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Found 26 results
  1. News Article
    A frailty index is rationing treatment for older and disabled people who catch coronavirus, says Patience Owen. Patience has has a debilitating connective tissue disorder and, like thousands of others with rare conditions, is already in a minority within a minority, marginalised by our NHS, battling increasing disability day by day. Back in March, without consultation and days before the first lockdown, the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS), a worldwide tool used to swiftly identify frailty in older patients to improve acute care, was adapted by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). It asked NHS staff in England to score the frailty of Covid patients. Rather than aiming to improve care, it seems the CFS – a fitness-to-frailty sheet using scores from one to nine – was used to work out which patients should be denied acute care. Nice’s new guidelines advised NHS trusts to “sensitively discuss a possible ‘do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation’ decision with all adults with capacity and an assessment suggestive of increased frailty”. "Checking the scale, I found I would score five, the 'mildly frail' category, and therefore should I get Covid I could be steered towards end-of-life care. Bluntly, if I catch the virus, the NHS may help me to die, not live," says Patience. By early April, there was a proliferation of illegal “do not resuscitate” (DNR) notices in care homes for people with learning disabilities, and for older people in care homes and in hospitals. Many acutely ill patients stayed at home with Covid symptoms in the belief that they risked being denied care in hospital. Following warnings by the healthcare regulator, the Care Quality Commission, and other medical bodies, that the blanket application of the notices must stop, and legal challenges by charities, exclusions were made to the NICE guidelines. These included “younger people, people with stable long-term disabilities, learning disabilities or autism”. Yet the guidelines remain in place, in spite of the fact that they appear to contravene the Human Rights Act (including the right to life, article 2, and the right to non-discrimination, article 14). A spokeswoman for NICE says it is “very aware of the concerns of some patient groups about access to critical care, and we understand how difficult this feels. Our COVID-19 rapid guideline on critical care was developed to support critical care teams in their management of patients during a very difficult period of intense pressure." “'Difficult' is a hollow word for the feeling of being selected to die," says Patience. "It’s difficult not to conclude that those with long-term conditions and disabilities, like myself, have become viewed as a sacrificial herd." Read full story Source: The Guardian, 29 September 2020
  2. News Article
    A leaked government report suggests a "reasonable worst case scenario" of 85,000 deaths across the UK this winter due to COVID-19. The document also says while more restrictions could be re-introduced, schools would likely remain open. But it says the report "is a scenario, not a prediction" and the data are subject to "significant uncertainty". However some are critical of the modelling and say some of it is already out of date. The document, which has been seen by BBC Newsnight, was prepared for the government by the Sage scientific advisory group, which aims to help the NHS and local authorities plan services, such as mortuaries and burial services, for the winter months ahead. Read full story Source: BBC News, 29 August 2020
  3. News Article
    Demand for oxygen from COVID-19 patients recovering at home is set to place the NHS under strain, the health service has warned. NHS England has issued guidance to out-of-hospital health providers on the extra demands likely to be placed on them given the number of people recovering after a hospital stay with the coronavirus. It warns that the provision from its home oxygen services and community respiratory teams across the NHS is expected to be an issue as the scale of demand increases. Andrew Whittamore, a practising GP and clinical lead for the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation partnership, said concerns about the potential for hospitals to be overwhelmed in the early part of the pandemic had led to community oxygen teams being primed to take on more patients – but he described that ramping up as “a short-term fix”. “We don’t know how long people are going to need oxygen or other services for,” he said. “There are definitely going to be extra patients added on to our community teams’ workloads.” The Taskforce for Lung Health – of which the British Lung Foundation is a member – has raised particular concerns about access to pulmonary rehabilitation. An education- and exercise-based treatment, which is proven to be more effective for lung patients than many drug-based treatments, and face-to-face classes have been suspended during the pandemic. It may be that such treatment would also be helpful for some patients recovering from COVID-19. Jackie Eagleton, policy officer at the British Lung Foundation, said there had been issues with access to pulmonary rehabilitation for a long time, but the need to offer this form of support to people with lung conditions “has never been more pressing than it is now”. Read full story Source: The Independent, 16 June 2020
  4. Content Article
    This webinar will be of interest to: anyone currently working in a nursing/allied health professionals (AHP) clinical informatics role those who aspire to develop their career in this area those who are seeking to set up such a role within their organisation those currently working with CNIOs/AHP informatics leads. Attendees will learn: more about how CNIO/AHP informatics roles are currently set up in the NHS – time commitment, reporting structures etc what the profile is of those holding such roles about possible challenges in connections between CNIOs/AHPs in informatics roles and CCIOs and CIOs thoughts on whether the CNIO/AHP informatics role should be formally recognised further views from senior leaders on the future of these roles.
