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Found 70 results
  1. News Article
    Thousands of hospital patients were allowed to return to their care homes without a Covid test despite a direct plea to the government from major care providers not to allow the practice, the Observer has been told. As the crisis began to unfold in early March 2020, providers held an emergency meeting with department of health officials in which they urged the government not to force them to accept untested residents. However, weeks later, official advice remained that tests were not mandatory and thousands of residents are thought to have returned to their homes without a negative Covid
  2. News Article
    Almost as soon as the pandemic struck early last year, NHS England recognised that patients catching Covid-19 while they were in hospital for non-Covid care was a real risk and could lead to even more deaths than were already occurring. Unfortunately their fears have been borne out by events since – every acute hospital in England has been hit by this problem to some extent. Over the last 15 months various NHS and medical bodies have looked into hospital-acquired Covid and published reports and detailed guidance to help hospitals stem its spread. They include the Healthcare Safety Investi
  3. News Article
    A glitch in the government’s £37bn test-and-trace system may have helped fuel the spread of a highly-transmissible Covid variant in one of the UK’s worst-hit towns, it has emerged. The software error meant that more than 700 infected people and their close contacts were not promptly passed on to local health teams, allowing them to potentially spread the disease further. The number of missing cases was highest in Blackburn with Darwen, where about 300 people are believed to have been lost in the system during a faulty IT upgrade. The Lancashire town is battling one of the UK’s larges
  4. News Article
    Nearly 20 major healthcare bodies are appealing to the Prime Minister for better personal protection against coronavirus. They say at least 930 health and care workers have died of COVID-19 and more are experiencing long-term effects. In a letter, they say measures to stop airborne spreading are "inadequate" and call for urgent improvement in masks and other defences against variants. The government said it was monitoring evidence on airborne transmission and would update advice "where necessary". The organisations involved represent a wide range of health professionals, fr
  5. News Article
    The NHS has been urged to rethink safety for thousands of frontline staff after new research suggested that Covid patients’ coughing is putting them at far greater risk of catching the virus than previously thought. The study found that coughing generated at least 10 times more infectious “aerosol” particles than speaking or breathing – which could explain why so many NHS staff have fallen ill during the pandemic. The research has led to fresh demands that anyone caring for someone with Covid-19, or suspected Covid-19, should be provided with the most protective equipment – including
  6. News Article
    People who recover from coronavirus have a similar level of protection against future infection as those who receive a Covid vaccine – at least for the first five months, research suggests. A Public Health England (PHE) study of more than 20,000 healthcare workers found that immunity acquired from an earlier Covid infection provided 83% protection against reinfection for at least 20 weeks. The findings show that while people are unlikely to become reinfected soon after their first infection, it is possible to catch the virus again and potentially spread it to others. “Overall I
  7. Content Article
    Last Friday I took my mother-in-law, Margaret, for her vaccination at a local vaccination centre in Chiswick, London. First let me start with what is being done well. We received a call from our GP practice nurse on Thursday offering Margaret an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine the following day. Margaret is 77 and, because several over-80s had cancelled or declined appointments, GP practices had been contacted to open up the appointments to the clinically vulnerable over 75s. Once defrosted, the Pfizer vaccine has to be used; so to avoid waste, they had proactively sought
  8. News Article
    Deaths from COVID-19 in England in the first half of 2021 could exceed those seen in the whole of 2020 unless the vaccination programme is vastly increased and a national lockdown implemented—with educational settings closed for at least a month—researchers have warned. In a preprint released on 24 December, researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine used modelling to compare the effects of varying COVID-19 restrictions on the virus spread, hospital and intensive care admissions, and deaths from 15 December 2020 to 30 June 2021. The model took account of the new v
  9. News Article
    The number of COVID-19 infections likely to have been acquired in hospital are rising again for the first time in three weeks and their proportion of all cases has reached record levels for the second wave, HSJ can reveal. NHS England data covering the week to 6 December (the latest available) shows 1,787 COVID-19 cases were acquired in-hospital – a rise of almost 14% on the week before. The number of hospital-acquired, or “nosocomial”, infections had been falling since the week to 15 November, when 1,794 were recorded. This week, hospital acquired covid infections amounted to 21% of
  10. News Article
    Shop workers and other essential staff should be provided with face masks to control the spread of coronavirus, according to the British Medical Association (BMA). The doctors’ union is also calling on the government to ask all members of the public to cover their mouths and noses while outside their homes. “Common sense tells you that a barrier between people must offer a level of protection, however small,” said Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chairman. “The government must pursue all avenues of reducing the spread of infection. “This includes asking the public to wear fac
  11. News Article
