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Found 164 results
  1. News Article
    Most hospital patients and care home residents in England will no longer be tested for Covid unless they have symptoms, the government has said. From 31 August, NHS and social care staff will also not be offered lateral flow tests unless they fall sick. Free testing for the general public ended in April in England, but continued in some high-risk settings. Health Secretary Steve Barclay said: "This reflects the fact case rates have fallen and the risk of transmission has reduced, though we will continue to closely monitor the situation and work with sectors to resume testing should i
  2. News Article
    A change in pre-eclampsia testing for pregnant women could help save lives. The potentially-fatal condition affects around 6% of women, often during the second half of pregnancy. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) had recommended a test that could only rule out the condition, but now recommends more accurate tests that can diagnose cases. The Welsh government welcomed the new guidance, but said routine screening had not been recommended. Jeanette Kusel, director for scientific advice at NICE, said: "These tests represent a step change in the management an
  3. Content Article
    The measures proposed by Independent SAGE are: Clear and consistent messaging concerning Covid risk and risk mitigation, reinforced by public statements by those in positions of authority. Increased efforts to promote vaccine uptake, among all age groups,4 and with particular emphasis on groups among whom uptake has been low, in particular ethnic minority communities.5 This should be coupled with a clear long term plan to address waning immunity and immune escape by new variants. Installing and/or upgrading ventilation/air filtration in all public buildings, with schools an
  4. News Article
    The UK needs to do more to use diagnostic testing in the fight against antimicrobial resistance (AMR), the chair of a government-commissioned review on AMR told MPs. Lord O’Neill, an economist and former treasury minister, warned in the review’s final report in 2016 that a continued rise in AMR would lead to 10 million people dying each year by 2050 and made ten recommendations, including the need for rapid diagnostics to reduce unnecessary use of antimicrobials. Speaking to a Commons Science and Technology Committee evidence session on 22 June 2022, Lord O’Neill said that while he w
  5. News Article
    The NHS is warning about widespread scam text messages telling recipients they have been in close contact with a Covid case. "We've seen reports of fake NHS text messages about ordering Omicron Covid-19 test kits," it tweeted. Close contacts of people who have tested positive are no longer advised to test. The aim of the messages appears to be harvesting financial and personal information. In its alert, the NHS says it will "never ask for bank details, so please be aware of suspicious messages". Most people are no longer advised to test for Covid and are ineligible for
  6. News Article
    Women are wasting their time and money buying do-at-home menopause testing kits, doctors have warned. The urine tests are not predictive enough to tell whether a woman is going through the phase when her periods will stop, doctors have told the BBC. The tests, which give a result within minutes, accurately measure levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), which helps manage the menstrual cycle. But experts say it is not a reliable marker of the menopause or perimenopause. Dr Annice Mukherjee, a leading menopause and hormone doctor from the Society of Endocrinology, told the
  7. News Article
    One million checks for cancer, heart and lung disease have been carried out at new diagnostic clinics in football stadiums and shopping centres, the NHS has reported. In the past year, 92 “one-stop shop” centres offering scans, x-rays and blood tests have been opened in an effort to tackle the Covid care backlog after NHS waiting lists in England soared to a record 6.4 million patients. The NHS said it will open a further 70 centres, which will operate seven days a week and allow patients to get symptoms checked “on their doorstep” following GP referrals. The centres are staffed
  8. News Article
    It was hailed as a cutting-edge laboratory that would play a key role in response to Covid-19 and future epidemics, carrying out 300,000 tests a day. Announcing the project in November 2020, then-health secretary Matt Hancock said the project “confirms the UK as a world leader in diagnostics”. But less than 18 months later, the Rosalind Franklin Laboratory – named in honour of the renowned British scientist – has been plagued by failure while costing almost twice as much as its initial £588m budget, The Independent understands. Instead of being at the forefront of the fight agai
  9. News Article
    A dramatic drop in testing for Covid-19 has left the world blind to the virus’s continuing rampage and its potentially dangerous mutations, the head of the World Health Organization has warned. The UN health agency said that reported Covid cases and deaths had been dropping dramatically. “Last week, just over 15,000 deaths were reported to WHO – the lowest weekly total since March 2020,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters. While saying this was “a very welcome trend”, he warned that the declining numbers could also be a result of significant cuts in testing for the v
  10. News Article
    Pregnant women should be tested for Group B Strep to save the lives of dozens of babies every year, campaigners have warned. Group B Strep is the most recurrent cause of life-threatening illness in newborn babies, with an average of two babies a day identified with the infection. Each week, one of these babies goes on to die while another develops an ongoing long-term disability. More than one in five women carry Group B Strep, a common bacteria that normally causes no harm and no symptoms. However, its presence in the vagina or rectum means babies can be exposed to it during labour
  11. Content Article
    The document includes guidance on: staff IPC considerations: vaccination, personal protective equipment (PPE), staff movement, testing IPC considerations for people receiving care: vaccination, testing environmental considerations: ventilation, waste management considerations specific to care homes: admissions, testing, visiting, outbreak management.
