Sunday schools

1 in 5 doctors ‘can leave the NHS’, fall shots for schoolchildren?

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These are the UK coronavirus stories you need to know today.

Thousands of people are considering quitting

The latest BMA pandemic poll suggests 21% of doctors, many of whom feel overworked and exhausted, are considering leaving the NHS, 25% are likely to take a career break, 50% plan to work less hours and 32% are more likely to retire early.

Council Chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul commented: ‘It is deeply worrying that more and more doctors are considering leaving the NHS due to pressures from the pandemic – talented and experienced professionals whom the NHS has more than ever before. need to get this country out of a once-health crisis of a generation. “

Polls have also shown that almost 40% do not have access to a place to safely relax with co-workers.

“Far too many doctors and healthcare workers are denied even a space to relax at work, let alone a proper break and recovery time,” Dr Nagpaul said.

“It negatively impacts the health and well-being of doctors and makes them feel like they have no choice but to give up a profession they love and have worked for so much. hard.

“For those who remain, working tirelessly endangers the patient care of burned-out and exhausting doctors – we’ve already seen an increase in staff taking sick leave, further emptying the NHS of its precious workforce – of work. “

The Department of Health and Social Affairs said the government was “committed to supporting the NHS and its staff in the fight against COVID and beyond”.

Meanwhile, a Savanta ComRes poll of more than 2,000 UK adults for health unions suggests 60% think the proposed NHS salary increase of 1% in England is too small.

Emergency services

The latest Scottish government data for March shows emergency department attendance is returning to pre-pandemic levels, with a 30% increase from February this year and a 7% increase from March 2020 .

Dr John Thomson, Vice-President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: “We fear a return to pre-pandemic overpopulation which puts patient safety at risk.

“The health service is recovering, waiting lists for elective care are growing, emergency department attendance is increasing and the already depleted workforce is depleted.

“As a result, some hospitals are starting to face pressure with patients being delayed for hours. We need to quickly assess and manage our resources, our capacity and the way we deliver care.”

Ethnic risks

Ethnic minority groups had a higher risk of testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19-related hospitalizations, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions and death compared to white groups in England , according to an observational cohort study published in The Lancet.

“To improve the outcomes of COVID-19, we urgently need to address the broader disadvantage and structural racism these communities face, as well as improve access to care and reduce transmission,” said the lead author, Dr Rohini Mathur, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. .

Fall jab for high school students?

Sunday Times reported on the NHS planning for Pfizer / BioNTech jabs for high school students aged 12 and older this fall. He quotes JCVI member Professor Adam Finn from the University of Bristol: “We need to be able to immunize children, especially adolescents, quickly and effectively if we need it.”

The European Medicines Agency has announced that it is evaluating the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine for use in 12-15 year olds.

Meanwhile, the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) School Infection Survey shows that 0.34% of high school students and 0.19% of high school staff have been tested. positive for the current COVID-19 infection from March 15 to 31. ONS’s Fiona Dawe said: “The data shows that during the fourth round of testing, there was a reduction in current infection rates in schools participating in the study. In high schools, there has been a significant reduction in current infection levels among students and staff. . “

Travelling abroad

The government is due to release the traffic light list of overseas destinations later this week, ready for the scheduled resumption of international travel after May 17.

However, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the coronavirus said ministers should “discourage all international leisure travel” this year to help protect against variants of the virus.

Ending self-isolation

The UK Health Safety Agency is starting a trial of daily testing as an alternative to self-isolation for those who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Up to 40,000 people will receive a 7-day supply of rapid lateral flow test kits. Those who test negative and do not develop symptoms will be exempt from the legal requirement to self-isolate on that day.

Study leader Professor Isabel Oliver said: “We know it is difficult to isolate when you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, but it remains vitally important to stop the spread of infection This study will help determine whether we can deploy daily testing for contacts to potentially reduce the need for self-isolation, while ensuring that chains of transmission are stopped.

“Contacts of cases have a higher risk of infection, so testing them is a very effective way to prevent further spread. This study will play an important role in our assessment of daily contact testing and how the testing approach might evolve. “

The latest data from the ONS shows that 84% of those required to self-isolate said they had followed the rules.

No more news

  • Coronavirus infections in India topped 20 million, the second country to reach this milestone after the United States.

  • More than 50 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered in the UK, including 15.5 million second doses.

  • The variant of the coronavirus first detected in Brazil appears to be much more transmissible than other versions of the virus and may be able to evade immunity against a previous infection, according to a study carried out in Science.

  • The MHRA released a statement debunking social media reports claiming people should avoid alcohol for up to 2 weeks after being vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Residents of nursing homes in England can now go for walks or meet family members outside without having to isolate themselves on their return.

  • Researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Surrey have found that well-fitting three-layer fabric masks can be as effective in reducing the transmission of COVID-19 as surgical masks, Univadis of Medscape reported.

  • Systematic review by University of Bristol researchers published in PLoS One found a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of portable air filters in preventing indoor transmission of respiratory infections, including COVID-19.

See more global coronavirus updates in Medscape Coronavirus Resource Center.

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