UK – Failure on Standards
News 30 11 2009: Self declaration by Trusts on standards. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says that the figures provided by the Dr Foster organisation are measuring different aspects to the methodology criteria used by the CQC however also pointing out that each trust makes its own declaration as to whether they were meeting 44 standards. Dr Foster's research also reveals widespread safety issues which include some 39% of trusts "failing to investigate unexpected deaths or cases of serious harm on their wards". Given the the conflicting variance in assessment critera is it any wonder that the Public be confused.
Opinion: Exercise Winter Willow, a PANDEMIC EXERCISE headed by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) which was set-up in 2003, began in the spring of 2006 and was the largest civil contingency exercise of its kind to be held since the end of the Cold War, the finding of which contributed towards the Governments overall pandemic flu preparedness plan. In July 2009 it was reported that the current flue panic may overwhelm the NHS as Health Secretary Andy Burnham told the Observer Newspaper that people should be reassured that the Government's response has been well planned. A report however the following day from the House of Lords was to attack Ministers for not following their own timetable for pandemics. In respect of the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) NHS organisation as promoted by M Thatcher, because of a lack of funds in order to join the EU, the NHS was re-jigged where cost took more priority than the people it was meant to serve. To Modularisation “out-sourcing” followed in getting more for less while “sticking plasters” were to serve in gluing the whole lot back together. The Government always says that it learns from past enquiries/failures yet given a past Privatised Railway where safety was last on the agenda is that not akin to removing Matrons from Hospitals only to then recognize that they actually served a purpose to which they now be reinstated?. Standards are “datums” which provide a measure of deviation however one must firstly define what those standards be in “Plain English” etc, otherwise mixed standards result as in the Data Protection Act (DPA) which was misinterpreted by a Police Authority whom deleted records, as was found in the Soham Murders Case. Gov Bureaucracy seemingly is about “middle of the road Policy” to which it can always choose to drive on the opposite side of the road to that of Ordinary people in being continually RIGHT which subsequently becomes standards for Law adoption on upside-downness.
Respect is earned and standards are about building integrity yet there are those whom “think” that money can buy them which has costed the Nation Billions besides creating a sea of chaos to which all now don’t believe a word that said to them [ ie: Spin ].
23 11 2009 Ofsted inspections – Not fit for purpose. Ofsted is being accused of being "flawed, wasteful and failing". A document drawn up by the Association of Directors of Children's Services, which represents the head of children's departments in English local authorities, claims that new annual performance profiles being developed by Ofsted are "not fit for purpose". Separately schools have expressed concerns about the new school inspection regime under which they cannot be rated good if their exam results are low. They can also be marked down on routine matters of safety. In one School it failed because inspectors were offered coffee before they were asked for identification. MPs are to publish a report criticising Ofsted for not having sufficiently trained inspectors and for relying too much on exam data in their inspection of schools.
00 05 <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />2000 A "flu-like" epidemic is on the rise . The Centers for Disease Control - A "flu-like" epidemic is on the rise due to some "unknown pathogen 11 out of every 100 newly dead people have died from this "Influenza-Like Illness", but 99% of sick patients have tested negative for the flu
00 00 2003 Health Protection Agency (HPA) set up. An INDEPENDENT ORGANISATION accountable to the Secretary of State for Health having income from the Gov and the NHS as well as commercial activities through Partnerships. It PROVIDES ADVICE to the public, Health Professionals and Gov. IT USES ITS RESEARCH TO DEVELOP NEW VACCINES and treatments that directly help patients. Within it is the Centre for Emergency Preparedness and Response and the Centre for Infections (CfI) helping advise the Gov on the risks posed. The HPA works along side the NHS providing specialist support in communicable diseases and infection control and emergency planning. PANDEMIC EXERCISES STARTED IN SPRING 2006, WAS LED BY THE AGENCY. Exercise Winter Willow was the largest civil contingency exercise of its kind to be held since the end of the Cold War. The exercise evaluated the response of the NHS, local authorities and government departments to pandemic flu and provided an excellent opportunity to evaluate the planning assumptions. The findings of Exercise Winter Willow will be fed into the Government’s overall pandemic flu preparedness plan.
