#AceNewsReport – Sept.19: All four were convicted of murder at the Old Bailey on Wednesday, 11 August. They were sentenced at the same court on Friday, 17 September. ….
#AceDailyNews reports that four men have been jailed for murder of #NHS worker in Newham
1./ Mohammad Jalloh, 19 (05.12.01), of Watt Street, Wapping, and Vagnei Colubali, 23 (18.01.98) of Suffolk Road, Enfield, must each serve at least 27 years in jail for the murder of 24-year-old David Gomoh last year.
2./ David Ture, 19 (09.11.01) of Bloomsbury Street, Camden, was sentenced to at least 26 years while Alex Melaku, 18 (16.9.03) of Bishopsdale, Telford, was handed a minimum of 21 years.
Detective Chief Inspector Laurence Smith, who led the investigation, said: “These four defendants carried out a senseless attack on a completely innocent man and there is absolutely no doubt that London is a safer place with them behind bars: Despite the significant evidence linking them to this crime, all four refused to admit to their actions meaning David’s family and friends had to sit through a trial and re-live the worst night of their lives: “ Our thoughts, as always, remain with them and we hope they can now begin to grieve for the loss of their son and brother.”……….David was stabbed at least nine times by the group as he walked down Freemasons Road, E16 while on the phone to his girlfriend on 26 April 2020: He managed to stagger back to his home address where he collapsed on the ground outside. Despite being given emergency surgery in the street, David died soon after arriving at hospital: David was not involved in any gang but was targeted by the defendants because he lived in the wrong part of Newham and so was classed as a ‘rival’…..On the day of the murder, the four men armed themselves with knives and set out from a hotel in Stratford towards Canning Town in a stolen car fitted with false plates……….CCTV played in court showed that less than an hour before they set upon David, the defendants came across another man who they chased, carrying their weapons in their hands. Fortunately, he managed to outrun the group……..Cameras on board a bus then captured the car turning its lights off and stopping beside David, who turned to run as the doors to the vehicle opened. The attack itself was also caught on CCTV………His girlfriend, who he was speaking to at the time, heard a male voice ask ‘where are you from’ before the phone call ended.
CASE NOTES: Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command quickly began an investigation and the stolen car was found abandoned in Lincoln Road, E13, less than a mile from the scene of the fatal stabbing: A pair of sunglasses were found on the back seat of the vehicle, with DNA evidence linking them to Mohammad Jalloh. Another pair of sunglasses was recovered from the scene of the attack; DNA from the 17-year-old was found upon the left arm: During a search of Ture’s address, a series of graphic drawings were located which appeared to depict the fatal stabbing. Not only was the address of the murder identified but the clothing worn by the group was also shown.
David’s mum Marian said: “David’s murder is without doubt the hardest thing my family and I have been through. It is something that no parent should ever go through. While this has been painful beyond words, I am beyond grateful to God that we have seen justice and the four men who took my son’s life have been found guilty: “ The family would like to thank all the first responders on the scene that fateful night; the media, the police, especially the investigating officers, who have worked so hard to secure justice for David Jason Junior Gomoh, who was such a charismatic, intelligent and focused young gentleman: “ Nothing will bring back a life that was so full of promise and hope, a life that was brutally taken away from us; but we are grateful that now we can begin to mourn and build a fitting legacy for David.”
#AceDailyNews reports that GOVUK Parliament has voted on raising 36-billion investment through a ‘Social Care Levy’ to reform NHS & Social Care and how it will be spent and heres waht the PM & Tory MPs and others said to read below:
Responsible, fair, and necessary action taken to provide biggest catch-up programme in the history of the NHS and reform the adult social care system.
£36 billion will be invested in the health and care system over the next three years, to ensure it has the long term resource it needs.
Patients will benefit from the biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’s history, so people no longer face excessive waits for treatment.
Successive governments have failed to provide a long-term solution for social care. The system will finally be reformed, ending unpredictable and catastrophic care costs faced by thousands, and making the system fairer for all.
From April 2022, the government will introduce a new, UK-wide 1.25 per cent Health and Social Care Levy, ringfenced for health and social care. This will be based on National Insurance contributions (NICs) and from 2023 will be legislatively separate.
To ensure everyone contributes fairly, all working adults, including those over the state pension age, will pay the levy and the rates of dividend tax will also increase by 1.25% to help fund this package.
Every individual will contribute according to their means. Those who earn more pay more, with the highest earning 14 per cent of people paying around half the revenues.
Employers, who benefit from a healthy workforce and a tax-payer funded health service, will be asked to contribute so the costs are more widely shared.
This will raise around £12 billion in extra funding per year, to be invested in frontline health and social care across the UK over the next three years.
The pandemic put unprecedented pressure on the NHS. The number of patients waiting for elective surgery and routine treatment in England is now at a record high of 5.5 million. This could reach 13 million by the end of the year if left unchecked. Before the pandemic, nine out of ten were waiting fewer than 25 weeks in England. This has now risen to 44 weeks.
To fix this, the NHS needs to be able to offer more appointments, operations, and treatments. Rather than simply plugging the gaps, new, innovative practices must be pushed forward so patients continue to receive the best possible care.
The new funding is expected to fund an extra 9 million checks, scans, and operations. The NHS long term plan committed to increasing activity year on year. In recognition of pressures from Covid, this will now increase to 110% of the planned activity levels by 2023/24.
This is in addition to our historic settlement for the NHS in 2018, which will see its budget rise by £33.9 billion a year by 2023/24.
This is a significant, long-term increase in public spending, which will directly improve people’s lives.
Speaking in the House, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said:
You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs. You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care, you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for it, and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. The plan I am setting out today will fix all of these problems together.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
We’re tackling the NHS backlog and taking decisive action to fix our broken social care system.
This significant £12bn-a-year long-term increase in public spending will improve people’s lives across the UK – but our health and social care systems cannot be rebuilt without difficult decisions.
The new Health and Social Care Levy is the necessary and responsible thing to do to protect the NHS, sharing the cost between businesses and individuals and ensuring those earning more pay more.
Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive, said:
It’s absolutely right that NHS staff, who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to care for hundreds of thousands of Covid patients in hospital, get strong backing to recover routine services and begin to tackle the Covid backlog.
The pandemic is still with us and we will have to live with the impact of Covid for some time, so the additional funding confirmed this week will help meet those additional costs, and give the NHS clarity for the coming years while delivering millions more of the vital checks, tests and operations that patients need.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:
Our nurses, doctors and care workers have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic in our hour of need.
But the pandemic has taken its toll – waiting times are longer than ever before and social care is under even greater pressure.
This additional funding is a critical investment in our country’s future – it will give the NHS the extra capacity it needs to get back on its feet and is a vital first step in the reform of our broken care system.
The Prime Minister has been clear that we cannot fix Covid backlogs without fixing the social care system. Taking necessary, responsible, and fair action, the Prime Minister has pledged to end the cruel lottery around social care costs.
Currently, families live with the fear of losing everything they own – including potentially a lifetime’s worth of savings.
Around one in seven must pay over £100,000 for care, with bills falling indiscriminately on some of the sickest and most vulnerable.
Thanks to the action announced today, no one in England will now have to pay more than £86,000 in care costs over the course of their lifetime. This is equivalent to around three years in care.
This will apply regardless of where they live, how old they are, what their condition is, or how much they happen to earn.
At the same time, the government will support those without savings – with the state covering all care costs for anyone with assets under £20,000.
Anyone with assets between £20,000 and £100,000 will be expected to contribute to the cost of their care but will also receive state support, which will be means-tested.
The new £100,000 limit is over 4 times higher than the current limit of £23,250, meaning many more people will be eligible for support than under the current system.
The overall system will be made fairer, to ensure those who fund their own care do not pay more than state-funded individuals for the equivalent standard of care.
The social care workforce will receive new training and qualification opportunities, so they have the opportunity to progress and improve, while providing an even better standard of care.
