lift constraints on a pandemic-fatigued public. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have abolished nearly all ­COVID-19–related restrictions in recent weeks, and the United Kingdom announced it would do the same this month, dropping even the legal requirement that people quarantine after testing positive for SARS-CoV-2. In the United States, despite persistently high numbers of COVID-19–related deaths and busy hospitals, 10 governors, many known for b
  8. News Article
    Two years of the pandemic have meant drops in essential screening and detection in Australia, while cancer patients undergo treatments alone and isolate to avoid Covid risks. When Claire Simpson turned 50 in early 2020, she received a letter telling her to get a mammogram. Then the pandemic hit, and Victoria went into lockdown. “Like many people, I put it off until we were coming out of that lockdown, but by then it was September and I couldn’t get an appointment until December,” she says. In February 2021 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. Tests showed s
  9. News Article
    The government plans to end all remaining covid restrictions in England—including the legal obligation to self-isolate—ahead of schedule later this month, the prime minister, Boris Johnson, has said. The current restrictions, including the requirement that anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 must self-isolate for at least five days, are due to expire on 24 March. But Johnson, addressing MPs during prime minister’s questions on 9 February, said that the remaining rules could end early if recent trends in the data continued. In response to the prime minister’s statement healthcare l
  10. Content Article
    I have worked as a general practitioner in a family clinic for 11 years and have noticed a number of changes in patient presentation since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, I have seen a significant increase in the number of seasonal flu cases compared to the previous three years, despite good coverage from the seasonal flu vaccine. I reviewed about 2,500 to 4,000 cases associated with seasonal flu and upper respiratory tract infections. These numbers would have been remarkable, before Covid-19. The Covid-19 outbreak was reported in Wuhan, Central China i
  11. News Article
    The self-isolation period for positive cases is being cut and the limit on visitors lifted from next week. Residents who test positive will have to self-isolate for up to 10 days, with a minimum isolation period of five full days followed by two sequential negative lateral flow tests – as is already the case for the rest of the population. Isolation periods for those having care after an emergency hospital visit will also be reduced to a maximum of 10 days, while a requirement for residents to test or self-isolate after normal visits out will be removed. Care homes will have to
  12. News Article
    The health secretary, Sajid Javid, has warned MPs he may need to “constrain” the Covid testing system over the next fortnight, as demand for lateral flow kits surges. Ministers have repeatedly encouraged members of the public to test themselves using a lateral flow device (LFD) before attending gatherings or meeting vulnerable relatives. However, test kits have repeatedly been unavailable online in recent days, and many pharmacies have complained of being unable to secure them. Labour has accused the government of presiding over a “shambles”, with many members of the public stru
  13. News Article
    A team of 25,000 contact tracers are making their first phone calls to track down people who will be told to self-isolate under a new scheme in England. Tracers will text, email or call people who test positive with coronavirus and ask who they have had contact with. Any of those contacts deemed at risk of infection will be told to isolate for 14 days, even if they are not sick. A test and trace system is also launching in Scotland, where an easing of the lockdown is expected later. The aim of England's NHS Test and Trace system is to lift national lockdown restrictions and move
  14. News Article
    Coronavirus tests for patients in mental health hospitals should be couriered to testing labs and prioritised for results to prevent patients being forced to self-isolate for longer than is necessary, according to new guidance. NHS England has told mental health hospitals they need to use dedicated couriers for urgent swabs and tests should be specifically labelled for mental health patients so they can be turned around faster. Health bosses are worried thousands of patients in mental health wards could deteriorate ifare forced to self-isolate in their rooms for longer periods.
  15. Content Article
    The report offers an ethical framework and practical recommendations to help guide good practice nationally and locally to ensure: Clarity about goals of testing. Access, effectiveness, and efficiency. Acknowledgement and management of the strengths and limitations of the current test. Understanding how the test is used in practice and the implications of these uses. Clarity in relation to choices about testing both in principle and in practice. Clarity about data protection and confidentiality. Trustworthiness and legitimacy. High quality inform
  16. Content Article

    Self-isolation may be a pipe dream

    Anonymous
    We knew what would be coming at us several weeks ago. Our daughter is a bit of a doomsday prepper and she had been warning us for a while. We had slowly stocked up on a few essentials, nothing ridiculous. We'd also made sure that we had supplies of our medications, and switched away from Boots to a small local pharmacy who promised to do deliveries. We had corded phones, candles, lanterns and lots of batteries in case of power outages. We had some bottled water. We had stocked up the freezer. We hadn't thought the panic buying would start so quickly, or last so long. Toilet paper was a su
  17. News Article
    Care watchdogs are investigating concerns that staff with Covid-19 have been working with care home residents as operators said absence levels are as high as 70% owing to sickness and self-isolation, increasing pressure to get staff back to work. The Care Quality Commission has ordered several councils to investigate allegations about the practice, which puts lives at risk, and possible breaches of the Care Act relating to abuse or neglect of residents. It is understood to be dealing with fewer than 10 cases. But the regulator has issued a warning to all care homes in England with th
  18. News Article
    In the past week, many people have been 'pinged' by the NHS app, informing them they have been in close contact with someone who has had the Covid-19 virus and that they should self-isolate. However, despite this advice there is no legal obligation. Downing street, on the other hand, have urged those who have been 'pinged' to self-isolate when sent the alert via the app. A spokeswoman for No 10 has said "Given the risk of having and spreading the virus when people have been in contact with someone with Covid, it is crucial people isolate when they are told to do so, either by NHS T
  19. News Article
    Hospitals in England have been given the green light to ease some of the Covid infection-control measures that have been in place during the pandemic. The changes, recommended by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), are aimed at easing pressure on the NHS. It says testing and isolating patients before planned operations can be dropped and hospitals can return to normal cleaning procedures. Social distancing can also be reduced from 2m (6ft) to 1m in some areas. UKHSA chief executive Dr Jenny Harries said the new recommendations would help local hospitals plan more electiv
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