Month: March 2022

Bernie Bentick on the culture at SaTH and the Ockenden Maternity Review

The Ockenden Report, to be published this morning, was commissioned by Jeremy Hunt in 2017 after the parents of babies who died in the care of Shrewsbury and Telford NHS Hospital Trust (SATH) were distraught about the uncaring response of staff to their bereavement. Concerns were also raised about the numbers of preventable baby deaths. The Ockenden review, which investigated 1,862 cases, will add to several recent reports detailing catastrophic failures within other NHS Trusts. This article sets out the wider context for the failures at SaTH and makes recommendations for improvements to the way that care and safeguarding is managed across the NHS.

This article by Simon Kolstoe, Reader in Bioethics and University Ethics Advisor, University of Portsmouth provides useful advice after all restrictions on movement, mask wearing and isolation ended. It first appeared on The Conversation. The most recent data show 17 new cases of Covid-19 detected each day in Ludlow.   ilze kalve/Shutterstock   We are all tired of COVID. But even though the news has moved on to other concerning geopolitical issues, it is a fact that COVID is still very much with us. Vaccines have certainly helped drive down its worst effects, but the disease is here to stay, and we must learn to live with it. So what should you do now if you get COVID? Anecdotally, many people seem to be ignoring the virus and carrying on regardless. This is perhaps not surprising given the end of self-isolation requirements in England, with Wales set to lift them very soon too. The message seems to be that COVID is no longer so important. But even as the rules do relax, living with COVID must not mean ignoring it. Here are five things that COVID has shown that we need to do, especially as cases are yet again increasing…

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Covid Watch 178: Here we go again – cases are rising quickly

It will not be news to many people that Covid-19 infections are once again soaring. This is due to a new variant of Omicron (Ba.2), which is even more infectious than the original variant (BA.1). In Shropshire, the current estimated infection rate is estimated to be around 1,065 infections per 100,000 people, higher than the delta phase last year but lower than the peak of 1,814 infections per 100,000 people in early January. The Office of National Statistics estimates that 3,485,700 people in England had Covid-19 in the week to 17 March (6.4% of population). In Ludlow, the latest estimated rate of infection to 20 March was 967 per 100,000 people, not far below the county rate. More than 40,000 people in Shropshire take a Covid test each week. I am concerned that this will fall with the government restricting the availability of lateral flow tests. These must be purchased after the end of this month. If testing reduces, how are we going to identify the next surge in cases and the potential impact on health services and the economy.

Ambulance handover delays at Shropshire’s A&Es are a national disgrace – an inquiry is needed

Significant delays in handovers from ambulances to A&E departments continue at Shropshire’s two acute hospitals. This winter, half of ambulances arriving at the two A&Es experienced handover delays of 30 minutes. This much worse than the experience across England, where one fifth of ambulance handovers were delayed by 30 minutes or more over the same period. The national target is 15 minutes. Ambulances that are stuck in the A&E queues are not available to answer new 999 calls. It is unacceptable that a fifth of ambulances are experiencing long handover delays in England. The handover delays at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and the Princes Royal Hospital (SaTH) are a disgrace. This winter, half of ambulances arriving at SaTH have suffered handover delays of 30 minutes or more (49% – the fifth worst performance in England). More than a quarter of ambulances have experienced delays of 60 minutes or more (27% – the sixth worst performance in England).

Government opens new scheme to welcome Ukrainian refugees to the UK

From today, residents around the country can register to offer a room or home to refugees from Putin’s war in Ukraine. Residents (sponsors) will have to sign up for six months and  will receive a standard payment of £350 a month for each household taking in refugees. Local councils will receive £10,000 for each refugee that comes to their area along with additional payments to support school-age children. You can register your interest at homesforukraine.campaign.gov.uk from today. You might want to wait until the load on the website has reduced. Online application forms are expected to be available from Friday. Organisations can also express an interest at the same web address. The difficulty many people will face with this scheme is that sponsors will need to identify refugees they can sponsor to come to the UK. Many people wanting to offer accommodation will not know any Ukrainians. We can expect existing and new social media, charity and volunteer networks to step up in the next few days to match refugees with sponsors. Initially, the government will prioritise refugees with connections in the UK.

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