The Prime Minister is also clear we must address wider issues in how and where people are cared for. We will bring the NHS and the social care system in England closer together – so people can be better cared for at the time and place that is right for them. An integration white paper will be published later this year.
While Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own systems, we will work together with the Devolved Administrations to tackle treatment backlogs and improve care for our elderly.
An ageing population with increasingly complex needs is putting ever more pressure on the social care system.
So alongside providing a path to long-term financial sustainability, additional support for the care system is also needed.
The government will set out a detailed plan later in the autumn to enable Local Authorities and other providers to invest in technology, innovative methods of care and in their workforce.
#AceHealthReport – Sept.08: Boris Johnson said it would raise £36bn for frontline services in the next three years and be the “biggest catch-up programme in the NHS’ history”
#AceDailyNews says that Boris Johnson has outlined a new 1.25% health and social care tax to pay for reforms………..He accepted the tax broke a manifesto pledge, but said the “global pandemic was in no one’s manifesto”……………….However, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the plan was a “sticking plaster”.
The tax will begin as a 1.25% rise in National Insurance (NI) from April 2022 paid by both employers and workers, and will then become a separate tax on earned income from 2023 – calculated in the same way as NI and appearing on an employee’s payslip.
Income from share dividends – earned by those who own shares in companies – will also see a 1.25% tax increase.
The UK-wide tax will be focused on funding health and social care in England, but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive an additional £2.2bn to spend on their services.
PM: Social care must be paid for by taxes, not borrowing
Mr Johnson said the proceeds from these rises would lead to £12bn a year going into catching up on the backlog in the NHS created by Covid, increasing hospital capacity for nine million more appointments, scans and operations.
And he pledged that by 2024/25, there would be the ability to help 30% more elective patients than before the pandemic.
The money will also go towards changes to the social care system, where a cap will be introduced on care costs from October 2023 of £86,000 over a person’s lifetime.
All people with assets worth less than £20,000 will then have their care fully covered by the state, and those who have between £20,000 and £100,000 in assets will see their care costs subsidised.
Mr Johnson insisted that with the new tax “everyone will contribute according to their means”, adding: “You can’t fix the Covid backlogs without giving the NHS the money it needs.”You can’t fix the NHS without fixing social care. you can’t fix social care without removing the fear of losing everything to pay for social care and you can’t fix health and social care without long-term reform. “The plan that this government is setting out… will fix all of those problems together.”But Labour’s Sir Keir said the new tax broke the Conservatives’ pledge at the last election not to raise National Insurance, income tax or VAT. He also said the rise would target young people, supermarket workers and nurses, rather than those with the “broadest shoulders” who should pay more. The Labour leader added: “Read my lips – the Tories can never again claim to be the party of low tax.”The leader of the Liberal Democrats, Sir Ed Davey – who is a carer himself – also said the tax was “unfair”, and said the government’s plan missed out solutions for staffing shortages, care for working age adults and unpaid family carers. Mr Johnson said no Conservative government wanted to raise taxes – but he defended the move as “the right, the reasonable and fair approach” in light of the pandemic, which saw the government spend upwards of £407bn on support. A tax more palatable to voters?Analysis by Peter Saull, BBC politics correspondentUnder Boris Johnson’s plan, your payslip will feature a “Health and Social Care Levy” from 2023 onwards.This is the 1.25% rise in National Insurance rebranded to underline that the money will be ring-fenced for the health and care system.You may well have seen something similar on your council tax bill.Local authorities in England have been able to raise extra money through an “adult social care precept” since 2015. In effect, though, the prime minister is creating a brand new tax.The idea of a specific “NHS and care tax” is something that may well be more palatable to voters.And future occupants of No 10 could struggle to justify getting rid of it.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.20: David Gomoh, 24, who had no links to any gangs, was killed in the random attack shortly after leaving his home in east London, on the evening of 26 April last year, at the height of the first pandemic lockdown….
#AceDailyNews reports that four ‘Newham Gang Members’ convicted of NHS Worker David Gomah murder in April 2020 at the time of the first lockdown …
11 August 2021:
Vagnei Colubali, 23, David Ture, 19, Muhammad Jalloh, 19, and a 17 year-old boy – members or associates of a gang that operates in the north of Newham – drove to rival territory in the south Newham area that evening prepared to ‘inflict serious and fatal injury’, the prosecution told a jury at the Old Bailey all four will be sentenced in September..
For this so called ‘ride out to the opp block’ they had arranged for a stolen Dodge Caliper to be parked the previous evening in preparation, and went equipped with knives and a change of clothes. They had also turned off their phones to evade police detection.
They drove around looking for potential targets and spotted Mr Gomoh at Freemasons Road, E16. He was on the phone to his girlfriend when he was approached by three of the four defendants and was stabbed ten times in a frenzied attack. Mr Gomoh died shortly after of catastrophic injuries.
DNA evidence, CCTV and drawings of before, during and after the attack made by Ture, elements of which helped identify some of the other killers, were used to secure their conviction.One of Ture’s drawings, which helped to identify the gang
Ture’s ‘childish doodles’ were recovered by the police in his bedroom drawer and showed the group at ‘Threemasons (sic) Road’ – the location of the killing. They also showed one of the gang members with an Armani man bag, which Colubali was seen wearing on CCTV.
The prosecution also relied on DNA evidence – which included the discovery of Jalloh’s DNA on sunglasses recovered from the back seat of the Dodge and the 17-year old’s DNA and David Gomoh’s blood upon sunglasses found at the scene of the attack. Both sunglasses belonged to the female owner of the stolen car.
All four will be sentenced on 17th September for murder and a further charge of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm related to an earlier failed attack.
CPS lawyer Louise Attrill said: “This case has highlighted a very stark reality of the tragedy that ensues from so called postcode killings and gang rivalries. These individuals planned to kill anyone they came across who they believed was from the opposing gang. David Gomoh was tragically caught in the middle of this senseless feud and, despite having no connection with gangs, was killed without hesitation or mercy: These defendants continue to show no remorse for their actions, claiming mistaken identity or providing no defence at all, but the prosecution has systematically exposed them as liars. They were all part of a co-ordinated group that set out looking to maim and kill: The impact and fallout of this senseless killing – simply to prove their allegiance to a gang – is far reaching. Their victim’s family and friends are left grieving from the loss of an innocent young man who had a promising future ahead. Our thoughts remain very much with them at this time and, while nothing can bring David back, we hope these convictions provide some comfort to them.”
Vagnei Colubali (DOB: 18/01/1998) is from Cambridge
Muhammad Jalloh (DOB: 05/12/2001) is from Pinner
David Ture (DOB: 09/10/2001) is of no fixed abode
The 17 year-old boy (DOB: 16/09/2003) is from Telford
Louise Attrill is a Senior Crown Prosecutor within the London CPS Homicide Team.
Other hospitals facing similar problems include Airedale in West Yorkshire, Frimley Park in Surrey and Leighton in Cheshire………….Documents also revealed how the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust hired a law firm to produce a report into “corporate manslaughter” risks arising from a sudden collapse……
NHS England said the affected trusts were maintaining safe services: The problems related to the use of reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC) planks that have deteriorated or have structural weaknesses: Between the 1960s and 1980s they were used in roofs, floors and walls of NHS buildings and schools and had an expected lifespan of 30 years.
The West Suffolk, in Bury St Edmunds, currently has 27 metal supports under the planks, while the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn in Norfolk has more than 200 – a temporary measure ahead of more comprehensive safety works.
Hinchingbrooke, in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, is closing two operating theatres to heavier patients until March while structural surveys are undertaken.
Published in June, the Annual Plan of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Hinchingbrooke, said “the RAAC panelling… affects the load-bearing of the floor, restricting the use of some theatres to patients under 120kg (19 stones)”.
The plan stated that 1,700 operations had been affected with patients transferred to Peterborough City Hospital and waiting lists shared across the local health system.
John Corrie had his operation postponed due to disruption caused by the safety works at West Suffolk Hospital
At West Suffolk Hospital, the entire roof structure is also being fitted with measures to catch any failing planks, alongside an experimental scheme to prevent further deterioration inside the wall panels.
