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Found 28 results
  1. News Article
    GP leaders have written to NHS England to demand that an NHS hospital trust urgently restores routine referrals as it has 'closed its doors' to some patients, ‘destabilising’ practices in the process. Oxfordshire LMC said local GPs are ‘concerned and angry’ about the ‘ongoing closure’ to routine referrals across multiple ‘high-demand’ specialties by Oxford University Hospital Foundation Trust, while warning GPs are also being asked to carry out tests that should be done in hospital. A ‘significant’ number of specialties are affected, including ENT, general gynaecology, dermatology, ophthalmology, endoscopy and urology, as well as plastics and maxillofacial, it added. The hospital trust said it had remained open for urgent and emergency care and was accepting clinically urgent and suspected cancer referrals, while reinstating services to support 'the vast majority' of routine referrals. But Oxfordshire LMC has this week written to NHS England and the council of governors at OUHFT to demand that there are ‘no further delays’ in restoring the services amid concerns of ‘patient harm’. It said: ‘The LMC believes the continuing closure of some specialty services to routine referrals is now so serious for patients that it has taken a decision to formally raise the concerns of Oxfordshire’s GPs with NHS England.’ Read full story Source: Pulse, 13 August 2020
  2. News Article
    A sponge-on-a-string pill test could transform the way oesophageal cancer is diagnosed, researchers say. The method can identify 10 times more people with Barrett’s oesophagus than the usual GP route, scientists say. The test, which can be carried out by a nurse in the GP surgery, is also better at picking up abnormal cells and potentially early-stage cancer. Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition that can lead to oesophageal cancer, cancer of the food pipe, in a small number of people. Normally it is diagnosed in hospital by endoscopy, which involves passing a camera down into the stomach, following a GP referral for long-standing heartburn symptoms. The cytosponge test, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge, is a small pill with a thread attached that the patient swallows. It expands into a small sponge when it reaches the stomach, and is then quickly pulled back up the throat by a nurse, collecting cells from the oesophagus for analysis. The pill is a quick, simple and well tolerated test that can be performed in a GP surgery and helps tell doctors who needs an endoscopy. In turn, this could prevent many people from having potentially unnecessary endoscopies. Scientists say that as well as better detection, the test means cancer patients can benefit from kinder treatment options if their cancer is caught early enough. Read full story Source: The Independent, 1 August 2020
  3. News Article
    Patients with respiratory disease have been overlooked during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the NHS storing up problems for the winter months, a group of experts including the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has warned. Analysis by the 34-member Taskforce for Lung Health showed that referrals for lung conditions fell by 70% in April, with two-in-five (39%) of CCGs seeing no appointment bookings for respiratory conditions for the whole of May. On average, the group calculated a weekly average of 3,399 lung patients missing out on urgent and routine referrals during the COVID-19 lockdown, amounting to a total of at least 34,780 people, based on NHS England data. This was blamed in part on a general reduction in routine procedures during the pandemic, which will have affected all disease areas, but also the limitations on clinicians including GPs to carry out spirometry due to the risk of COVID-19 infection spread. But the taskforce - which includes the RCGP and the Primary Care Respiratory Society, as well as the Royal College of Physicians and Asthma UK - is now calling on NHS England to urgently restore services to pre-pandemic levels to tackle the backlog of lung patients requiring support. It said that failure to do so risked causing the premature death of patients who require urgent diagnosis as well as overwhelming the NHS during the winter season, when respiratory symptoms worsen. Read full story Source: Pulse, 9 July 2020
  4. News Article
    Urgent cancer referrals were "inappropriately" rejected by hospitals during the coronavirus lockdown without tests being carried out, GPs have said. Cancer Research UK said the findings from a survey of more than 1,000 GPs were "alarming", warning that patients whose lives may be at risk were being left "in limbo". Family doctors were surveyed in June and asked what had happened to patients they had referred to hospitals for tests in the month to that point because cancer was suspected. A quarter of GPs said urgent referrals had been inappropriately turned down by hospitals more often than had been the case before the pandemic. Four in 10 said that, when tests were refused, patients had been left without proper checks to see whether their case could safely be left without investigation. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Telegraph, 8 July 2020
