Health E-News is a weekly update on policy and guidelines from organisations including NICE and individual Royal Medical Colleges, and news and views on health related subjects and research from trusted sources such as The King’s Fund, Cochrane, The Health Foundation, the NHS and the Department of Health and Social Care.
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COVID-19 guidance and policy
The NHS has published a guidance document offering recommended actions across several key areas, including: addressing inequalities in provision and outcomes; mental health planning; and the restoration of community health services. Responding to the publication of the guidance, the NHS Confederation welcomed the emphasis on tackling the health equalities exposed by the pandemic.
COVID-19 related news
A new report from NHS Providers, drawing on the responses from 112 trusts to a survey conducted during June and July, explores the experiences that trusts have had with the national testing strategy so far. The report examines levels of confidence in the government’s approach and strategy, and trust leaders’ confidence in being able to meet testing requirements; considers issues relating to variable turnaround time for test results, and the implications of these; and calls for greater local involvement and control in testing in order to manage routine testing of staff and patients as services resume.
The REACT (REal Time Assessment of Community Transmission) study, which has been using antibody finger-prick tests to track past infections and monitor the progress of the pandemic, has published pre-print findings on antibody prevalence based on 100,000 study participants. The findings indicate that 3.4 million people – 6% of the population – had been infected by COVID-19 by 13 July 2020. People living in London were most likely to have been infected, as were those working in care homes and health care, and people from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups and people living in larger households. All findings from the study can be found on the group’s page on the Imperial website.
The NHS Staff Council Executive has published FAQs on pay protection relating to workforce issues arising from COVID-19. The document is an addition to existing guidance from the Department of Health and Social Care, and answers questions relating to staff who are redeployed to help service and patient needs, or in cases of redeployment following a risk assessment.
A new study published in Anaesthesia, explores the extent to which healthcare staff involved in procedures such as intubation might be exposed to elevated risk of acquiring COVID-19. The study of 1,718 healthcare workers from 503 hospitals in 17 countries shows that overall, 1 in 10 healthcare workers involved in intubating seriously ill patients with COVID-19 later reported symptoms, or had lab-confirmed COVID-19 themselves. The study authors recommend use of the findings to inform service planning, and suggest future work should aim at identifying interventions to reduce risks to healthcare professionals.
Research published in The Lancet Oncology, from a trial involving 23 breast screening units across Great Britain, suggests that yearly mammography commencing at age 40 or 41 years could lead to reductions in breast cancer mortality. The trial involved over 160 thousand women, recruited between October 1990 and September 1997, and the publication offers analysis of the data at 23 years of follow-up.
A new report from the BMA examines the experiences of disabled people studying, training and working in medicine, and offers recommendations for improving the support on offer. The report, based upon responses to a BMA survey, shows that just over half of respondents receive adjustments that they need, and which are a legal duty to provide. Over three quarters of respondents also expressed concerns over being treated unfavourably if disclosing a disability or long-term health condition.
Interventional procedures guidance
Medtech innovation briefing
NG160 COVID-19 rapid guideline: dialysis service delivery Updated
High rates of delirium, persistent fatigue and post-traumatic stress disorder were common after severe infection in previous coronavirus outbreaks
- Potential Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms reported through NHS Pathways and 111 online
- Weekly all-cause mortality surveillance: 2019 to 2020
- Summary Hospital-level Mortality Indicator (SHMI) – Deaths associated with hospitalisation, England, April 2019 – March 2020
- Provisional Monthly Hospital Episode Statistics for Admitted Patient Care and Outpatient April 2020 – June 2020
- Provisional Accident and Emergency Quality Indicators for England June 2020, by provider
- Provisional Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) in England for Hip and Knee Replacement Procedures (April 2019 to March 2020)
- Referral to treatment waiting times statistics for consultant-led elective care for June 2020
- A&E attendances and emergency admissions for July 2020
- Diagnostic waiting times and activity for June 2020
- Waiting times for suspected and diagnosed cancer patients for June 2020
- Abortion statistics for England and Wales: 2019
- Mental Health Services Monthly Statistics Performance May, Provisional June 2020
- Out of Area Placements in Mental Health Services May 2020
- Psychological Therapies: reports on the use of IAPT services, England May 2020 Final including reports on the IAPT pilots
- Autism Waiting Time Statistics – Quarter 1 (April to June) 2018-19 to Quarter 4 (January to March) 2019-20
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