NHS staff who refuse flu vaccine this winter will have to give reasons

NHS staff who refuse to have the flu vaccine this winter will have to give reasons to their employer, as leaders make efforts to improve take-up rates|  BMJ 2017359 

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Image source: Daniel Dionne – Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

 NHS leaders are to write to all NHS staff urging them to be vaccinated against flu as soon as possible. The letter will make it clear that staff who refuse the vaccine will have to give reasons to their employing NHS trust, which will then be recorded.

The heads of NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health for England, and NHS Improvement said that they were writing to remind staff of their “professional duty to protect their patients.” Trusts are also being urged to make the flu vaccine “readily available” to staff.

Although last year saw record take-up of the vaccine among staff, more than a third of NHS staff members did not take up the offer, with just a fifth being vaccinated in some trusts.

Hospitals and GP surgeries are being warned by NHS England to be prepared for a big increase in cases of flu this winter after a heavy season in the southern hemisphere.

Full story via BMJ 2017359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4766

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Cervical screening

This issue of Health Matters focuses on making cervical screening more accessible.

This latest edition of Health Matters aims to address the decline in cervical screening attendance by presenting recommendations that can help increase access to screening and awareness of cervical cancer.

Despite the success of the programme, screening coverage has fallen over the last 10 years and attendance is now at a 19-year low. Coverage is going down across all age groups.

pack of infographics  is available in support of this campaign

cerv

Image source: http://www.gov.uk

Related case studies:

Improving cervical screening in Trafford: One Minute campaign

GP surgery initiatives boost cervical screening uptake

Group B streptococcal disease guideline

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36) | The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 

Group B Streptococcal Disease (GBS) is recognised as the most frequent cause of severe early-onset infection in newborn infants. GBS is present in the bowel flora of 20–40% of adults (colonisation) and those who are colonised are called ‘carriers’. This includes pregnant women. There is variation in practice across the UK regarding the best strategies to prevent EOGBS disease.

In 2015, the incidence of EOGBS in the UK and Ireland was 0.57/1000 births (517 cases), a significant increase from the previous surveillance undertaken in 2000 where an incidence of 0.48/1000 was recorded.

The purpose of this guideline is to provide guidance for obstetricians, midwives and neonatologists on the prevention of early-onset (less than 7 days of age) neonatal group B streptococcal (EOGBS) disease and the information to be provided to women, their partners and families.

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36)

Assessing the burden of Clostridium difficile infections for hospitals

Nosocomial infections place a heavy burden on the healthcare system. However, quantifying the burden raises many questions, ranging from the way to accurately estimate the extra length of stay at hospital to defining and costing the preventative methods among the different care providers | Journal of Hospital Infection

B0008374 Clostridium difficile colony

Image source: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute – Wellcome Images // CC BY 4.0

A total of 52 episodes were screened during the study period. The estimated mean cost of CDI was approximately €23,909 (SD = 17,458) for an extended length of hospital stay (N = 27). In the case of a reduced length of the hospital stay (N = 25), the mean cost was approximately € –14,697 (SD = 16,936), which represents net savings for the hospitals. The main cost/savings driver was the productivity losses/gains resulting from the nosocomial infection. A sensitivity analysis showed that the main factor explaining the amount of costs or savings due to nosocomial infections was the length of the hospital stay.

Conclusion: We discuss the notion of productivity gains in the case of deaths as a factor revealing the incompleteness of the payment systems. We then discuss the methodological issues associated with the statistical method used to control for temporality bias.

Full reference: Hebbinckuys, E. et al. (2017) Assessing the burden of Clostridium difficile infections for hospitals. Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: September 07, 2017

Sepsis: Raising awareness

Sepsis is a serious complication triggered by an infection, and it can lead to multiple organ failure and death if not treated quickly.

Sepsis kills 44,000 people in the UK each year but many people have never heard of it. They certainly don’t know how to spot the signs and symptoms. We can all help prevent sepsis deaths if we’re aware of early symptoms in adults & older children and can get people treated immediately:

  • High temperature (fever) or low body temperature
  • Chills and shivering
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Confusion or slurred speech
  • Pale or mottled skin

In support their educational programmes to improve knowledge and management of sepsis, the UK Sepsis Trust and NHS England have developed ‘The Sepsis Game’ which helps health professionals learn how to spot and treat sepsis quickly and effectively.

The game is based around the Sepsis Six care bundle and supports the Survive Sepsis training programme. A simplified online version of the Sepsis Game  can be tried here.

Flu immunisation for early years settings including child minders

Guidance for early years childcare settings on the nasal spray flu vaccination for preschool children. | Public Health England

This guidance has been produced for the early years sector to assist staff and childminders and answers the most frequently asked questions regarding the nasal spray flu vaccination being offered to children in this age group.

It is not intended for parents and children as they have their own dedicated leaflet.