  5. News Article
    Huge numbers of people with suspected cancer were not referred to hospital for urgent checks or did not have a test during the first month of the lockdown, prompting fears that late diagnosis of the disease will reduce some patients’ chances of survival. Unprecedented numbers of cancer patients missed out on vital treatments, diagnostic tests and outpatient appointments as the pandemic unfolded, NHS England data shows. Macmillan Cancer Support estimates that 210,000 people should have entered the system this month. That means roughly 130,000 people who would ordinarily be referred to a consultant have not been. About 7% of these patients would usually require cancer treatment, meaning approximately 9,000 people might not have had their cancer diagnosed in April. The organisation said that around 2,500 people who should have been referred for their first treatment after a cancer diagnosis will not have received that treatment. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 11 June 2020
  6. News Article
    A Nottingham mum recovering from breast cancer surgery said she 'hates to think' what could have happened, if she had let the cancer go undetected. Claire Knee, 45 of Beeston, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March shortly before lockdown measures were introduced. Having felt slightly off and noticing lumps in her breast, she was encouraged to contact her GP who referred her for tests. After a serious of diagnostic tests at Nottingham City Hospital's Breast Institute, specialists confirmed the presence of a tumour in the early stages. Surgeons successfully removed the tumour from her right breast amid the pandemic and Claire has been recommended some follow up treatment. She now wants to share her experience of seeking help and getting treatment to advise others who may be showing signs of cancer but are too scared to contact their GP. "Looking back I just think that if I hadn’t made the call to my GP I would be walking around with undetected breast cancer, which could still be growing now. I would urge anyone in similar circumstances to contact their GP and get checked - even if it’s just for peace of mind.” Read full story Source: Nottinghamshire Live, 4 May
  7. News Article
    Four in ten people are not seeking help from their GP because they are afraid to be a burden on the NHS during the pandemic, polling by NHS England reveals. The findings – from a survey of 1,000 people – are the latest in a wave of evidence that fewer people are seeking care for illnesses other than those related to coronavirus during the pandemic. GP online reported on 20 April that data collected by the RCGP showed a 25% reduction in routine clinical activity in general practice, and figures from Public Health England (PHE) and the British Heart Foundation show that A&E attendances overall and patients going to hospital for heart attacks are down 50%. Warnings that patients' reluctance to come forward could put them at risk come as leading charities warned that suspension of some routine GP services during the pandemic could also lead to a 'future crisis' if control of conditions such as asthma and COPD deteriorate. Professor Carrie MacEwen, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: 'We are very concerned that patients may not be accessing the NHS for care because they either don’t want to be a burden or because they are fearful about catching the virus. 'Everyone should know that the NHS is still open for business and it is vitally important that if people have serious conditions or concerns they seek help. This campaign is an important step in ensuring that people are encouraged to get the care they need when they need it.' Read full story Source: GP online, 25 April 2020
  8. Content Article
    This guidance recommends the following: Suspend initiation of new treatment cycles, including ovulation induction, intrauterine inseminations (IUIs), in vitro fertilisation (IVF) including retrievals and frozen embryo transfers, as well as non-urgent gamete cryopreservation. Strongly consider cancellation of all embryo transfers whether fresh or frozen. Continue to care for patients who are currently “in-cycle” or who require urgent stimulation and cryopreservation. Suspend elective surgeries and non-urgent diagnostic procedures. Minimise in-person interactions and increase utilisation of telehealth. Note: This guidance will be revisited periodically as the pandemic evolves, but no later than March 30, 2020, with the aim of resuming usual patient care as soon and as safely as possible.