The planks are also at risk of failure due to the reinforced metal bars inside them not aligning with supporting elements, and separate work was under way to correct this.
Patients were being moved to other parts of the site as safety works were carried out.
John Corrie from Bury St Edmunds was due to have a prostate operation in July, but it was postponed.
He said he was told “it had to be cancelled because of a problem with the structure of the operating theatres”.
“I don’t think important public buildings like this should be allowed to get into this state. This is pretty upsetting for a lot of people,” he said.
Tens of millions of pounds was being spent on a huge latticework structure under the roof of West Suffolk Hospital to catch ageing concrete planks if they failed
Documents leaked to the BBC reveal the depth of concern at the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.
These included an initial risk assessment, which stated the chances of a plank collapse was “almost certain” and could have “catastrophic” consequences if mitigation measures were not in place.
But this had since been downgraded to “likely” as the hospital embarked on its safety works programme.
It was understood that as work continued the risk would recede further, though the programme would not be completed until spring 2023.
Mass Casualty PlanLeaked documents show how the NHS carried out an exercise to plan for a possible collapse of RAAC planks at a hospitalThe
The BBC has also learned of the existence of an emergency plan in the event of a “significant hospital structural failure” in eastern England:
Operation Rapture would see automatic authorisation to divert ambulances to other hospitals and invoke what was called the Mass Casualty Plan.
The leaked documents described how, in 2020, hospital trusts participated in Exercise Hodges that simulated a scenario where part of a hospital collapsed due to RAAC plank failure.
Among the questions raised was whether such a failure at one hospital would mean the three others in the region built using the material would have to suspend activity and transfer patients.NHS England said it carried out such training exercises in the interests of safety and preparedness.
As well as the hospitals in Bury St Edmunds, Huntingdon and King’s Lynn, the other site in eastern England featuring RAAC was the James Paget Hospital in Gorleston, Norfolk.Some 7,000 roof planks have been checked at James Paget, and 18 have had additional support added.
According to interim chief executive Craig Black, this stemmed from their efforts to obtain the fullest possible picture: “ We’ve had financial experts, technical experts, legal experts all look at the situation we are facing. It’s unprecedented,” he said.Mr Black said closure of the hospital had been considered, but the trust concluded the risk of evacuating the hospital outweighed that of a sudden collapse:
The documents were leaked by an NHS whistleblower who felt the trust was not informing staff and patients of how serious the level of risk was: Mr Black said he was “really sad to hear that staff would think that we’re not being open”.”We have weekly briefings on the situation around RAAC; we have posters up around the hospital; we talk to staff continuously,” he said.
A technical briefing written in May stated that nearly all the wall planks had corrosion and there was “a risk of severe corrosion in two-thirds”.More supports had been added where cracks had appeared in planks that were “considered at an immediate risk of collapse”.In February, a report by engineering consultants MLM described roof or wall failure could occur “with little or no warning” and that “investigations at the hospital have identified significant concerns about the structural integrity of the roof panels”.The trust implemented all of that report’s recommendations.
West Suffolk HospitalWest Suffolk Hospital’s estates manager said they were “actively putting safety measures in place”The hospital was due to be replaced within the next six to eight years under the government’s New Hospital Programme, but the cost of keeping the building safe in the meantime has been put at more than £70m, according to the documents.
Estate manager Jacqui Grimwood said the presence of steel props should not unsettle patients.“It should be reassurance they feel, because we’re actively looking for the problems and actively putting safety measures in place,” she said.The hospital recently signed a £700k contract with Loughborough University to carry out testing in order to better understand the properties of RAAC and its lifespan: RAAC ‘mostly air’Structural engineer Matt Byatt reviewed the leaked documents for the BBC.He said the NHS was doing the right thing by surveying the affected buildings and installing props.Structural engineer Matt Byatt reviewed the documents obtained by the BBC…………..According to Mr Byatt “the level of risk is relatively high in that the RAAC panels are known to be in a state of deterioration”. Mr Byatt said RAAC was “a very weak material” and that unlike other forms of concrete, RAAC “is actually mostly air”.”So that risk is known. There is a plan in place and a series of remedial measures in place to prevent collapse from occurring,” he said……….He said he would feel safe working in the hospital given the safety measures. NHS England said the affected hospitals were safe for patients, visitors and staff.”Trusts in the East of England work in line with specialist industry advice and have been given more than £67m to help them manage their estates programme,” a spokesman said.”Trusts have maintained safe services for patients, who should access hospital care as they normally would, and also introduced a number of measures including improved surveillance and use of specialist equipment to help identify and fix any issues immediately.” The government said £110m was being spent this year to help hospitals across England address similar problems.
#AceHealthReport – Aug.04: As part of a review into the app announced by the Health Secretary, the ‘logic’ which underpins how close contacts are notified will be updated from today.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk reports #NHS#COVID19 app updated to notify fewer contacts to isolate: Currently, for people who input a positive test but are asymptomatic, the app looks for close contacts five days prior to a positive test………..This will be updated based on public health advice to look back at contacts two days prior to a positive test.
Fewer contacts will be notified by the app following an update to the ‘logic’
Public urged to continue using NHS COVID-19 App as restrictions lift
New data shows over 50,000 cases were averted in the first 3 weeks of July – with up to 2,000 cases prevented a day
The change will mean fewer contacts that took place when the positive case was unlikely to be at the peak of their infectiousness are advised to self-isolate, reducing the overall number of notifications sent by the app.
This update does not impact the sensitivity of the app, or change the risk threshold, and will result in the same number of high-risk contacts being advised to self-isolate.
Health and Social Care Secretary, Sajid Javid said:
We want to reduce the disruption that self-isolation can cause for people and businesses, while ensuring we’re protecting those most at risk from this virus. This update to the app will help ensure that we are striking the right balance.
It’s so important that people isolate when asked to do so in order to stop the spread of the virus and protect their communities.
This update comes as new analysis shows the NHS COVID-19 App continues to play a crucial role in breaking chains of transmission, preventing hospitalisations and saving lives.
New analysis from leading scientists shows that in the first 3 weeks of July, as cases were exponentially rising, the app averted up to 2,000 cases per day, and over 50,000 cases of COVID-19 including chains of transmission assuming 60% compliance with instructions to self-isolate. This is estimated to have prevented 1,600 hospitalisations.
It also shows the app reduces the spread of COVID-19 by around 4.3% each week, and for every 200-250 tests entered and shared in the app one person is prevented from being hospitalised from the virus.
Usage remains high, with around 40% of the eligible population regularly using the app and around 50% of all reported tests being inputted.
The government is urging the public to continue using the NHS COVID-19 App. Around one in three people experience this virus without symptoms and, even if you are fully vaccinated, it is possible that you could be unwittingly carrying and spreading the virus, creating a chain of transmission that could have someone vulnerable to the virus at the end of it.
Dr Jenny Harries, CEO of UK Health Security Agency, said:
The NHS COVID-19 App is a really practical example of how technology can be used to fight the biggest challenges we face in protecting and improving our health.
The app is the simplest, easiest, and fastest way to find out whether you have been exposed to the virus, and it has saved thousands of lives over the course of this pandemic.
I strongly encourage everyone, even those fully vaccinated, to continue using the app. It is a lifesaving tool that helps us to stay safe and to protect those closest to us as we return to a more familiar way of life.
The app remains the fastest way to know if you have been at risk, and app users will only be advised to isolate if they have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
From 16 August, fully vaccinated contacts in England will be exempt from isolation and instead will be advised to take a PCR test. Those who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to isolate, and it will remain a legal obligation to isolate if you test positive for COVID-19.
The app works with a team of independent scientific advisors lead by Christophe Fraser from Oxford University’s Pathogen Dynamics Group at the Big Data Institute. These recent findings are published on their blog and a paper is expected to follow. This can be found here
An explanation of the Risk Algorithm of the NHS COVID-19 App can be found here
Regular data published on the NHS COVID-19 App can be found here
However, the site suffered a security glitch on 22 May which enabled people to alter details on the document.
