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Found 24 results
  1. News Article
    Thousands of people who are at extreme risk from the coronavirus and live in tier 4 areas have been told to stay indoors at all times unless they are exercising or have medical appointments. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) issued new advice on Monday warning people classed as “clinically extremely vulnerable” to stay home, in a bid to protect them from the new, more infectious strain of COVID-19. Those affected have been told not to leave their homes even if they cannot work remotely. The government said residents could be eligible for statutory sick pay, employment support allowance, or universal credit as well as the coronavirus job retention scheme. The DHSC said the high-risk group should stay at home as much as possible. Children who have been advised to shield should not attend school, the department added. Read full story Source: The Independent, 21 December 2020
  2. News Article
    Lockdown had a major impact on the UK's mental health, including increased rates of suicidal thoughts, according to new research. The study, led by the University of Glasgow, examined the effects of COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic. Certain groups are said to be particularly at risk, including young people and women. This publication is the most detailed examination of how the UK's adult population coped during the first weeks of lockdown, when people were given strict orders to stay home. Researchers say public health measures, like lockdowns, are necessary to protect the general population, but warn they may have a "profound and long-lasting" effect on mental health and will extend beyond those who have been affected by the virus. The study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, looked at three blocks of time between March 31 and May 11. Just over 3,000 adults in the UK were surveyed and a range of mental health factors were considered, including depression, loneliness, suicide attempts and self-harm. The study found suicidal thoughts increased from 8% to 10% and they were highest among young adults (18-29 years), rising from 12.5% to 14%. The researchers say that, even though those are relatively small rises, they are significant because of the short period of time they happened over. "The majority of people did not report any suicidal thoughts, but this creeping rise over a very short period of time is a concern," says Prof Rory O'Connor, chair in health psychology at the University of Glasgow's Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Read full story Source: BBC News, 21 October 2020
  3. News Article
    Increasing staff absence due to COVID-19 will have a ‘significant impact’ on the ability of the NHS to deliver critical care services and routine operations, leading intensive care doctors have said. The latest NHS England data has shown the number of COVID-19 related absences of staff, either through sickness or self-isolation, has risen from 11,952 on 1 September to 19,493 on 1 October. Staff absence has almost doubled in the North West in this time as well – from 2,664 to 5,142 during the same period. It peaked at 17,628 in the region on 11 April and means the October total accounts for nearly a third of that amount already (29%). Alison Pittard, dean of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine, confirmed increasing numbers of NHS critical care staff were absent from work. “I suspect this is due to having to be at home with children asked to isolate and therefore the parent needing to isolate, as was the case in the first wave," she told HSJ. “This will have an impact on our ability to deliver critical care services. We know that staff numbers are inadequate at the best of times, with a significant vacancy rate especially for critical care nurses.” Royal College of Anaesthetists council member Helgi Johannsson said the rising absence rate was “likely to have a significant impact”, particularly on routine operations. Dr Johannsson, a consultant anaesthetist at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, said: “In my hospitals, I have been aware of several doctors and nurses having to isolate due to their children being asked to self-isolate. These healthcare staff were otherwise well and would have been at work." Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 14 October 2020
  4. 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 information and communication about testing.
  5. Content Article
    The team at Imperial College London describes their approach understanding these barriers for youth in the launch of CCopeY, a study around “Young People’s Mental Health and Their Coping Strategies During and After the COVID-19 Lockdown”.
  6. 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 towards more localised, targeted measures. The team will start by contacting the 2,013 people who tested positive for the virus on Wednesday. Read full story Source: BBC News, 28 May 2020
  7. 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 surprise. We hadn't bought any extra of that, so that was an issue, but our daughter managed to find some for us. We are used to working from home. We have done it off and on for over a decade, so this situation is not new for us. We are tech savvy and able to use digital tools to meet our work needs. However, as freelancers, we have been hit hard by work just being cancelled and having much less to do than normal. Less money coming in too, soon. The hardest thing of all has been that while we want to heed the Government's call to stay at home as reasonably high-risk individuals, we cannot book any food deliveries. Tesco, Ocado and Morrisons have no slots available at all. Thankfully we had two already booked with Tesco before the end of this month. After that, the food will start to run out here. With rationing etc already in place, our family who do visit the shops cannot buy extra for us. At some point, regardless of the risk, we may have to leave the house. Wish us luck!!
