Displaying items by tag: NHS

Thursday, 01 December 2022 21:40

Long Covid

Over two million British people have long Covid, yet almost three years into the pandemic there is still a struggle for them to be seen by specialist clinics, hampered by a lack of resources and research. Long Covid has symptoms that continue for over 12 weeks and are not explained by alternative diagnosis. Over a third of people with long Covid acquired it during the first Omicron wave. They suffer weakness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating, shortness of breath, muscle aches, pain, fatigue, brain fog, muscle twitching, sleep problems, and more. The British Medical Association has asked the Government to increase funding for long Covid clinics to deal with the ever-increasing patient numbers. NHS England's 2022 strategy, set out in July, failed to announce any new funding.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 01 December 2022 21:37

Pressure on GPs dangerously high

Pressure on GPs is ‘dangerously close to a death spiral’ as doctors leave, says Dr Paul Evans. BMA's safe working guidance states GPs should have up to 25 patient encounters a day. But on Mondays a doctor could have 40, 50, sometimes even 60 direct patient contacts. The problem worsens as the pressure leads to more GPs leaving the profession. The NHS has recruited 4,000+ trainee GPs in 2022, hitting government targets. However, while training places have increased, quite a significant number who finish training leave the system because it is so hard to work in. Rishi Sunak said the NHS was a priority and ‘billions of pounds extra’ would be invested, adding, ‘I'm confident, because we are putting in the extra resources, we will be able to find a way to improve the services’.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 17 November 2022 21:38

Migrants given diphtheria jabs

Migrants at the Manston Airport detention centre are to be vaccinated against diphtheria after dozens of cases were confirmed. Diphtheria is contagious, infecting the nose, throat and sometimes the skin ,and can be fatal. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is working closely with the Home Office at the reception centre, where there are cases of diphtheria and other infections, including one unaccompanied child who had scabies. The UKHSA said accommodation settings should be considered ‘high-risk for infectious diseases with a high prevalence of toxigenic diphtheria infection’ and endorsed mass antibiotic prophylaxis and mass vaccination. Antibiotics and diphtheria vaccination are being offered to everyone at the centre and all who have moved on to hostels recently’. A national briefing was also sent to NHS staff to highlight ‘the importance of early diagnoses.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 10 November 2022 22:03

NHS delays and strikes

At the end of September, 401,537 patients had waited over 52 weeks to start treatment. The total number of people waiting for routine hospital treatment is a record high 7.1 million. NHS England and the government have set a goal of eliminating all waits of more than a year by March 2025. Meanwhile nurses are about to strike nationally, for the first time ever, sending up distress flares about the state of their service. The majority of NHS members voted to strike for fair pay and safe staffing. Strikes will be at NHS trusts or health boards which meet relevant legal requirements. Many of the biggest hospitals in England will see strike action by RCN members, but others narrowly missed the legal turnout thresholds to qualify for action. Nurses worry they cannot care as they should.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 28 October 2022 12:28

NHS strike ballot over pay and funding

Healthcare leaders have been quick to call on Mr Sunak to relook at nurses' pay amid nationwide strike ballots. Thérèse Coffey was removed as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Steve Barclay was reappointed. Responding to the announcement of Rishi Sunak as prime minister, Royal College of Nursing General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen, said, ‘Rishi Sunak must now decide if he wants to be the prime minister who cut the NHS and social care to the bone or one that invested in its people, patients and priorities. He is new to Number 10 but nursing staff recall this year’s NHS pay cut was designed by Sunak from his Treasury desk. The NHS Providers chief asked for decisive action to tackle diminishing funding due to soaring inflation, staff shortages and treatment backlogs.

Published in British Isles
Friday, 28 October 2022 12:27

Twindemic this year

NHS England says up to half of all hospital beds in England could be occupied by patients with respiratory infections. The warning came as NHS bosses set out details of its plans to help the health service cope this winter, like rapid response teams for people who fall at home and ‘data war rooms’ to monitor work pressures. The usual seasonal viruses plus Covid will place huge strains on hospitals. It is important to be prepared as winter comes hot on the heels of an extremely busy summer. With the combined impact of flu, Covid and record NHS staff vacancies, we are facing more than the threat of a 'twindemic' this year. Pray for wise decisions to be made by the NHS in their preparations for winter. Pray for doctors’ surgeries and rapid response teams to be able to keep patients out of hospitals.

Published in British Isles

In 12 months, there has been an 184% increase of children having to wait over four years on consultant waiting lists and waits are longer for children needing help with mental health issues, speech and language therapy and autism assessments. The situation is ‘alarming’. Many of the children could be ‘experiencing pain and discomfort’. Parents' hearts are breaking as they watch their children miss out on vital parts of childhood while struggling to manage health conditions. Waiting lists for ear, nose and throat conditions are the longest. 10,000 children are waiting for a consultant-led outpatient appointment and 4,000 for surgery. In order to tackle the problem trusts are asked to provide additional theatre space, and paediatric surgeons from the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children will travel to other hospitals to perform children's surgery. Commissioned paediatric day case procedure theatre lists for general surgery are being re-established as a priority.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:54

Avoiding employee burnout

Kintsugi Hope is a Christian charity making a difference to people’s mental wellbeing. 'Kintsugi' is a Japanese technique for repairing pottery with seams of gold. The word means 'golden joinery'. This repair makes the object more beautiful, unique indeed: Instead of hiding scars it makes a feature of them. Kintsugi Hope wants mental and emotional health to be understood in supportive communities where people grow and flourish,  and is warning churches and Christian organisations about the danger of employee burnout. Faith groups are especially susceptible to burnout: because people are highly motivated working for God, more pressure is put on them. Kintsugi Hope is offering employers training on the problem. Also the World Health Organisation has published its first ever mental health guidance to employers to help them avoid employee burnout, and a new NHS scheme will provide therapists for the workplace.

Published in Praise Reports
Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:43

Covid: protect elderly from rising levels

Covid is on the rise again, so those feeling unwell should avoid vulnerable friends, colleagues and relatives as a precaution, say experts. 1.3 million (one in 50) have Covid, with a ‘marked increase’ in infections among over-70s. There are no new restrictions, but people are being reminded to take extra care. There are fears of a flu and Covid ‘twindemic’ this winter, and those who qualify for free jabs should get them. NHS are sending reminders out to over six million people in at risk groups. Pray for very high levels of vaccine uptake across the UK. Covid hospitalisation rates are at their highest level in months. The NHS is asking people with respiratory infection symptoms to wear a face covering.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 13 October 2022 20:39

Hospital waiting lists hit record high

The number of patients waiting for routine hospital treatment in England has reached seven million, and 387,257 have been on the list for over a year. One in every 18 has waited more than a year to begin treatment, and 2,646 people (down from 23,778 in January) have been waiting over two years. Ambulance waiting times are also high, and the number of people waiting longer than twelve hours in A&E for a bed after being seen by a doctor also reached a new high of 32,776. Of 255,055 urgent cancer referrals made by GPs in August, only 75.6% saw a specialist within the two-week target time, the second worst performance on record. Patients hospitalised with Covid have more than doubled since September to over 10,000.

Published in British Isles
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