Work starts on national NHS uniform for England after nurses back plans

Nurses have given the green light to plans for a national NHS uniform for England, with improved professional identity and patient safety cited as reasons for making for the move | Nursing Times

NHS Supply Chain has today released the final results of its consultation with NHS staff on the proposals and confirmed that it had now started work on designing a national healthcare uniform.

Of nursing staff surveyed, 88% said they were in favour of a standardised uniform style for clinical NHS staff, distinguished by profession through colour. The level of support from nursing – which made up over half of the 50,710 respondents – was higher than any other profession, although all groups were strongly in favour.

Overall, 82% of respondents across the nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, pharmacy and health scientist fields said they wanted a national healthcare uniform. Meanwhile, 83% of all respondents and 86% of nursing staff voted in favour of the national uniform being mandatory for all NHS trusts in England to adopt, rather than being optional.

The style of garment that won the most support was a smart scrub, with 49% of all respondents and 51% nursing respondents choosing this option. A dress being available as an additional option was also supported by 72% of all those surveyed and 76% of nursing staff.

Full detail: Work starts on national NHS uniform for England after nurses back plans

Hospital Outpatient Activity 2020-21

NHS Digital | September 2021 | Hospital Outpatient Activity 2020-21

This report from NHS analyses a little under 102 million outpatient appointments recorded in Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) data during the 12 month period between April 2020 and March 2021. Data is broken down by patient’s age, gender, whether the appointment was attended or not and by provider. Note that this report counts the number of outpatient appointments rather than the number of patients.

Image source: NHS Digital

Hospital Outpatient Acitivity, 2020-21: Report Tables

Hospital Outpatient Activity, 2020-21: All Attendances

Hospital Outpatient Activity, 2020-21: First Attendances

More resources are available from NHS Digital

Recovery of NHS hospital services #Covid19RftLks

This report looks at how NHS trusts are planning for people’s care while tackling a backlog of treatment caused by COVID-19 | Care Quality Commission

During the pandemic, hospital capacity has been under pressure, resulting in the suspension of some elective care. Other challenges that hospitals have had to factor in include wider infection and control measures, increased cleaning procedures and the use of personal protective equipment, and enhanced testing.

In May and June 2021, the CQC asked 73 trusts about their approaches to longer waiting lists and how they are considering people’s care in a fair and equal way.

The trusts told the CQC about new and innovative examples of people receiving care. This included developing ‘waiting well’ packages of support, emphasising the importance of keeping people up-to-date while waiting for elective operations. Another example involved establishing a ‘virtual ward’ in a patient’s home following their surgery, with regular visits from specialist nurses and therapists, plus virtual consultations with doctors.

Full report: Recovery of NHS hospital services

Press release: The recovery challenges for NHS hospital services

Building back cancer services in England

Institute for Public Policy Research

The pandemic has severely disrupted cancer services in England. While Covid-19 might not have caused our health service to ‘collapse’ rapidly, it has forced us to take previously unthinkable steps like cancelling cancer treatments. There have been widespread disruptions across the cancer care pathway – screening, referrals, diagnostic and treatment services have all seen reductions in activity.

This report suggests that unmitigated, the consequences will be severe.

The government recently announced a three-year funding plan for the health service. They have said the funding will allow the NHS to aim for highly ambitious activity increases, but there is more to be done to ‘build back batter’ cancer care. To that end, this report recommends a new three-part cancer pledge for the country.

Full report: Building back cancer services in England

See also: Covid: Cancer backlog could take a decade to clear | BBC News

New NHS clinical leadership to support post-COVID challenges #Covid19RftLks

NHS England | September 2021 | New NHS clinical leadership to support post-COVID challenges

NHS England has announced the appointment of leading clinicians to new national clinical roles to help lead action on post-COVID challenges facing patients and staff.

Five new clinical leads – covering urgent and emergency care, elective care and long COVID – will provide expert advice to the NHS Medical Director, Professor Stephen Powis, and to the programme teams working to support local NHS teams improve services for patients in these areas.

The NHS’s first ever national specialty adviser roles for long COVID have also been created to help the NHS meet new demand for ongoing care from people suffering long-term effects from the virus (Source: NHS England).

Full details are available from NHS England

Taxes and health care funding: how does the UK compare?

The Health Foundation

The government’s decision to raise taxes to better fund health and social care has understandably generated a lot of interest. For many, this is a much-needed increase that will help meet some of the care needs of people in the UK after the pandemic. For others, the NHS is a ‘black hole’, swallowing increasing sums of taxpayer money.

These arguments raise several important questions. In particular, do we spend enough – or too much – on health and social care? And is it reasonable to raise taxes to fund increased spending? While the answers to these questions will ultimately be decided by the public, it is important to consider how the UK compares to other countries on health care spending and tax revenue.

Full detail: Taxes and health care funding: how does the UK compare?

Antibody and cellular therapies for treatment of covid-19: a living systematic review and network meta-analysis #Covid19RftLks

BMJ | 2021; 374: n22311

The objectives of this living systematic review and network meta-analysis are to evaluate the efficacy and safety of antiviral antibody therapies and blood products for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19).

The study concludes that in patients with non-severe covid-19, casirivimab-imdevimab probably reduces hospitalisation; bamlanivimab-etesevimab, bamlanivimab, and sotrovimab may reduce hospitalisation. Convalescent plasma, IVIg, and other antibody and cellular interventions may not confer any meaningful benefit.

Full paper: Antibody and cellular therapies for treatment of covid-19: a living systematic review and network meta-analysis

Rich countries’ booster plans will impede global vaccination, experts say #Covid19RftLks

BMJ | 2021; 374: n2353

A summit convened alongside the UN’s annual meeting in New York, bringing 80 governments together to discuss the global response to the covid-19 pandemic, is expected to end with a collective endorsement of the US president’s call for 70% of people in countries of all income levels to be vaccinated by the time the UN General Assembly meets again 12 months from now.

But this goal will not be met, experts warned, unless rich countries change course now, releasing the stocks they are currently hoarding.

Full detail: Rich countries’ booster plans will impede global vaccination, experts say

Medical care will be prioritised in tackling CO2 shortages, says government

BMJ | 2021; 374: n2346

The UK government has vowed that continuity of treatment and access to NHS services will be “top priorities” in mitigating against ongoing carbon dioxide shortages, amid concerns that a range of medical and surgical services could be affected.

The covid vaccination programme is one area that depends on a steady supply of carbon dioxide as it uses dry ice as a cooling product. CO2 is also used in minimal invasive surgeries such as laparoscopy, endoscopy, and arthroscopy, in cryotherapy for removals of warts, moles, and skin tags, and in respiratory stimulation in anaesthesia.

Further detail: Medical care will be prioritised in tackling CO2 shortages, says government