Andrew Cash: Weekly COVID-19 Update: 1 May 2020

Weekly summary of the developments in health and care across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw in response to COVID-19

Overview

  • As at Friday (May 1) 177,454 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 27,510 people have now died from the virus. 
  • The UK is past the peak of COVID-19, but the avoidance of a second wave is the government’s top priority.
  • The number of tests carried out as of yesterday was 122,347.
  • The Secretary of State Matt Hancock said today that he is worried about the ONS data showing the impact on deprived communities is higher.
  • He noted that it also appears to have a bigger impact on the elderly, men, BAME and people who are obese and a correlation with deprivation.
  • Care homes are a priority for testing to tackle, and NHS workers will also continue to be prioritised.
  • The number of COVID-19 hospital admissions and patients in ICU is falling.
  • Five Nightingale Hospitals have been established.
  • In his briefing on Thursday, the Prime Minister emphasised and welcomed the fact that the NHS had not been overwhelmed. He also highlighted the Oxford University and AstraZeneca partnership announced today as examples of where the UK was leading the world in developing a vaccine.
  • A comprehensive plan will be set out next week to explain how the economy would reopen; how schools would reopen; how people could travel to work; and how workplaces could be made safer.
  • The PM emphasised the need to avoid a second peak of the virus, explaining that no government action should increase the R-value (R0) to above one.

New programme of home testing for COVID-19 to track community infection

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced on Thursday (29 April) that 100,000 people will be sent self-testing kits to determine if they are currently infected.

The new programme of home testing will track the progress of the infection across England and is to be led by a team of scientists, clinicians and researchers at Imperial College London, alongside colleagues at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Ipsos MORI.The programme will aim to improve understanding of how many people are currently infected with COVID-19, and potentially how many have been infected and recovered since the outbreak began.

The announcement was made soon before the government admitted that it was “probable” that the target of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April will be missed.

Daily death reporting now includes all positive COVID-19 deaths

Since Wednesday (29 April) the government’s daily figure includes deaths in all settings with COVID-19 for the first time, with data complementing the new Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures on care homes. The figure includes hospitals, care homes and the wider community.

NHS Confederation launches #NHSReset

NHS Confederation today launched #NHSReset to contribute to the public debate on what the health and care system should look like post-COVID-19. The aim of the campaign is to seek to influence forthcoming national strategies, including from NHS England and Improvement, and their priorities for a reset. 

Leadership

A blog on adaptability and agility in leadership in the recovery phase from Chris Ham in case you missed it: https://www.carnallfarrar.com/coronavirus/leading-in-the-time-of-covid-19/

The King’s Fund has set up a Leading Through Covid-19 section, with articles and comment:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/projects/leading-through-covid-19

Supporting staff with childcare responsibilities

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed a number of changes to how schools, childcare and other educational settings would be expected to operate during COVID-19. As part of the changes, DfE asked schools, colleges, nurseries and other registered childcare settings to remain open for children of essential workers, including our NHS staff, where possible.

NHS Employers has put together guidance on how to support staff with childcare responsibilities.

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