Friday, 27 January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 27th January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 27th January 2023

World COVID Statistics: 674,417,904 reported cases and 6,755,786 losses of life.

"Sajid Javid has called for patients to pay for GP and A&E visits.
This is what the Conservatives have in store for us all. 
We strongly oppose anything that might prevent or dissuade someone from seeking the care they need. 
NHS Million."

Original New National Health Service leaflet

There are some changes to the UK vaccination programme, on advice from the JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation). In England it's all change after 12th February. This will be a deadline for Autumn boosters, and boosters for all 16-49 year olds, and basically then they'll move on, so please book yours before then if you haven't had it already.
Up until 15th January 2023, the Autumn booster uptake was 64.5% of those aged 50 and over, and 82.4% of those aged 75 and over. Vaccinations have now dropped to very low levels, so we can assume most of those who want it have already come forward. 
The JCVI have recommended that all older and less robust people should get a COVID booster in Autumn this year, and people who are especially vulnerable to COVID should get an extra Spring booster as well.
(Dropping boosters for anyone under 50 and not in an at-risk group is understandable financially, as it currently makes only a tiny percentage difference to the numbers hospitalised or dying, but each one is a person, and relying on immunity via catching COVID has a cost to our long term physical health. I honestly don't think they are taking it as seriously as they will in future.)

Friday, 20 January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Weekly Update 20th January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Weekly Update 20th January 2023

World COVID Statistics: 672,686,930 reported cases and 6,740,521losses of life.

"I just think we're really, really, really silly if we think that our health systems are just going to come back online and just start functioning at 100% again.... because our systems have lost elasticity, they've lost resilience, not gained it. And our health workers have been through one of the worst, probably, health experiences of the last 100 years or more. 
We owe them a huge debt of gratitude for what they've done for us over the last 3 years. And I don't think we're repaying that debt with the working conditions, with the protection, with the training or with the pay that they need to be able to take care of themselves and their families."
Dr Mike Ryan of WHO. Seconded. Always. 

RSV information UK HSA

"China's COVID prevention and control is still in a time of stress, but the light is ahead, persistence is victory. I am most worried about the rural areas and farmers. Medical facilities are relatively weak in rural areas, thus prevention is difficult and the task is arduous."
Chinese leader Xi Jinping with a warning and clear indication he's worried, in a Lunar New Year speech. 

Monday, 16 January 2023

January 2023 #TBCSmiles... 101 Months

Happy New Year! I hope your Christmas was a good one and you had a decent break. If you had to work then thank you, I hope you get to have a proper break at another time. Keep your work/life balance evenly topped up. I promised my family I wouldn't work weekends since I've been spending half my time in Derby, so I'm a day late today with the #TBCSmiles, but it's worked out perfectly really, because today is 'Blue Monday'. 

Thank you to everyone working over Christmas - collage image of many mainly NHS employees

Blue Monday didn't really exist as a thing when New Order wrote their song. That was named after Kurt Vonnegut's 1973 book 'Breakfast Of Champions or Goodbye Blue Monday' - a very unusual encyclopaedic story book about our world and the things in it. Likewise Blue Monday didn't exactly become a thing because of New Order's record-breaking record. Blue Monday is an invention of even more recent times - and unsurprisingly it was advertising which brought it to our attention (a fact I'm sure Kurt Vonnegut would enjoy). 

Friday, 13 January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 13th January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 13th January 2023

World COVID Statistics: 670,571,061 reported cases and 6,725,056 losses of life.

"3 years ago, the first SARS-CoV-2 sequence was shared. Today, sequencing remains vital. We urge all countries to keep testing & sharing sequences. We understand efforts won’t be as intense as before but we can’t beat this virus with our eyes closed."
DrTedros, Head of WHO.

130123 8,404 COVID patients in hospital Will Quince MP

3 years on and I thought I'd have finished doing this about 2 and a half years ago. Despite this, there is a huge amount of news today because a lot of 'end of year' stats have been released, so off we go... 

Friday, 6 January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 6th January 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 6th January 2023

World COVID Statistics: 667,528,972 reported cases and 6,707,791 losses of life.

"Please don’t let the government gaslight you into thinking it’s ‘normal’ for patients to be dying in their droves at home, in ambulances, in corridors, in cupboards. Excess deaths are 26% higher than usual. This isn’t normal, it’s grotesque.
A humanitarian crisis, yet Sunak does nothing."
Dr Rachel Clarke, responding to yesterday's lack of acknowledgement from the Government as to the state of the NHS. 

060123 9,125 covid patients via will quince MP

Friday, 30 December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 30th December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 30th December 2022

World COVID Statistics: 664,199,215 reported cases and 6,694,494 losses of life.

"I’ve worked in A&E for 22 years & seen nothing like this before.
The NHS is in a critical state. We need urgent action for sake of our staff & patients. Steve Barclay, Rishi Sunak, we need you to listen to those who know what’s happening.
Dear MPs
As an A&E Dr, I’m asking for your help. Please do a shift at your local A&E and see the reality of what’s happening to our NHS.
Not a photoshopped PR stunt but a chance to witness reality of our crumbling NHS.
Then demand change"
Dr Rob Galloway, Brighton. 

