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Found 10 results
  1. Content Article
    MEs are a key element of the death certification reforms, which, once in place, will deliver a more comprehensive system of assurances for all non-coronial deaths, regardless of whether the deceased is buried or cremated. MEs will be employed in the NHS system, ensuring lines of accountability are separate from NHS Acute Trusts but allowing for access to information in the sensitive and urgent timescales to register a death. This case study outlines the approach of South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust as one of the early adopter sites. To date, the following learning points have been identified and explored: End of Life Care, ceilings of care and avoidable admissions Some investigations have highlighted cases where the End of Life Care pathway could have either been established or fully implemented, where this would have been of benefit to patients and their families. Some patients may not have been cared for in the right location, and some admissions could have been avoided if the End of Life Care pathway had been suitably established and followed. Early detection and response to physiological deterioration, and effective communication Response stretched by implementation of National Early Warning Score (NEWS) but still learning around effective communication of escalation. The use of standardised communication tools is essential. Record keeping and organisation of medical records Some learning was identified in relation to the accuracy and completeness of medical records. It was evident that not all records are reflective of the clinical picture. Discussion with specialty teams is vital to support the investigation An independent review by the ME should be further supported by speciality ‘experts’, and if possible, peer review from other trusts can be sought to allow for full independent review. Seeking speciality opinion from those not directly involved with the case within STHFT has also been shown to be effective. Pathways for links to wider clinical governance processes have been strengthened.
  2. News Article
    Mother Natalie Deviren was concerned when her two-year-old daughter Myla awoke in the night crying with a restlessness and sickness familiar to all parents. Natalie was slightly alarmed, however, because at times her child seemed breathless. She consulted an online NHS symptom checker. Myla had been vomiting. Her lips were not their normal colour. And her breathing was rapid. The symptom checker recommended a hospital visit, but suggested she check first with NHS 111, the helpline for urgent medical help. To her bitter regret, Natalie followed the advice. She spoke for 40 minutes to two advisers, but they and their software failed to recognise a life-threatening situation with “red flag” symptoms, including rapid breathing and possible bile in the vomit. Myla died from an intestinal blockage the next day and could have survived with treatment. The two calls to NHS 111 before the referral to the out-of-hours service were audited. Both failed the required standards, but Natalie was told that the first adviser and the out-of-hours nurse had since been promoted. She discovered at Myla’s inquest that “action plans” to prevent future deaths had not been fully implemented. The coroner recommended that NHS 111 have a paediatric clinician available at all times. In her witness statement at her daughter’s inquest in July, Natalie said: “You’re just left with soul-destroying sadness. It is existing with a never-ending ache in your heart. The pure joy she brought to our family is indescribable.” Read full story Source: The Times, 5 January 2020
  3. News Article
    The NHS 111 helpline for urgent medical care is facing calls for an investigation after poor decision-making was linked to more than 20 deaths. Experts say that inexperienced call handlers and the software used to highlight life-threatening emergencies may not always be safe for young children. At least five have died in potentially avoidable incidents. Professor Carrie MacEwen, Chairwoman of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said: “These distressing reports suggest that existing processes did not safeguard the needs of the children in these instances.” Since 2014 coroners have written 15 reports involving NHS 111 to try to prevent further deaths. There have been five other cases where inquests heard of missed chances to save lives by NHS 111 staff; two other cases are continuing and one was subject to an NHS England investigation. Read full story (paywalled) Source: The Times, 5 January 2020
  4. News Article
    As part of the NHS Digital Child Health programme, Personal Child Health Records or “Redbook” will receive a digital makeover. NHS Digital has considered the limitations of the physical Redbook and decided that digitalisation is the way forward for parents to easily access important health and development information. Nurturey has been evolving its product to align with NHS' Digital Child Health programme. It aims to be an app that can make the digital Redbook vision a reality and currently in the process of completing all the necessary integrations and assurances. It is hoped that by using smart digital records, parents will be more aware of their child’s health information like weight, dental records, appointments and other developmental milestones. Tushar Srivastava, Founder and CEO of Nurturey, said: “Imagine receiving your child's immunisation alert/notification on the phone, clicking on it to book the immunisation appointment with the GP, and then being able to see all relevant immunisations details on the app itself. As a parent myself, I see the huge benefit of being able to manage my child’s health on my fingertips. We are working hard to deliver such powerful features to parents by this summer.” Read full story Source: National Health Executive, 5 February 2020
  5. Content Article
    The reporting reveals a legal and medical system that sometimes struggles to differentiate accidental injuries from abuse, particularly in cases involving children too young to describe what happened to them. Physicians intent on protecting the most vulnerable in some instances have overstated the reliability of their findings, using terms such as “100 percent” and “certain” to describe conclusions that usually cannot be proven with absolute confidence. Child welfare workers, overworked and untrained in complex medical issues, are not always sure how to proceed when the primary evidence against a caregiver comes in the form of a doctor’s note. Under this system, children are sometimes taken from seemingly caring parents, while others are left in situations that, in rare cases, turn out to be deadly. Parents managed to regain custody in most of the cases reviewed by reporters, in some instances after additional medical findings or reports from outside experts raised doubts about the initial abuse determination. Nevertheless, some parents lost jobs or faced financial ruin as the result of their fights with Child Protective Services, and a few children emerged from foster care suffering from depression or other health issues. In a few instances, caregivers were charged criminally or had their parental rights permanently terminated, despite questions about the doctors’ findings in their cases.
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