24 02 2005 MRSA 'superbugs' in NHS Hospitals. Each year, at least 100,000 people who go into hospital gets an infection there. MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) is but one of the strains of Staphylococcus bacteria which is resistant to one or more conventional antibiotics. Experts have so far uncovered 17 strains of MRSA – The bacterial genes are constantly mutating. Hospitals are a hotbed for resistant MRSA because so many strains are in one place with many many types of antibiotics in use. Doctors are very worried about what the future holds for MRSA. The number of reports of MRSA infections rises year by year - and the latest evidence suggests that deaths due to MRSA are increasing at a similar rate. VRSA (vancomycin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) has acquired resistance to a drug considered the "last line of defence" when all other antibiotics have failed. The UK has already seen several cases of GISA (glycopeptide intermediate Staphylococcus aureus) which is considered to be a halfway house between MRSA and VRSA, which has developed a resistance to antibiotics of the vancomycin family. Experts are also concerned about a new killer 'superbug' emerging in the UK called Panton-Valentine leukocidin (PVL) MRSA. Although new antibiotics are being developed all the time, pessimistic experts believe it is only a matter of time at current rates until virtually every weapon in the pharmaceutical arsenal is nullified. One of the main reasons behind their swift evolution into "superbugs" is the overuse of antibiotics, both in human and veterinary medicine. Doctors have now been told to cut antibiotic prescribing.
17 07 2007 The £250,000 GP. Average GP salaries in England have smashed through the six-figure barrier following a lucrative contract which came into effect in 2004. Dr Laurence Buckman, acting chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, said the figures included both private and NHS work. And a survey out earlier this year showed that more than one in four GPs had taken out private health insurance. In March an influential committee of MPs attacked the Government for a "disastrous failure" of policy. They condemned the pay rises for GPs and consultants as "expensive" and "arguably excessive". And they said the contracts had helped plunge many health trusts into deficit because the pay rises cost much more than the Government expected. Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said: "We invested significant extra funding in GP services both to improve services and reward GPs. "It's got worse. GPs are laughing about the new contracts because they've done very well while patients have not."
26 04 2008 NHS denial in 'lack of doctors' row. Two junior doctors were left to care for up to 500 patients during a night shift at a busy hospital. The medics, who each had eight months' experience, were given responsibility for 18 wards at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the Daily Record newspaper said. The newspaper said four or five doctors would normally provide overnight cover. NHS Lothian denied patient safety had been compromised. Simon Mackenzie, the health board's associate medical director, said staffing levels on Wednesday night had been within safe limits. "There have been no reports of unsafe clinical practice," he added. "The HAN system means a whole team of staff with many different and complementary skills is in charge of the entire hospital. Every speciality also has a consultant doctor on call for support and advice and to attend patients if necessary."
02 05 2008 Drug resistant TB cases on the rise. Cases of drug resistant tuberculosis are on the increase in the UK, experts have warned. In London, an increase in isoniazid resistance could be traced to an ongoing outbreak which began in 1999. To date it had involved more than 300 cases, including many prison inmates and drug users. The researchers, led by Dr Michelle Kruijshaar from the Health Protection Agency in London, concluded: "The observed increases highlight the need for early case detection, rapid testing of susceptibility to drugs, and improved treatment completion."
16 06 2008 One in four trusts fails on hygiene. More than one in four NHS trusts are failing to meet Government standards on hygiene, a health watchdog has said. The code is aimed at tackling hospital infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C diff) and covers issues such as decontaminating surgical equipment, cleaning wards and providing information to patients. The Healthcare Commission issued a public warning to TRUSTS that they have 10 months to improve BEFORE A NEW REGULATOR – CARE QUALITY COMMISSION – COMES INTO FORCE. Shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley said: "The chair of the Healthcare Commission has made clear that patient safety is not yet unfortunately a number one priority. It's essential that it becomes so."
17 06 2008 A record number of people are dying in NHS hospitals from superbugs. A record number of people are dying in NHS hospitals from superbugs- According to figures recently released, death certificates for 2006 showed that more than 8,000 patients in England and Wales died from either MRSA. More than 55,000 cases of C.diff occur each year, and the number is rising. The Government's own target, set in March 2004, is merely to halve the number of MRSA cases. Yesterday, official figures showed that more than a quarter of health trusts are failing to meet basic hygiene standards. Wash sinks used to be in wards – close by – but apparently hospitals are not designed that way anymore.
14 07 2008 Vaccines for hospital bugs expected. Vaccines against two hospital bugs will be available within a decade said Professor Sir Liam Donaldson.