  5. Content Article
    The purpose of this blog was to examine the impact of COVID-19 on access to and use of health care services for people with pre-existing health conditions including asthma, cancer diabetes, heart disease and mental health illness. The Health Foundation supported an online YouGov survey of members of the public, designed by the Resolution Foundation. 6,005 UK citizens responded to the survey between 6 and 11 May. This blog draws on the data and looks at: the level of reduction in access for care management the reasons behind the reduction in access.
  6. News Article
    The UK's organ transplant network could be forced to shut down as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the body that runs the scheme is warning. One factor is the pressure on intensive care beds, according to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT). But there is also the risk to transplant patients, who have their immune systems suppressed so their bodies don't reject new organs. This is a dilemma for those like Ana-Rose Thorpe, from Manchester, who is waiting for a liver transplant. Now aged 29, Ana-Rose has lived with hepatitis almost her entire life after contracting it as a baby. The disease has taken its toll and now her liver is failing and she is in desperate need of a transplant. "Having to go into hospital while there are coronavirus patients there is very worrying," she says. "Whilst my body could withstand the transplant, the longer I'm not being monitored, not being seen as often as I was, the longer I leave it, I could just get sicker and sicker. "I feel like it's patients that are already on the transplant list, patients waiting for other operations, we have just been swept aside." "It's my life - it is a matter of life and death," Ana-Rose says. Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 April 2020
  7. News Article
    Nick has terminal bowel cancer. He’s been told he won't receive chemotherapy for three months because it would put him more at risk of the coronavirus. He fears having the treatment taken away would shorten his life. Current NHS guidelines say cancer specialists should discuss with their patients whether it is riskier for them to undergo or to delay treatment at this time. Read full story Source: BBC News, 6 April 2020
  8. News Article
    Thousands of people have been missed off the government's high risk list for Covid-19 despite meeting the criteria. Among them have been transplant patients, people with asthma and some with rare lung diseases. Many are worried it will affect their ability to access food and medical supplies as they shield from the virus, unable to leave their homes for at least 12 weeks. "It's like she's been forgotten," said Bev Pearson, mother of 20-year-old heart transplant patient Lucy Pearson. Miss Pearson, from Whitsbury in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, had her transplant 14 years ago and still visits hospital for regular check-ups. She has been shielding in the home she shares with her mother, brother and sister - none of whom have been venturing out in an attempt to protect her. Despite registering her daughter on the government list herself, she said she had received no confirmation. When she asked her GP she was told it had "nothing to do with the surgery", she added. Read full story Source: BBC News, 7 April 2020
  9. News Article
    Healthcare professionals have been told to consider not treating patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus if they themselves would be put at risk, part of new ethical guidance that calls on doctors to prioritise some ailments over the pandemic. The new recommendations for healthcare professionals over 70 years, or with pre-existing conditions, to put themselves first when tackling the pandemic comes following the death of a doctor who returned to the frontlines as a volunteer following a call to arms from the government. The guidance from the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) makes up part of a sweeping list of ethical considerations faced by healthcare workers in the face of the global pandemic. Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 April 2020
  10. News Article
    GP practices should review 1.5 million patients identified by NHS England as the most vulnerable to the coronavirus. NHS England will send a standard letter to these patients asking them to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for at least 12 weeks. GPs will be able to access a report on which patients will be contacted with specific advice, with NHS England directing GPs to review the list and provide additional support to patients. The patients, who are at ‘the highest risk of severe illness that would require hospitalisation from coronavirus’, include those who have had an organ transplant; people with specific cancers; people with severe respiratory conditions; people with rare diseases; people on immunosuppression therapies; and pregnant women with significant heart disease. In a letter to GPs, NHS England said: "We ask that you review this report for accuracy and, where any of these patients have dementia, a learning disability or autism, that you provide appropriate additional support to them to ensure they continue receiving access to care." Read full story Source: Management in Practice, 24 March 2020
  11. 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!!
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