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Hospitals told to ‘prepare for a further incident’ by NHS England

Sarah J

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UHNM Major Trauma Centre

NHS England has told NHS Hospitals and Major Trauma Centres to prepare for a further incident following Monday’s attack on Manchester.

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NHS England has informed every hospital in England, especially the 27 that are specialise in trauma, to “prepare for a further incident” after the attack on Manchester this week. The security alert level remains at ‘critical’ implying that another attack is imminent.

This is the first time since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 that NHS hospital trusts have been told to prepare for the possibility of a large-scale terrorist attack.

Chris Moran, a surgeon and professor, who is NHS England’s national clinical director for trauma said: “The trauma community in Manchester has provided a tremendous response to the atrocity on Monday night and this is a credit to their dedication and clinical skills, and also the preparation that has taken place.

“You will be aware that we have a bank holiday weekend approaching. There are a number of things that all trauma units and major trauma centres can do to prepare for a further incident and I should be grateful if you could disseminate these within your network so that frontline clinicians are aware.”

The Health Service Journal, which obtained Moran’s message, reported: “The message advised surgical teams to prepare for the consequences of attacks by reviewing the early management of patients with blast and ballistic injuries, as well as advice on dealing with infections and use of antibiotics.”

In a separate letter to trusts, Anne Rainsberry, NHS England’s national incident director, advised them to review their staffing levels and supplies of blood and equipment, as well as patients who could be discharged quickly to free up beds in case an incident occurred.

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Primary Care

NHS trusts pressuring staff to help meet vaccination targets

Sarah J

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Front-line staff are reporting that NHS trusts are pressuring staff into receiving the influenza vaccine in order to achieve governmental targets.

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Front-line NHS staff claim they are getting ever-increasing pressure to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as cash-strapped NHS trusts strive to hit the ‘Flu Fighter’ CQUIN, which provides significant financial incentives for trusts who vaccinate a proportion of their staff.

This news follows last weeks announcement that NHS England will write to all healthcare workers reminding them of their “professional duty” to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine.

One member of staff, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims she was forced to sign a ‘Declination of Influenza Vaccine‘ document by their NHS Trust which states refusal of the vaccine may have ‘life-threatening’ consequences and asks for the reason for refusal.

A spokesperson for NursingNotes said;

“While receiving the vaccine is an important part of infection control, like any patient, staff must provide informed consent and have a right to refuse the vaccination”.

A spokesperson for the RCN said:

“We encourage all nursing staff to have the vaccine. It plays an important part in infection control and preventing sickness absence”.

The NHS Employers ‘Flu Fighter’ campaign is part of an initiative to improve the health and wellbeing of NHS employees.

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Patients could be banned from A&E unless a healthcare professional refers them

Ian Snug

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The “talk before you walk” scheme could see patients barred from using A&E without first seeking healthcare advice elsewhere.

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Under “talk before you walk” proposals, patients would need to gain approval from either their GP or the NHS 111 advice line before self-presenting to an accident and emergency department and could be turned away without this.

The scheme is intended to improve compliance of the 4-hour target by sign-posting patients to more appropriate services.

The news comes as health services prepare, for what many experts claim will be, the “worst winter on record” for emergency care services.

Dr Helen Thomas, National Medical Advisor for Integrated Urgent Care at NHS England, said:

“Jeremy Hunt has mentioned to some of my colleagues, maybe we should have a ‘talk before you walk’ and we may well pilot that.

“I think it’s been done in other countries where they’ve actually said you can’t come to the emergency department until you’ve talked on referral or you have to have that sort of docket that you’re given by having talked down the phone and being told you should come in.”

But the British Medical Association (BMA) said forcing ill patients to go through an extra layer of bureaucracy would cause further delays and could compromise emergency care pathways.

A spokesman for NHS England said there were no current plans to go ahead with the scheme.

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