A fix was implemented on 25 May, which meant people in Scotland could only request the document be sent to them by post.
In Wales, public health advice still states that residents should “avoid international travel” but this is guidance rather than a ban.
At that time, the Welsh government advised people to register to download the digital pass at least two weeks before they were due to travel abroad.
Unlike England however, residents in Wales cannot use the NHS app to access the NHS Covid Pass.
Instead, they need to register for an NHS login which requires submitting photo ID such as a passport or driving licence.
Passport for access
First Minister Paul Givan has said he is cautious about introducing vaccine certification to allow people to gain access to public or private services.
He said it was a discussion the executive would have, but they would need to “weigh up the proportionality” before putting in this requirement.
He claimed it could lead to the exclusion of some people who for whatever reason through health or other genuine concerns do not receive a vaccine.
“I think we need to be careful that we don’t then have a society where these people are unable to access either public or private services and that’s a discussion we’ll have as an executive going forward, ” added Mr Givan.
He also said he was not a believer in “mandatory” vaccinations, but he said the issue of “incentivisation” was one they could look at.
#AceHealthReport – July.22: NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, and dentists in England will receive a 3% pay rise backdated to April 2021 after the government accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Renumeration (DDRB).
Government accepts recommendations of NHS independent pay review bodies in full for this year
3% pay rise for NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs
NHS staff recognised for their pandemic contribution during an unprecedented year
For the average nurse, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year, while many porters and cleaners will receive around £540.
The government committed to providing NHS staff with a pay uplift in recognition of the unique impact of the pandemic on the NHS.
The independent pay review bodies considered a range of evidence from organisations including government, the NHS and trade unions in order to reach their recommendations.
Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said:
NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.
We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients.
Minister for Care Helen Whately said:
I am determined to make the NHS the best place to work for all our staff and we continue to invest in recruitment and retention with over 45,300 more staff in the NHS now compared to a year ago, including nearly 9,000 more nurses and over 4,000 more doctors.
Our NHS staff have worked incredibly hard to fight the pandemic for over eighteen months and I’m glad to confirm we are accepting the pay review bodies’ recommendations in full this year, so staff in their remit will receive a 3% pay rise.
In addition, salaried GPs’ recommended minimum and maximum pay will be uplifted by 3% whilst dental contracts will be uplifted to account for the 3% uplift for dentists.
The reports will be laid before Parliament at 9:30am tomorrow morning (22 July).
The pay rise will be backdated to April 2021.
Nurses at the top of band 5 currently earn a salary of £30,600.
The DDRB were not asked to make pay recommendations for those Specialty and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors who have transferred over to the new SAS contract, or doctors and dentists in training, as these groups are in respective multi-year pay and contract reform deals.
The SAS deal offers doctors faster progression to the top of the pay scales with meaningful increases at each progression point. The introduction of a new senior SAS grade improves opportunities for career progression. The agreement also introduces safeguards and additional annual leave to support health and wellbeing.
GPs are subject to a five-year investment agreement (to 2023/24) between NHSEI and the British Medical Association (BMA) and therefore no pay recommendation has been sought for GP contractors.
Dentists will receive a 3% uplift. This is in addition to reduced requirements on the activity they deliver for full payment of their contract, minus agreed deductions, that have been in place throughout and a renewed commitment to reforming the NHS dental contract.
Uplifts to dentists will be passed on via an uplift to their contract value.
Health spending and public sector pay is a devolved responsibility and it is up to each respective country to determine how they respond to the Pay Review Bodies and what pay uplift to provide for staff.
#AceHealthReport – June.19: From 1 September 2021 all #COVID19 molecular and antigen tests available to purchase will require validation prior to sale on the UK market under new draft legislation set out today,
GOVUK Sets out laws to validate accuracy of private #COVID19 tests bringing them in line with #NHS Test & Trace test standards.
All private COVID-19 tests released onto UK market will need to meet a revised set of standards in line with those used by government
Regular and accurate testing is at the heart of the government’s roadmap out of the pandemic
The government already has rigorous safety measures in place for all PCR and LFD tests provided through NHS Test and Trace, and for all tests used for international travel.
The new legislation will help consumers who choose to use private tests by giving them clear, comparable information so they can confidently choose a test in a rapidly expanding market.
The proposed laws will mean all private tests must pass through a new rigorous and efficient validation process to guarantee they will give reliable results. This will ensure that all COVID-19 tests available on the UK market meet one uniform standard.
This validation process is in addition to the existing UKAS accreditation scheme launched in December 2020, which ensures that private test providers meet the uniform minimum standards to provide testing services. UKAS accreditation has focused on the services of tests providers whereas validation will focus on ensuring there are minimum standards for the test products used as well.
Under the new scheme, all private testing suppliers will need to go through the validation process ahead of selling tests, bringing them into line with NHS Test & Trace standards. Providers who fail to meet required minimum standards will incur penalties. Retailers, distributors and manufacturers who attempt to sell unvalidated tests could face punitive sanctions based on the current regulatory requirements for medical devices.
Parliamentary Undersecretary for Health and Social Care Lord Bethell said:
British innovation and ingenuity allowed us to rapidly produce tests capable of quickly spotting COVID-19 outbreaks.
We now complete millions of tests across the country every week and these new laws will provide businesses and consumers with a common set of high standards, like those used in the NHS, as we battle this virus.
Testing has helped children to return to the classroom and reunited us with our friends and loved ones. I know reliable tests will continue to play a critical role as we continue to work towards resuming normal life.
The UK has built an international reputation for COVID-19 testing: The combined work of the public sector and private sector has enabled the development of the largest diagnostics network in UK history and implementation of testing for international arrivals into the UK. At border control alone over 350,0000 have been conducted which require independent validation of the test product performance which is needed before tests are approved for borders testing. They also set higher thresholds for performance given the specific use case and need for greater accuracy.
To grow the private market for testing, it is imperative that tests can be relied upon, and the government recognises that the testing market needs to be well regulated so it can keep pace with the evolving COVID-19 situation: These new laws will aim to facilitate and empower that market and bring it in line with Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) procurement standards:
The DHSC has previously consulted with industry on the new proposals, listening to advice on how to provide safe reliable tests and how to ensure a world leading regulatory process in the future: The consultation looked at the performance of all tests sold on the UK market to mirror standards used in NHS Test and Trace, whether purchased in the UK or overseas. It set out proposals for a UK-wide policy on the design of the validation process, the fees regime and the proposed enforcement approach:
Separately, the DHSC is also publishing a threshold paper setting out performance expectations for testing for #COVID19 ……..The performance thresholds set out in this paper [link] are used as the framework for the new laws on the validation of tests:
Over the course of the last year, it has developed and adjusted these thresholds based on evolving scientific data, which has then informed internal policy decisions as the response to #COVID19 has evolved during this time.
Producers of tests currently on the market will need to apply for validation by 1st September 2021 and have passed successfully by 31 October 2021 in order to continue selling tests past 31 October 2021. Tests currently supplied to the NHS under DHSC procurement will be exempted in recognition of prior equivalent assessment.
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – #Covid19 in Scotland: One billion items of PPE issued during the pandemic: The latest NHS Scotland figures show that between 1 March, 2020 and 5 May this year, more than 1.07 billion items of PPE had been issued to the NHS and care homes.
By Andrew Picken BBC Scotland News
The protective equipment has been used by the NHS and social care sector in the fight against Covid: The increased use of masks, gloves, gowns and hand sanitiser has cost the taxpayer more than £320-million:
A further £7m in new contracts to deal with the extra waste generated has also been awarded by the NHS: This includes nearly 200 million masks and more than 320 million pairs of gloves:
Getty Images: Some of the PPE items issued
190.9mType IIR masks
Source: Scottish government
An analysis done for Audit Scotland shows that, as of early February 2020, the NHS in Scotland was distributing 96,911 items of PPE every week. Equivalent to five million a week.