  12. News Article
    Patients are being put at risk in the UK because very few sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests offered online meet official standards, experts have warned. The NHS provides free in-person tests for STIs via its network of sexual health and genitourinary medicine clinics. Patients can also order tests via the internet from both NHS-commissioned and private providers, a practice that has become increasingly popular during the pandemic. However, new research in the Sexually Transmitted Infections journal published by the BMJ found that few online STI test services meet national re
  13. News Article
    Overstretched hospitals are stopping routine Covid tests for new patients as “brutal” pressures mount on doctors and nurses, The Independent understands. On Monday there were 1,702 new Covid admissions to hospitals in England as of 9 April – with 16,442 positive patients occupying beds – the NHS leaders warn their ability to tackle the backlog in planned care is at risk. Despite pleas from NHS chiefs to measures such as mask-wearing back into force, ministers said there were no plans to change guidance. The Independent understands at least two major hospitals, in Newcastle and Y
  14. 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
  15. News Article
    Pregnant women with suspected pre-eclampsia will now be offered a test on the NHS to detect the condition. Pre-eclampsia affects some women, usually during the second half of pregnancy or soon after their baby is born. It can lead to serious complications if it is not picked up during maternity appointments, with early signs including high blood pressure and protein in the urine. In some cases, women can develop a severe headache, vision problems such as blurring or flashing, pain just below the ribs, swelling and vomiting. Tests have been available to help rule out the con
  16. News Article
    Lateral flow tests could cost care home visitors £73 a month, a leading UK charity has said, as it renewed calls to keep the devices free in such settings. The government has previously announced that free testing for the general public will end from 1 April, and that this will include care home visitors. However, charities have warned the shift away from free tests could place a heavy financial burden on those visiting care homes, where testing is still advised. James White, the head of public affairs and campaigns at the Alzheimer’s Society, said the proposed charge on lateral
  17. News Article
    A leading figure in the World Health Organisation Foundation has criticised the UK’s move to dismantle its Covid testing programme as the disease surges in other parts of the world. Mr Anil Soni, chief executive of the WHO Foundation, said in an interview with The Independent that maintaining surveillance over Covid-19 was “incredibly important” and the “dismantling of the testing infrastructure here strikes me as very worrying.” The WHO Foundation chief warned people were “looking the other way” from counties where there is low vaccine coverage to maintain the hope that Covid is ove
  18. News Article
    A painful infection that mainly affects women is too often dismissed as "women's problems". One in every two women suffer a urinary tract infection (UTI) and they are the second most common infection globally. Among those affected is Hannah Hanratty, 36, who suffered months of agony despite multiple negative tests. During her pregnancy, Mrs Hanratty felt the "razor-blade burning pain" when passing urine. It soon developed into a constant pain. Two weeks after giving birth she needed antibiotics following a routine procedure and said the pain immediately went. "It was a UTI all along
  19. News Article
    Today the Government is expected to announce the end to all Covid restrictions, including ending self-isolation and free testing in the country. However, in an open letter to the UK's Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer, the UK science and medical communities say this is a "HUGE mistake". The open letter expresses concern about the Government plans to end testing, surveillance surveys and legal isolation of Covid-19 cases and asks the Government to clarify the scientific advice underpinning these policy decisions as they do not believe there is a solid scientific basis for
  20. News Article
    Abolishing free Covid tests for those who look after the vulnerable will amount to a “tax on caring” that would cost them more than £500 a year, ministers have been warned. All remaining domestic Covid regulations that restrict public freedoms are ending, with Boris Johnson announing a move away from government intervention to “personal responsibility”. However, the scale of free testing to be retained is still being thrashed out within government. Current data suggests that nearly 4 million people take regular Covid tests, including those who visit and help vulnerable relatives. Tha
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