  8. News Article
    Acute trusts have been told to set aside 15% of their daily coronavirus tests for NHS key workers who are quarantining at home with others. New guidance for NHS trust chief executives on covid-19 testing has been published after NHS England chief executive Sir Simon Stevens announced hundreds of frontline staff would be given antigen tests from next week. The guidance from NHSE said acute trusts should prioritise testing staff working in critical care, emergency departments and ambulance services, along with “any other high priority groups you determine locally”. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 30 March 2020
  9. News Article
    A major hospital trust has told staff they should attend work even if a household member is showing covid-19 symptoms, contrary to national guidance. Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust’s occupational health department has told staff who had reported having family members with covid-19 symptoms they were still expected to attend work. In the email exchanges seen by HSJ, some as recently as a couple of days ago, the trust’s occupational health department was clear there was an NUTH policy agreement with Public Health England. Read full story Source: HSJ, 1 April 2020
  10. News Article
    People will be asked to self-isolate for two weeks even if they are asymptomatic after coming into ‘high-risk’ contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 – a testing chief has told NHS executives. This marks a change from the official guidance given to users of the government’s contact tracing app – on NHS’ COVID-19 website – which states: “If you do not have symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate at this time.” John Newton, a leader of the UK’s testing programme, would be “directed towards those people at high risk” instead of the wider public. He added the government faces a “huge communications exercise” next week ahead of the launch of the test and trace programme. Giving an update on the test and trace programme – which is due to launch on 1 June – Professor Newton said: “People who are deemed high risk contact of confirmed [COVID-19] cases will be told to self-isolate for 14 days, even if they have no symptoms at the time. Professor Newton said: “The point is there will still be a requirement to contain the virus, but the impact in terms of containment will be directed towards those people at high risk so the rest of the population can enjoy more normal life." He said the programme’s success would depend on the public’s response in terms of: Presenting themselves for a test if they have symptoms; Providing the information needed to identify high risk contacts; and Those people identified as high risk contacts complying with advice to self-isolate. Read full story Source: HSJ, 21 May 2020
  11. News Article
    The absence of COVID-19 testing for NHS staff is causing huge workforce shortages by forcing doctors to self-isolate even if they do not have the virus, the head of the BMA has warned. The government’s advice is for people with COVID-19 symptoms to stay at home for seven days, but for all other household members who remain well to isolate for 14 days. The BMA council chairman, Chaand Nagpaul, said that the lack of testing for staff was “counter-intuitive” as it was likely to be forcing more staff than necessary to stay away from hospitals and GP surgeries because they do not know if they are infected. Read full story (paywalled) Source: BMJ, 27 March 2020
  12. News Article
    Close family members will be able to see dying relatives to say goodbye under new coronavirus guidelines, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said. He said the UK would introduce new steps to "limit the risk of infection" and allow goodbyes "wherever possible". Many loved ones have been unable to say goodbye to family and friends since stringent restrictions were introduced on life in the UK on 23 March. Mr Hancock highlighted the death of Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab, 13, from Brixton, south London. Ismail died alone in hospital last month and his close family were then unable to attend his funeral because they were self-isolating. Speaking at Wednesday's briefing, Mr Hancock said the reports made him "weep". "Wanting to be with someone at the end of their life is one of the deepest human instincts," he said. New government guidelines for social care providers, published shortly after the briefing, say that care homes should still "limit unnecessary visits" but advises that "visits at the end of life... should continue" Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 April 2020
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