Research and debate has taken place suggesting compulsory vaccination may be necessary to counter the resurgence of measles in Britain. Cases tripled last year as infections imported from Europe spread among unvaccinated friends and families. For some, the culprit is clear: social media has allowed a resurgence of anti-vaccination conspiracy theories. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, have both sounded the alarm, linking online scares to England’s slipping vaccination rates.
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BBC reports that an independent inquiry into a failed NHS trust has been announced amid concerns 150 deaths were not properly investigated. Liverpool Community Health (LCH), formed in 2010, ran services for about 750,000 people on Merseyside until 2018. The inquiry will look into “historic incidents of serious harm” and 17,000 cases related to patient safety.
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World leading research carried out in partnership with the Tommy’s National Centre for Miscarriage Research suggests that giving progesterone to pregnant women with early pregnancy bleeding and a history of miscarriage could increase their chances of having a baby. The PRISM trial is the largest ever trial of its kind and, after years of debate, is clear evidence as to the benefits of progesterone for some women.
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The Guardian reports that fewer women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds are being given key roles running NHS trusts, prompting claims that the health service is going backwards on diversity and inclusion. Research shows that the proportion of chairs and non-executive directors of NHS trusts in England who are from an ethnic minority has almost halved from 15% in 2010 to just 8% despite initiatives to improve BME representation in senior NHS roles. The findings are contained in a report by the NHS Confederation, which represents 85% of local health service bodies in England.
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The Nursing Times reported that an independent inquiry warned that the pressures under which clinicians are working must be taken into account when they are put on trial over the death of a patient. Andrea Sutcliffe is quoted in the piece, saying the review provided “essential lessons” for not just the GMC but professional regulation more widely, including the NMC.
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As official report seen by The Guardian has found that NHS staff are quitting because they are stressed and burned out from heavy workloads, having too little time with patients and suffering bullying and harassment at work. The workforce crisis in England is directly affecting patients trying to see their GPs and the reliance on agency staff increases costs all round.
The Observer reports that a controversial target of hiring 5,000 foreign nurses a year for at least 15 years has been cut from a flagship plan to deal with the NHS’s staffing crisis. There are also mounting concerns that new post-Brexit immigration rules could end up making the situation even worse.
A report by the Welsh National Assembly Public Accounts Committee (PAC) criticises the increasing financial deficit of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board among other issues within older people’s mental health services. It also said that special measures ‘may now have become a normal state of affairs’. In June 2015 the board was put into special measures.
The Four Streets Project in Chichester has recorded an increase in the number of homeless people being fed in the city. Donna Ockenden, Founder of the Four Streets Project, said “We never miss a night. We are a 365-days-a-year service and we believe in a service based on dignity, respect and compassion.
“Our volunteers come from all walks of life but they volunteer with Four Streets because they care about the homeless and want to help bring dignity and compassion to what otherwise would be an extremely difficult existence.”
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Simon Wright, Chief Executive of The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), is to leave the organisation after nearly four years in the job. The trust was put into special measure in November 2018 due to concerns about maternity and emergency services. It was its fourth warning notice from the Care Quality Commission. SaTH is also being investigated over baby deaths within the maternity review, which has been widened to look into concerns from 250 families.