By the first week of April this haul of protective equipment had reached 24.4m – 200 times the usual amount.
Unprecedented worldwide demand for PPE saw prices soar and, as of December 2020, the additional cost of the equipment was put at £320m by health boards and the social care sector.
NHS figures show that in April this year the health service dealt with 1,633 tonnes of waste, up more than 200 tonnes on the same month in 2020.
A spokeswoman for NHS National Services Scotland said: “The NHS Scotland response to Covid-19 witnessed a sudden increase in both the overall volume of healthcare waste and the type of healthcare waste produced right across the UK.
“All NHS healthcare waste producers were impacted, as well as healthcare waste service providers.
“During 2020, Covid-19 planning anticipated further waves. Appropriate accelerated resilience measures were therefore put in place via these direct awards, in order to provide support to the existing healthcare waste infrastructure and mitigate any risks to critical front line services.”
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – ‘Surge testing to be deployed in Bolton: Additional surge testing and genomic sequencing deployed where a small number of confirmed cases of variants of concern have been identified’
It comes as a small number of cases of the variant first identified in South Africa (B.1.351) and a cluster of cases of the variant first identified in India (B.1.617.2) have been identified.
This follows the classification of the variant first identified in India as a variant of concern by Public Health England, and a public health assessment showing a rise in transmission in parts of Bolton. Confirmed cases have been asked to self-isolate and their contacts have been identified.
Everybody who resides or works in these postcodes is strongly encouraged to take a COVID-19 PCR test, whether they are showing symptoms or not.
Enhanced contact tracing will be used for individuals testing positive with a variant of concern. In these instances, contact tracers will look back over an extended period in order to determine the route of transmission.
By using PCR testing, positive results can be sent for genomic sequencing at specialist laboratories, helping us to identify variant of concern cases and their spread.
People with symptoms should book a free test online or by phone so they can get tested at a testing site or have a testing kit sent to them at home. Those without symptoms should visit the local authority website for more information.
#AceHealthReport – May.05: Health services across the UK administered a total of 50,089,549 million vaccines between 8 December 2020 and 2 May 2021, including 34 million people with their first dose and 15 million with their second:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Over 50 million doses of the #COVID19 vaccine have been administered in the UK, with over a quarter of adults having received both doses’
Over 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered
Over 29% of all UK adults have received the strongest possible protection
Data from Public Health England (PHE)’s real-world study shows the vaccines are already having a significant impact in the UK, reducing hospitalisations and saving more than 10,000 lives in England alone by the end of March.
The government remains on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
Now we’ve delivered the 50 millionth jab, and 29.4% of the adult population have had the strongest possible protection of 2 doses, we have hit yet another incredible milestone in our vaccination programme.
The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic and the rollout had been a huge national effort. I want to pay tribute to the heroic NHS staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to deliver vaccines in every corner of the United Kingdom at a phenomenal pace.
We are on track to offer a jab to all adults by the end of July but our work is not over yet. We are now inviting everyone over 40 to get their jab. I had mine last week – it’s simple and easy and I encourage everyone else who is eligible to get the jab.
Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said:
The UK’s vaccination programme has been a huge success so far with more than 50 million doses administered – a fantastic achievement.
We have one of the highest uptake rates in the world and over 15 million people have now received 2 doses and maximum protection from this dreadful virus.
Every jab brings us one step closer to putting this pandemic behind us. I urge everyone to come forward as soon as they are eligible – the vaccine is safe, effective and could save your life.
An extra 60 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine have been secured by the UK government to help support preparations for the booster COVID-19 vaccination programme from the autumn, if clinically needed.
All vaccines being used in the UK have undergone robust clinical trials and have met the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s strict standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.
Approved vaccines are available from thousands of NHS vaccine centres, GP practices and pharmacies. Around 98% of people live within 10 miles of a vaccination centre in England and vaccinations are taking place at sites including mosques, community centres and football stadiums.
Daily coronavirus tests will be given to as many as 40,000 people who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, in a new government-backed study designed to gather evidence on safe alternatives to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive COVID-19 cases.
If successful, the study – led by the UK Health Security Agency (including Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace) – could provide evidence to help to reduce the length of time people who are contacts of positive COVID-19 cases need to self-isolate, as parts of the economy and society reopen through the Roadmap. A reduction in the period of self-isolation from 10 days could help prevent individuals having to miss work, while allowing people to continue to safely participate in society.
The launch of the England-wide exercise builds on the research pilots taking place in businesses, hospitals and schools. Since December over 200 schools, 180 workplaces and over 800 individuals have participated in daily testing pilots, which have proved effective in reducing the need for people to self-isolate, while detecting cases of Covid-19 that would not have otherwise been found. Participants of pilots have been able to safely reduce the length of time spent in self-isolation upon receipt of a negative daily test result.
Currently, anybody who has been notified through NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for 10 days. For those contacts without symptoms, the new study aims to find out if people can replace the need to self-isolate by taking a test every day instead.
Close contacts of people with COVID-19 will be contacted by phone and sent 7 days’ worth of lateral flow tests (LFDs). The contacts are required to test themselves each morning for 7 days. People who test negative and develop no symptoms will be exempt from the legal duty to self-isolate that day and can leave their home to carry out essential activity.
They will need to take another test the next morning to see if they need to self-isolate that day or continue to be exempt. Individuals will still have to adhere to current restrictions, including following the rules on hands, face and space, and only those formally enrolled in the research study will be exempt from usual legal duties.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
With around 1 in 3 people not showing any symptoms, regular testing is already playing a critical role in helping us reclaim our lost freedoms – quickly spotting positive cases, helping identify new variants and squashing any outbreaks.
At every stage of this global pandemic, the British public has stepped up and made huge sacrifices – including self-isolating when they are asked. This new pilot could help shift the dial in our favour by offering a viable alternative to self-isolation for people who are contacts of positive Covid-19 cases, and one that would allow people to carry on going to work and living their lives.
Alongside the phenomenal progress of our vaccination rollout – with over 48 million vaccines administered so far – rapid testing is allowing us to get back to doing the things we all love.
When it launches on Sunday 9 May the study will offer people in England who are identified as a close contact of a positive case the opportunity to take part in the study, providing they do not have COVID-19 symptoms, are above the age of 18 and are not in full-time education.
The aim of the study is to compare two approaches to routine testing of contacts in order to determine the potential for onward transmission. The study will take the form of two randomly split groups, one of which will be given one PCR test and asked to self-isolate for the full 10-day period. The second group of participants will be given two PCR tests and 7 LFDs to test daily.
Ahead of the formal launch, the study is starting to collect evidence now on the effectiveness of daily contact testing while there is still prevalence of COVID-19 in the community.
Professor Isabel Oliver, National Infection Service Director at Public Health England and study lead, said:
We know that isolating when you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 is challenging but it remains vitally important to stop the spread of infection. This study will help to determine whether we can deploy daily testing for contacts to potentially reduce the need for self-isolation, while still ensuring that chains of transmission are stopped.
Contacts of cases are at higher risk of infection so testing them is a very effective way of preventing further spread. This study will play an important part of our evaluation of daily contact testing and how the approach to testing might evolve.
With around 1 in 3 people not showing any symptoms of COVID-19, using regular testing, along with vaccines and social-distancing, are helping us keep infection rates low as restrictions are eased. Everyone in England is now able to access free, rapid, twice-weekly testing using LFDs. Since rapid testing was introduced, 145,765 positive cases of COVID-19 have been detected that would not have otherwise been found.
Since the end of February, there has been a robust surveillance programme in place and regular testing is helping us understand the level of virus circulating in the community. This daily testing study is part of the government’s efforts to control the virus and accelerate the return to a safe, secure normality. Only those formally enrolled in the research study will be exempt from usual legal duties.