    Concerns have been raised that updated government guidance on personal protective equipment (PPE) could put hospital staff and patients at risk. Healthcare workers have been advised to reuse gowns or wear different kit if stocks in England run low. Unions representing doctors and nurses have expressed concerns about the updated Public Health England guidance. Healthcare staff treating patients with Covid-19 have previously been advised to wear long-sleeved disposable fluid-repellent gowns. But Public Health England changed its guidance on Friday, outlining three options if
  12. News Article
    A family from East Sussex may have been Britain’s first coronavirus victims, catching the virus in mid-January after one of them visited an Austrian ski resort that is now under investigation for allegedly covering up the early outbreak. If confirmed by official tests, it would mean the outbreak in Britain started more than a month earlier than currently thought. As things stand, the first recorded UK case was on January 31, and the earliest documented incidence of transmission within Britain occurred on 28 February. Mark Woolhouse, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology
  13. Content Article
    Key findings: The nursing staff provided exemplary care to the six patients on the ward; they were compassionate, professional and worked to ensure the patients were provided with the best care possible. The decision to transfer the residents was made quickly on a Friday, and staff had a short time to plan and respond putting together a COVID-ready ward. The patients required full nursing care and deteriorated relatively quickly. Consequently, nurses needed to spend long periods of time at the patients’ bedsides. There was no way for nursing staff to communicate with staff ou
  14. News Article
    Almost half of hospital patients have been discharged without receiving the results of their coronavirus test – including some patients who were sent to care homes, new research from Healthwatch and British Cross has revealed. Independent national patient body Healthwatch England said it had learned many patients were discharged from hospitals between March and August this year without proper assessments with many vulnerable people sent home without medication, equipment or the care they needed. At the start of the pandemic thousands of patients were discharged to care homes as NHS E
  15. News Article
    Levels of protective antibodies in people wane "quite rapidly" after coronavirus infection, say researchers. Antibodies are a key part of our immune defences and stop the virus from getting inside the body's cells. The Imperial College London team found the number of people testing positive for antibodies has fallen by 26% between June and September. They say immunity appears to be fading and there is a risk of catching the virus multiple times. More than 350,000 people in England have taken an antibody test as part of the REACT-2 study so far. In the first round of testin
  16. News Article
    A technical glitch that meant nearly 16,000 cases of coronavirus went unreported has delayed efforts to trace contacts of people who tested positive. Public Health England (PHE) said 15,841 cases between 25 September and 2 October were left out of the UK daily case figures. They were then added in to reach Saturday's figure of 12,872 new cases and Sunday's 22,961 figure. PHE said all those who tested positive had been informed. But it means others in close contact with them were not. The issue has been resolved, PHE said, with outstanding cases passed on to tracers by 01:00 BST
  17. News Article
    A new study has highlighted the number of NHS staff who can be infected with coronavirus but be completely unaware they are a risk to their colleagues and patients. The research by doctors at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) found a third of staff working in two maternity departments at UCLH and St George’s Hospital tested positive for the virus but had no symptoms. Overall, one in six staff who had not previously been diagnosed with the virus were tested for COVID-19 antibodies and were found to be positive for infection. Prof Keith Neal, emeritus professor of epidemi
  18. News Article
    Dr Rebecca Fisher gives the lowdown on why maintaining general practice as a ‘front door’ to the NHS that is safe for both GPs and patients is not easy. It’s fair to say that Matt Hancock’s pronouncement that henceforth all consultations should be “teleconsultations unless there’s a compelling reason not to”, has not been universally welcomed in general practice. In my surgery, practicing in a pandemic has seen us change our ways of working beyond imagination. In March, like many other practices, we shifted overnight to a “telephone first” approach. And whilst at peak-pandemic
  19. News Article
    Hospital hotspots for COVID-19 have been highlighted in a new report by safety investigators. The report by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) makes a series of observations to help the health service reduce the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings. Hospital hotspots for COVID-19 included the central nurses’ stations and areas where computers and medical notes were shared, the HSIB found. The investigation was initiated after a Sage report in May which found that 20% of hospital patients were reporting symptoms of Covid-19 seven days following admission – sugge
  20. News Article
    Ministers have denied care home inspectors access to weekly testing for coronavirus – despite fears they could contribute to the spread of COVID-19 as cases rise across the country, The Independent can reveal. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) was told by the Department of Health and Social Care last month it could not have access to regular testing for inspection teams as the watchdog prepares for 500 inspections of care homes during the next six weeks. Officials said the teams, who are assessing care conditions for the vulnerable and elderly, did not get close enough to people to p
  21. News Article
    Covid infection rates among doctors, nurses, and other hospital and care home staff have risen more than fivefold over the past month in London, scientists have discovered. The figures – provided by the Francis Crick Institute – have triggered considerable concern among scientists, who fear similar increases may be occurring in other regions of the UK. Increasing numbers of infected healthcare workers raise fears that the spread of COVID-19 into wards and care homes – which triggered tens of thousands of deaths last spring – could be repeated unless urgent action is taken. “It is ver
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