18 12 2008 Return of mad cow disease – warning. The Government's chief adviser on the human form of mad cow disease haswarned of a possible new wave of the illness that could kill as many as 350 people in the UK. The Chairman of the Government's Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE ) Advisory Committee states that a patient dying from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD) appears to have a different gene type - or strain - from previous British victims. The first wave of vCJD, caused by eating infected beef products in the 1980s and early 1990s, has been responsible for 164 deaths, peaking at 28 in 2000 and dwindling over the following years to about one case annually. Those with two M genes - the MM group - make up 42% of the population and are thought to be more susceptible, while those with one of each - the MVs - are thought to be more resistant and constitute 47% of Britons. Some scientists are concerned that the longer incubation period amongst MV gene types may soon start to show symptoms of an infection contracted as long as 20 years ago. A petition addressed to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, raising questions over how the BSE crisis was handled by the former Conservative government and asking whether the country faces a further wave of vCJD cases.
18 12 2008 Ambulances - struggling to cope. A&E departments are struggling to cope with the winter illness season, an NHS chief has said. Peter Bradley, the national director of ambulance services, said the entire health system was "struggling to cope". Mr Bradley, who is also chief executive of the London Ambulance Service, told the Daily Telegraph that ambulance services in England had just had their busiest week ever. He put it down to the coldest start to a winter for 30 years causing a sharp increase in falls and breathing problems, combined with outbreaks of flu and the winter vomiting bug norovirus
23 12 2008 Branson demands action on superbugs - accused politicians and health bosses of "tinkering" with the problem. The Virgin tycoon, who was RECENTLY APPOINTED VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE PATIENTS ASSOCIATION, called for all hospital staff to be screened for the superbug MRSA and receive immediate treatment if infected A spokesman for the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ENGLAND said: "The government is taking tough actions in the fight against infections.
20 03 2009 Children's hospital failings rapped. A Healthcare Commission report was ordered into standards at Birmingham Children's Hospital by Health Secretary Alan Johnson after concerns were raised by consultants writing in the Observer newspaper [Nov]. The report(s) finally revealed a catalogue of serious failings in which youngsters were being redirected to other services; complex neurosurgery carried out without relevant trained nurses; shortages of beds, equipment and access to operating theatres, and an "ineffective" partnership with the University Hospital Birmingham (UBH). Some patients even drank water from vases because they were so thirsty. Sarah-Jane Marsh, BCH interim chief executive, said: "The quality of care for our young patients is our top priority.
03 04 2009 21 NHS trusts failing over hygiene. Twenty-one NHS trusts have failed to meet hygiene standards set by a new "super-regulator" for health and social care. Fears over the regulation of foundation trusts were raised last month after it emerged Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust had been awarded the status - a supposed marker of excellence - despite concerns over its high death rates. The conditions are legally enforceable. Failure to act means trusts could be issued with warning notices and fines, or face prosecution or closure. Overall, 388 NHS trusts have been registered with the CQC.
07 04 2009 Stafford Hospital – high death rate. Campaign group Cure The NHS found that 400 more people died at the hospital than would have been expected between 2005 and 2008 and criticised "virtually every stage" of the hospital's emergency patient care. Coroner Andrew Haigh refused to give details to the Healthcare Commission, which criticised the hospital's high death rate and management in March however saying it would involve too much manpower. The Ministry of Justice has since told Mr Haigh to release details on request but added that it did not have the power to tell coroners how to work. The government has said no public inquiry is necessary because the Healthcare Commission's report was sufficient.
27 04 2009 The first cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Europe. Two British people admitted to hospital in Scotland after returning from a holiday in Mexico have been confirmed as having the virus. In Spain, a man has tested positive for swine flu and 17 other people are under investigation, officials said. EU health ministers are to meet on Thursday to discuss the outbreak, which health officials suspect has killed about 150 people in Mexico. The World Health Organization (WHO) raised its alert level late on Tuesday from three to four - two steps short of declaring a full pandemic. The EU's Health Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, has advised against non-essential travel to any affected areas. THE H1N1 VIRUS IS THE SAME STRAIN THAT CAUSES SEASONAL FLU OUTBREAKS IN HUMANS, BUT THE NEWLY DETECTED VERSION CONTAINS GENETIC MATERIAL FROM VERSIONS OF FLU WHICH USUALLY AFFECT PIGS AND BIRDS. There is currently no vaccine for the new strain, but severe cases can be TREATED with anti-viral medication. The commission's director-general for health and consumer protection, Robert Madelin, said the EU was "putting in place plans agreed in the last five years, ensuring that the level of risk management is appropriate to the risk - using our 'WAR-GAMES' EXPERIENCES".
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