Anyone who is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace as a contact will be offered to take part in the study. This won’t include people identified as a contact through the NHS COVID-19 app or through an informal channel. A person will be eligible to take part if they:
do not have COVID-19 symptoms
live in England
are not in full-time education
are aged 18 and over
are not under the quarantine rules for arriving in England
People will not be able to take part if they have been informed that they have been in contact with someone who’s tested positive with a variant of concern (VOC) or variant under investigation, or within a known workplace or school where a VOC or variant under investigation is circulating.
The MHRA has reviewed and contributed to the study protocol and is in contact with the Principal Investigator. Following the study, the results will be used to seek MHRA exceptional use authorisation to rollout out self-use LFDs nationally for daily contact testing services.
On daily contact testing the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said at its 11 March meeting: “Daily testing approaches may also offer other benefits in some circumstances (for example, fewer days of education missed if used in schools).” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-83-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-11-march-2021
#AceHealthReport – Oct.09: #NHS Lothian says it is investigating the outbreak and the ward has been closed to new admissions and discharges to allow tests to be carried out: Patients and staff are being screened for the virus as part of the health board’s response according to BBC News
#Coronavirus Report: #Covid19 in Scotland: Deaths in Edinburgh cancer ward after outbreak & others confirmed with virus as investigation underway
Public health expert Prof Linda Bauld told the BBC’s Reporting Scotland she was “sure every precaution has been taken” She said: “Infections do happen, not just for Covid, but the cause is always that someone has brought in the infection normally from outside, then it does spread: “I know that the NHS has been working incredibly hard to develop Covid-secure areas, including priority testing for cancer patients. Obviously we just need to get to the bottom of why this happened.”
An incident management team (IMT) has been set up and “robust and enhanced” infection control measures have been put in place on the ward: All patients have been informed of the outbreak and contact tracing is being carried out: Patients who would normally return home for the weekend to spend time with families and go back to the hospital on a Monday have been asked to remain in the hospital to reduce the risk of further transmission:
Dr Donald Inverarity, consultant microbiologist and chair of the IMT said: “Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and I would like to express our sincere condolences: “The situation will continue to be reviewed and monitored very closely: “Patient safety is our main priority and while we understand that the request not to go home for the weekend may be upsetting, it is necessary: “It will help reduce the risk of onwards transmission and protect their families and the wider community: I would like to thank patients and their families for their co-operation and understanding.”
#AceHealthReport – Sept.12: Businesses across England and Wales like pubs, restaurants, hairdressers and cinemas are being urged to ensure they have #NHS QR code posters visible on entry so customers who have downloaded the new NHS COVID-19 app can use their smartphones to easily check-in:
Following the launch of the new COVID-19 app, customers and visitors in England will be able to check-in on entry with their phone instead of filling out a check-in book or tool specific to a business: This will allow NHS Test and Trace to contact customers with public health advice should there be a COVID-19 outbreak………….In England, using QR codes will help businesses meet the new legal requirement to record the contact details of customers, visitors and staff on their premises……….With coronavirus cases rising in the UK in the last few weeks it is essential businesses capitalise on the benefits QR codes can bring to protect themselves and their customers:
Businesses urged to prepare for NHS COVID-19 app
Pubs, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and other venues across England and Wales are being urged to download QR codes to prepare for public rollout of new app.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:
We need to use every tool at our disposal to control the spread of the virus including cutting-edge technology. The launch of the app later this month across England and Wales is a defining moment and will aid our ability to contain the virus at a critical time.
QR codes provide an easy and simple way to collect contact details to support the NHS Test and Trace system.
Hospitality businesses can now download posters for their premises ahead of the launch of the NHS COVID-19 app. This will allow the public to seamlessly check-in to venues using the app when it launches.
It is vital we are using the NHS Test and Trace system to reach as many people as possible to prevent outbreaks and stop this virus in its tracks. This function will make it simple and easy so we can keep this virus under control.
Businesses who are already using their own QR system are being encouraged to switch to the NHS Test and Trace QR code: An alternative check-in method must be maintained to collect the contact details of those who don’t have the app, for example a handwritten register: When someone enters a venue and scans an official QR poster, the venue information will be logged on the user’s phone. This information will stay on a user’s phone for 21 days and if during that time a coronavirus outbreak is identified at a location, the venue ID in question will be sent to all devices. The device will check if users have been at that location and if the app finds a match, users may get an alert with advice on what to do based on the level of risk.
Managing Director of the NHS COVID-19 app, Simon Thompson, said:
My team have worked tirelessly to develop the new NHS COVID-19 app and we are incredibly grateful to all residents of the Isle of Wight, London Borough of Newham, NHS Volunteer Responders and the team that went before us; the learnings and insight have made the app what it is today.
We are now giving businesses the time to prepare their venues ahead of the app becoming available across England and Wales. We are working closely to engage, educate and inform them about how the app works and how they can play their part.
The QR system is a free, easy and privacy preserving way to check-in customers to venues, and we encourage all businesses to get involved and download and display the official NHS QR code posters.
Health and Social Services Minister for Wales, Vaughan Gething, said:
The launch of the NHS COVID-19 app is an important part of coronavirus response, supporting Test, Trace, Protect here in Wales, and the Test and Trace programme in England. Working on a joint England and Wales basis is the most practical option here, as we know there is a lot of movement across our shared border. It makes sense to use the same app, working in exactly the same way, regardless of which country you’re in.
The Welsh Government has worked closely with the NHS app team to ensure the app is easy-to-use and gives people the right advice and guidance, tailored to the country they reside in. I strongly encourage people in Wales to download and use the app when it launches.
The more people download and use the NHS COVID-19 app, the more it will help us to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
‘ Ongoing trials in Newham, on the Isle of Wight and with NHS Volunteer Responders show the app is highly effective when used alongside traditional contact tracing to identify contacts of those who have tested positive for coronavirus ‘
Mayor of Newham, Rokhsana Fiaz, said:
As an early adopter of the new NHS COVID-19 app, we’ve played an important part in ensuring it’s ready for national roll-out. My thanks to all those Newham residents who have downloaded the app so far and all those local businesses who have displayed a QR poster; as your feedback has helped contribute to this important national effort.
Feedback from Newham residents during the pilot phase has highlighted the significance of local approaches and local voices as part of our community-wide fight against the virus; plus the role of local businesses as getting them on board early is also crucial.
As the cases of COVID-19 have started to rise again across the country, it’s clear we’re facing a critical moment, so the roll-out of the app comes at the right time; as an additional vital tool contributing to our local test and trace measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 and safeguard our communities.
Jason Strelitz, Director of Public Health at London Borough of Newham, said:
With COVID-19 cases rising again across the country, the NHS COVID-19 app is a useful tool to have in the toolbox, alongside the other measures, to combat the rise in infections.
I’ve been so impressed by how our local communities have embraced this trial and come together working together with health partners, faith and voluntary organisations and businesses to download the app and install QR codes across the borough.
We have received really useful feedback from Newham which will be used in the national roll-out and help us to continue to work with other local authorities and partners to tackle this deadly pandemic.
Isle of Wight Council leader Dave Stewart said:
I have no doubt that the NHS COVID-19 app played a role in slowing down the spread of coronavirus on the Island and helping to keep the rate of infection low.
Having the app on your phone enables every user to feel they are contributing – it’s the right thing to do. I am enormously proud of the crucial role our Island community played in the development and refinement of this app so that it is now ready for national roll-out.
When the nation called Islanders stepped up to the plate not once but twice to pioneer groundbreaking technology that I’m sure will go on to save many lives from this devastating virus.
I was overwhelmed — but not surprised — by our community’s willingness to do their bit for the good of the country. Now I urge the country to follow our leadership and download the app to help keep everyone safe. This is great news for the country and great news for our Island.
‘ Businesses are just one sector to be urged to use the NHS Test and Trace system. Universities, hospitals, leisure premises, civic centres and libraries will also be urged to display posters in communal areas such as cafes where people are likely to congregate for more than 15 minutes and in close proximity ‘
Matthew Fell, CBI Chief UK Policy Director, said:
Companies across England and Wales have been working tirelessly to follow government guidance, keeping workplaces, pubs and shops as safe as they can for staff and customers.