Thank you to anyone working over Christmas

Ambulance response times are now double what they were 2 years ago. Several areas have currently declared Critical Incidents due to the sheer number of people waiting for an ambulance. Last week the Welsh ambulance service apologised for leaving a 93 year old with a broken hip screaming in agony on her care home floor for 25 hours before an ambulance arrived. It was another 12 hours before she was admitted to hospital. 
No-one I've spoken to seems to be able to access their GP. It took me 36 hours to obtain antibiotics for a 14 year old with a viral chest infection, bacterially infected wound and a high fever. Yesterday people in Greater Manchester were asked not to attend A&E unless you are actually at risk of death. (For goodness sake don't break an arm, and if you do, it's 111 online for advice, or call 111 if you don't have internet access).
The NHS doesn't fall over, it degrades. However you look at it, ignoring any strikes and strike days, the current delays in emergency care are causing a lot of extra people to die. It is visible in our excess deaths. 
The NHS has been chronically underfunded for years. It has been sold off in favour of very expensive renting of what we need from private companies, and staffing has been allowed to drop to bare minimum levels. We didn't invest in health, we then asked people to work solidly for 2-3 years, without reward or adequate incentive, and this is where you end up.

Friday, 16 December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 16th December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 16th December 2022

World COVID Statistics: 656,579,733 reported cases and 6,668,126 losses of life.

Today's ONS random sampling (week ending 5th Dec for England, Wales and Scotland, week ending 3rd Dec for Northern Ireland) is as anticipated, showing an increase in positive test results:
"The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in England, increased in Wales and Scotland, and the trend was uncertain in Northern Ireland."
- England, estimate 1,095,100, equating to 2.01% of the population (an increase from 1.73% in the previous week), or around 1 in 50.
- Wales, estimate 55,900, equating to 1.84% of the population (an increase from 1.43% in the previous week), or around 1 in 55.
- Northern Ireland, estimate 38,700, equating to 2.11% of the population or around 1 in 45.
- Scotland, estimate 100,700, equating to 1.91% of the population (an increase from 1.68% in the previous week), or around 1 in 50.

Cold weather can be dangerous. Stay warm, stay well. UK Gov.

Tens of thousands of Nurses in England, Wales and Northern Ireland were on strike yesterday for the first time in history. England’s Chief Nurse, Dame Ruth May, was herself on the picket line in London. 
Over 30,000 operations were cancelled last month due to shortages of staff. No medical professional can be expected to work without the correct support. The stress must be almost unbearable, and it costs lives. 
Scottish nurses in the unions Unite and Unison have voted to accept their pay offer of UP TO around 7.5%. Lowest awards are only around 2%... 

Thursday, 15 December 2022

December 2022 #TBCSmiles 100 Months...

100 months is a milestone no-one wants to reach. 100 months since we lost Elspeth, and it still feels like yesterday and forever, all at once. Christmas is very hard for anyone who has lost someone who is important to them. 

home made Christmas biscuits in the shape of Christmas trees, with smarties for baubles

December is a time when it's very hard to keep focus on what we have, because we are constantly reminded of that which is missing. Don't expect more than you are capable of, and that will vary by the day (by the minute). It's okay to look after your own health, to be kind to yourself, to take the time you need to be able to cope. We've had 3 rough years, and we're all exhausted and a bit COVID-battered from it. That battering, on top of normal life events, plus this Winter's specific problems, can leave anyone feeling overloaded without anything else. Know your own limits, and focus on what's really important. It's less than you think... 

Friday, 9 December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 9th December 2022.

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 9th December 2022. 

World COVID Statistics: 652,460,074 reported cases and 6,654,923 losses of life.

"Wages are too low to stop health workers quitting the NHS. As more and more hand in their notice, there are fewer staff left to care for patients. The public knows that's the reason behind lengthy waits at A&E, growing ambulance delays, postponed operations and cancelled clinics."
Unison's head of Health, Sara Gorton, speaking to Sky News.  

UK NHS You will be contacted if your appointment needs to be changed

The UK's ONS Random COVID Survey says... that for the week ending 26 Nov for England, 24 November for Scotland and Wales, and 23 November for Northern Ireland:
"The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to increase in England, increased in Northern Ireland and the trend was uncertain in Wales and Scotland."
- England, estimate 941,700, equating to 1.73% of the population (an increase from 1.60% in the previous week), or around 1 in 60 people.
- Wales, estimate 43,400, equating to 1.43% of the population, or around 1 in 70 people.
- Northern Ireland, estimate 36,700, equating to 2.00% of the population (an increase from 1.57% in the previous week), or around 1 in 50 people.
- Scotland, estimate 88,500, equating to 1.68% of the population, or around 1 in 60 people.

Friday, 2 December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 2nd December 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 2nd December 2022

World COVID Statistics: 648,755,570 reported cases and 6,643,011 losses of life.

"What's clear is that this is an unusually early flu season, a fact that's well illustrated by this graph. The flu hospitalizations are unusually high for this time of year, but they aren't heading for the stratosphere, like the very bad 2017-18 flu season. At least, not yet."
Helen Branswell, lead writer for Infectious Diseases at STAT News, talking about Flu in the USA. The early arrival of flu is a pattern which is repeating around the Northern Hemisphere, including in the UK. Is it just early, or is it a portent of doom? Get your flu jab if you're eligible. Flu + COVID together = double your chance of being hospitalised or dying. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 2nd December 2022

"One third of our members in the ambulance service believe that they have been involved in a delay that has led to a patient dying, so this isn't a situation where this is a service that runs perfectly well. This is a service that's dying on its feet, and our members are actually standing up and the public of Britain should support them. This is a matter of a life or death situation. They don't want to strike, they do their job because they want to save lives."
Andy Prendergast, GMB (general workers union) National Secretary on Sky News.