  9. News Article
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced plans to test more people for coronavirus. At the moment only people in hospital are being routinely tested, so if you have symptoms and you are not sure if you have the virus, you may well never know. As of 18 March, 56,221 people in the UK had been tested for coronavirus. The number of tests has been rising from just over 1,000 a day at the end of February, when testing began, to more than 6,000 per day by mid-March. The government plans to increase this to 10,000 a day initially, with a goal of reaching 25,000 tests a day. But it has been criticised by some experts for not testing widely enough, and people have been complaining online about not having access to tests despite having symptoms. Public Health England says it will do some surveillance testing on a local level if clusters of cases are identified, using a network of 100 designated GP surgeries. This is to try to get a sense of how many milder cases there are in the community that do not result in hospitalisation. But the UK is not currently doing any mass surveillance testing or actively tracing people who have come into contact with known cases The Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said he had a "simple message" for all countries: "Test, test, test." He added: "We cannot stop this pandemic if we do not know who is infected." The UK's chief scientific officer Sir Patrick Vallance told a group of MPs that "we simply don't have mass testing available for the population now", and that "when you only have capacity to do a certain number of tests" you have to prioritise the most vulnerable groups. Read full story Source: BBC News, 19 March 2020
  10. News Article
    Who is being tested for coronavirus in the UK? As of last week, when the Prime Minister announced Britain was no longer in the “contain” phase of the pandemic, most testing outside of hospitals stopped. People with symptoms are expected to self-isolate but will not know whether they have COVID-19. That means they will not know if they are immune or still at risk – and a risk to other people. Testing now mostly takes place in hospital. People in intensive care units and those with respiratory illness, especially if it is pneumonia, will get tested for COVID-19. When there is a cluster of infections, such as an outbreak in a care home, those people will also be tested. But the World Health Organization has criticised the approach of countries that are not prioritising testing, with its director general saying “you cannot fight a fire blindfolded … test, test, test”. So why are people with symptoms not being tested? It appears to be a capacity issue, although the Department of Health and Social Care failed to respond to repeated requests for explanation. So far there have been about 44,000 tests in England, which the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, told the health select committee put it in “the top three or four countries in terms of testing”. Read full story Source: BBC News, 17 March 2020
  11. News Article
    NHS staff are to be given access to testing for covid-19, the government said this morning, but it remains unclear how the policy will be applied. A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said at lunchtime: “Our testing regime is set up to provide for those who need tests the most. This includes key workers, such as NHS staff. We will set out more details shortly.” It remains unclear how this will be applied. The announcement follows concerns from healthcare professionals they are not being tested for the virus, even if they had been exposed to infected patients. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 17 March 2020
  12. News Article
    Channel 4 News says they have seen a Public Health England document indicating that not all healthcare and other essential workers with symptoms will be tested because there simply isn’t the capacity to do so – with testing prioritised in order of clinical need. Public Health England say they won’t comment on the contents of a leaked document and it is still subject to ongoing discussions. View full story Source: Channel 4 News, 15 March 2020
  13. News Article
    With the number of UK coronavirus cases set to rise, NHS England says it is scaling up its capacity for testing people for the infection. It means 10,000 tests a day can be done – 8,000 more than the 1,500 being carried out currently. Confirmation of any positive test results will be accelerated, helping people take the right action to recover or quickly get treatment. Most of the people tested should get a result back within 24 hours. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be expected to roll out their own testing services, but there will be some shared capacity between nations, depending on need. Read full story Source: BBC News, 11 March 2020
  14. News Article
    The NHS is currently rolling out services on NHS sites to test people for coronavirus, including a new service now in action in west London, offering ‘drive through’ coronavirus testing. The new service, provided by Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust in Parsons Green, is only accessed through a referral from NHS 111, and means people worried about the virus can safely and quickly get checked close to home. The model is one of the ways in which community testing and home testing are being rolled out nationwide, with the NHS’ strategic incident director for coronavirus, asking health services in every part of England to set up home and community testing. After being referred through NHS 111, people are invited to an appointment in their car, during which two community nurses carry out a swab in the nose and mouth, which are checked and assessed within 72 hours. People are asked to self-isolate while checks are completed, to prevent any potential onward transmission of the virus. Dr Joanne Medhurst, medical director for Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “Anyone who is worried about coronavirus should call NHS 111 for up to date advice. We’ve set up the ‘drive through’ service to make sure people in our community can get safe, convenient and quick checks for coronavirus, as part of NHS efforts to keep everyone safe." “It’s crucial that, as a community service, we help residents in our area to get accurate, timely advice while managing extra pressure on the NHS, and so far this week we’ve had good feedback from people that the swabbing service offers reassurance at what can be a difficult time.” Read full story Source: NHS England, 28 February 2020
  15. Content Article
    FOAMcast reviews Dr Josh Farkas's PulmCrit blog posts on 'Renal microvascular haemodynamics in sepsis: a new paradigm' and 'Renoresuscitation: Sepsis resuscitation designed to avoid long-term complications', in which he posits that renal protection in sepsis may prove beneficial for patients.
  16. Content Article
    Find out in this short video how to use the Model Hospital tool, which was designed to support NHS trusts to identify productivity opportunities and provide the best patient care in the most efficient way. The Model Hospital is broken down into six sections offering different perspectives from which to review hospital activity: board-level oversight clinical service lines corporate services people care settings clinical support services.
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