Business therefore welcomes the introduction of the new COVID-19 app, which will provide an additional layer of armour in the UK’s battle with the pandemic.
Continued improvements to NHS Test and Trace, while simultaneously increasing testing capacity, are what is needed to build confidence for the public and businesses before a vaccine becomes available.
Mass adoption of this new system is essential for its efficacy, so the CBI will use its networks to encourage all firms to use the new QR code and remind companies and consumers alike of the importance of compliance.
Kate Nicholls, UK Hospitality CEO, said:
Hospitality’s top priority is to protect the health of our customers and staff but there’s also the added appetite to avoid a return to lockdown and loss of trade. It’s crucial that Test and Trace information is gathered and deployed both effectively and securely.
Hospitality has been at the forefront of Test and Trace, so we were keen to work closely with government to optimise the app’s functionality and ease of implementation for hospitality businesses. It is everyone’s responsibility – and in everyone’s interest – to make Test and Trace work, so we look forward to its national rollout. We would urge all hospitality businesses to support the roll out of the app and download their QR posters to help defeat the virus.
#AceHealthReport – May.11: Following a request by numbers of ethnic groups and organisations over BAME deaths of frontline #NHS and Social Care Workers ‘ and Public Health England (PHE) have commenced an investigation into reasons and causal affect behind them in the community:
#ONS Report: How ethnic groups vary across some of the social determinants of health: Last Update: 07/05/2020:
The revised Race Disparity Audit (RDA) published in March 2018 found disparities between ethnic groups in various aspects of public life, some of which were pronounced, influencing relative life chances and quality of life. A report by Public Health England showed that the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicities stood out as having particularly poor health outcomes:
While the shared cultural practices associated with ethnic heritage is an important determinant of health, there are also important interconnections between ethnic group membership and other determinants of health such as:
access to housing
An important question in examining risk of coronavirus (COVID-19)-related death is how much variation can be explained independently by ethnicity and how much by variation in experience and intensity of disadvantage? As there is a social gradient in general mortality risk, it is important to illustrate how indicators of disadvantage are distributed across ethnic groups.
At the time of the 2011 Census, there was considerable variability between ethnic groups in the proportion of their respective populations assigned to the most advantaged Higher Managerial and Professional socio-economic class. For example, people with Indian ethnicity were twice as likely to be classified to this class than those with either Bangladeshi or Pakistani ethnicity. Those of Black or Mixed ethnicity had a smaller percentage of their respective populations assigned to this class than those with White ethnicity.
As occupation may change over time, since the 2011 UK Census an analysis of 2019 Annual Population Survey data suggested the Bangladeshi and Pakistani community has increased by approximately 17%, and the Black community by 19%. This is in contrast with the increase in the White population being under 1%. In all three of these groups, the percentage of the population in higher managerial and professional occupations has remained relatively constant, implying little social mobility since the census.
For those with no occupation information to classify from their census record, the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic groups were the most likely to be classified as “never worked or long-term unemployed1, substantially higher than those of White, Indian or Chinese ethnicity.
Another indicator of social disadvantage is living in an overcrowded household (defined as having fewer bedrooms than needed to avoid undesirable sharing). Analysis of the English Housing Survey showed that between 2014 and 2017, around 679,000 (3%) of the estimated 23 million households in England were overcrowded; however, there were marked contrasts between ethnic groups. While only 2% of White British households experienced overcrowding, it was 30% of Bangladeshi households (the highest percentage), 16% of Pakistani households and 12% of Black households.
There is also a contrast in the propensity to live in a multi-family household. An unpublished analyses of Labour Force Survey data showed that in 2018, those with a Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity were much more likely than any other ethnic group to live in a multi-family household, concurring with the overcrowded household contrast reported previously in this section.
Occupations involving close contact with the public are deemed to be a risk factor for COVID-19 infection. Figure 1 shows how ethnicities are distributed when working in occupations classified to the transport and drivers and operatives standard occupational classification sub-major group, which encompasses bus, coach and taxi drivers and those driving other types of industrial and agricultural vehicles.
Figure 1: A higher percentage of the workforce classified to the transport and drivers and operative sub-major group were from the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity group
Percentage of workforce classified to the transport and drivers and operatives sub-major group of the standard occupational classification 2010, UK, 2018 to 2019
Source: Annual Population Survey 2018 to 2019
Other ethnic group encompasses Asian other, Arab and other ethnic group categories in the classification.
‘Mixed’ encompasses White and Black Caribbean; White and Asian; White and Black African; and Other Mixed ethnic group categories in the classification.
‘Black’ encompasses Black Caribbean; Black African; and Black Other ethnic group categories in the classification.
There is a noticeably greater propensity for those with a Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnicity to be working in these occupations. In fact, these ethnicities were twice as likely as others to be working in such occupations. In contrast those classified to the Chinese ethnicity were least likely to be working in these jobs.
The brief overview in this section gives a flavour of the differences in the social determinants of health across ethnic groups, with those of Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Black ethnicities experiencing greater levels of social disadvantage than those of White, Indian or Chinese ethnicities.
Notes for: How ethnic groups vary across some of the social determinants of health:
Never worked or long-term unemployed contains those aged 16 to 74 years who have never worked or are economically active and have not worked since 2009. The category excludes full-time students.
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4. Logistic regression method
By using logistic regression models, we can estimate whether the risk of dying from the coronavirus (COVID-19) is greater among Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups than the White population, once we adjust for a range of geographical, demographic and socio-economic factors.
The dependent variable is a binary variable equal to one if the individual died from COVID-19 between 2 March 2020 and 10 April 2020, otherwise it is equal to zero. In our analytical dataset, we include all those who died from COVID-19 in this period and a weighted 1% random sample of those who did not. The regression estimates are weighted using the probability not to have migrated between 2011 and 2020.
We estimate separate models for males and females, as the risk of COVID-19 death differs markedly across gender. In our baseline model, we only adjust for age, using five-year age groups. We then adjust for geographical, demographic and socio-economic characteristics that are likely to influence the risk of dying from COVID-19 and differ across ethnic groups separately for males and females. These characteristics are retrieved from the 2011 Census and so may not accurately reflect people’s socio-economic conditions in 2020, especially among young people, whose circumstances are likely to have changed. However, the risk of dying from COVID-19 is very low among children and young adults. For older adults, who are less likely to experience social mobility, the measurement error may be less of a concern.
First, we adjust for geographical factors. The probability to be infected by COVID-19 is likely to vary by region of residence, with London being the most severely affected region in terms of COVID-19 related hospital admissions. BAME are also more likely to live in London and in urban areas generally compared with the White population. Therefore, we adjust for region of residence and whether the individual lives in a rural or urban area, using the Rural Urban Classification1.
Second, we adjust for level of deprivation of the area by adding the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2010 decile of the postcode of the residence in our model. The IMD is an overall measure of deprivation based on factors such as:
Third, we adjust for the household composition (living alone, family with no children, family with children, other) and country of birth (UK born, non-UK born). Household composition varies by ethnicity. For instance, only 17.0% of the Asian population live in a one-person household, compared with 30.9% among those of White ethnicity. Living in a household with larger numbers of people is likely to increase the risk of being infected by COVID-19. Since this likelihood varies by ethnicity, it is a possible mediator for the relationship between ethnicity and the risk of dying from COVID-19.
Fourth, we adjust for socio-economic characteristics retrieved from the 2011 Census, which are a proxy of the socio-economic status (SES) of the individuals. We include in our model the level of highest qualification (Degree, A-level or equivalent, GCSE or equivalent, no qualification), the National Statistics Socio-economic Classification (NS-SEC) of the household head, and household tenure (owned, privately or socially rented, or other). These measures of SES vary across ethnic groups. For instance, 10.0% of people with White ethnicity were in higher managerial and professional occupations, compared with 15.4% of people from the Indian ethnic group and 6.9% from the Black ethnic group.
Measures of SES are associated with health outcomes and mortality2, and so are likely to be associated with the risk of dying from COVID-19. SES could have an impact on the risk of infection and also on the risk of dying if infected. In further work, we plan to derive an indicator of whether anyone in the household works in a high-risk occupation, such as in health care or in the transport sector.
Finally, we adjust for some measures of health from the 2011 Census. We include in the model self-reported health (very good, good, fair, poor, very poor) and a variable indicating if the individual has an activity limiting health problem or disability. Existing evidence suggests that physical health, in particular obesity, has a strong effect on the risk of dying from COVID-19. Health status varies across ethnic groups. For instance, the proportion of individuals being overweight differs markedly across ethnic groups. 62.9% of the White British population is overweight or obese, compared with 72.8% of the Black ethnic group.
In Coronavirus-related deaths by ethnic group, England and Wales: 2 March 2020 to 10 April 2020 (Figure 4) we reported the odds ratios for the age-adjusted model and the fully adjusted model. In Figure 2 in this section we show how the odds ratios of dying from COVID-19 relative to the White population vary depending on the set of household and individual characteristics we adjust for. We report the corresponding model metrics in Table 1.
We find that adjusting for region of residence and the rural and urban classification improves the model fit and reduces substantially the odds ratios for all ethnic groups. Ethnic minority groups are also more likely to live in London and in an urban area compared with the White population. The probability to be infected by COVID-19 is likely to vary by region of residence and to be higher in more densely populated urban areas.
Adjusting for the IMD decile of the Lower layer Super Output Area (LSOA) of residence further reduces the odds ratios for all groups, albeit to a small extent. Adjusting for household composition and wider socio-economic status improves the model slightly but has little effect on the odds ratios for most groups. Adjusting for health as measured in the 2011 Census improves the model fit and also reduces the odds ratios for several groups, in particular the Bangladeshi and Pakistani ethnic group.
Figure 2: Risk of COVID-19 death by ethnic group, different specifications
The Rural-Urban Classification categorises geographical areas on the basis of physical settlement and related characteristics into four urban and six rural classes.
For more information see Glymour MM, Avendano M and Kawachi I (2014). Socioeconomic Status and Health, in: Berkman L, Kawachi I and Glymour M (Editors), Social Epidemiology (2nd edition., pages 17 to 62), Oxford University Press.
#AceFinanceReport – Apr.08: The Mercedes Formula One team will begin delivery of up to 10,000 new breathing devices to the British National Health Service (NHS) this week to help fight coronavirus, the team announced on Tuesday: The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) devices will help patients with lung infections to breathe more easily when an oxygen mask alone is no longer sufficient:
The device was developed by a team of Mercedes engineers and University College London (UCL), as well as clinicians at UCL Hospital: After patient evaluations at UCL Hospital and other London area hospitals, the device received regulatory approval last week.
An order for up to 10,000 devices has been placed by the NHS. Mercedes’ facility in Brixworth, England — where the F1 engines are designed and developed — has been repurposed to meet that demand and is expected to produce 1,000 units per day: The new device was reverse-engineered from a previous model in less than 100 hours and received regulatory approval last week, a UCL statetment said. The revised design consumes 70% less oxygen than the earlier model.
A volunteer ‘patient’ with the newly developed CPAP device
“These life-saving devices will provide vital support to the NHS in coming weeks, helping to keep patients off ventilators and reducing demand on intensive care beds and staff,” said Professor David Lomas, UCL’s vice-provost.
“It is a phenomenal achievement that they are arriving at hospitals only two weeks after the first prototype was built. It shows what can be done when universities, hospitals and industry work together for the national good.”
CPAP machines help to keep patients’ airways open and increase the amount of oxygen entering the lungs by pushing air and oxygen into the mouth and nose at a continuous rate. UK-based Formula One teams are also helping to produce thousands of ventilators desperately needed by the country’s National Health Service.
There are currently 51,608 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the UK with 5,373 deaths, according to latest figures.
F1 Furlough Staff:
Mercedes is offering a rare bit of good news in an otherwise chaotic F1 season which is yet to officially start: Formula One also announced it has placed 50% of its staff into temporary furlough and CEO Chase Carey will take a significant voluntary salary cut as part of measures to reduce costs during the pandemic: The furloughing of staff will be in place for two months to the end of May and means employees will receive 80 percent of their salary through a financial rescue scheme introduced by the British government: F1 directors and executives have all voluntarily agreed to take a 20% pay cut.
#AceBreakingNews says according to the latest reports and 38 degrees `Jeremy Hunt‘ is trying to sneak through a law which will give him the power to quickly close any local hospital without listening to local people.
No hospital is safe.
He’s changing the rules after losing twice in court trying to close Lewisham Hospital against the wishes of local people, doctors and nurses.
The sweeping new law – the ‘hospital closure clause’ of the Care Bill – will give the government the power to shut down any hospital, in as little as 40 days, regardless of how well the hospital is performing. 
Jeremy Hunt is hell-bent on pushing this through.
And time’s not on our side. It could be as little as one week before MPs vote this sinister threat into a reality.
If we’re going to have a chance of stopping Jeremy Hunt we need to throw the kitchen sink at this. And we need to move fast. Vote now to decide whether or not we should launch a big campaign. Yes or No?
Our NHS is precious. And it’s important that we know hospitals, accident and emergency and maternity services are there for us in moments of crisis and joy. It’s terrifying to imagine the government having the power to close any hospital without hearing the wishes of the local community.
It’s going to be tough to stop Jeremy Hunt. But we’ve done it before – twice in Lewisham alone. And if enough of us are keen, there are exciting possibilities for next steps. And new tactics we could try which would take even Jeremy Hunt by surprise!
The 38 Degrees staff team sit down on Monday morning to plan out the week ahead and decide on how we split up staff resources.
The most important factor when making those decisions is what 38 Degrees members think.
Should trying to stop the hospital closure clause be 38 Degrees’ top priority over the next few weeks? Please vote now to help decide whether to launch a big campaign by clicking on the buttons below.
YES – WE SHOULD NO – WE SHOULDN’T
Thanks for being involved,
Becky, Ian, Rebecca, David and the rest of the 38 Degrees team
PS: A study of NHS foundation trusts in England has found the number of those in financial trouble has nearly doubled in a year from 21 to 39. Jeremy Hunt has shown before he’s willing to close good hospitals to bail out ones which are struggling – this law would allow him to do this, even if local patients and doctors were strongly against it. 
 What is the Hospital Closure Clause. Read more on our blog here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2014/02/20/nhs-what-is-the-hospital-closure-clause/
 BBC News: Rise in NHS Foundation Trusts with deficit, says Monitor hospitals http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26299423
Ann Clwyd (Labour, Cynon Valley MP), photo by Aberdare Blog. Photo taken at a ceremony to unveil the Keir Hardie bust, at Rock Grounds, Aberdare, December 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#AceHealthNews says `Tales of Neglect on the NHS now amount to 3,000 as `MP Exposes Shocking Care of the Elderly’ `
Ann Clwyd was put in charge of investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received
Said she was inundated with patients‘ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’
Elderly patients are still routinely being neglected and abused by NHS nurses, an MP has warned.
Ann Clwyd, who was put in charge of an investigation into NHS complaints after exposing the shocking care her husband received, said she was inundated with patients’ letters about a ‘lack of compassion’ – 3,000 in the past year alone.
Nurses were telling elderly patients they ‘do not have time’ to administer pain relief, and making them and their families feel like intruders, she said.
The MP also told how families contacting her claimed patients were routinely left to starve on NHS wards ‘because food was taken away’. The weight of one woman in her 90s dropped to just five stone.
Another woman, aged 88, was left in a chair in A&E for seven hours ‘in agony’ and expected ‘not to make any demands’, she said.
Mrs Clwyd, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, South Wales, broke down in the Commons in December 2012 when she described how her husband Owen had died in hospital ‘like a battery hen’. Read more: DM