Friday Five

The worrying implications of the COVID-19 lockdown and plans for Phase Three – this week’s Friday Five

Overcoming geographical barriers to improve patient flow

As STPs and ICSs submit their plans for Phase Three of the COVID-19 response to NHS England, they have been told that they must include details of how shared care records will be developed and implemented locally.

The aim is that this will give regional health systems more control to develop shared patient record systems for their area and allow better patient flow and organisational relationships within health economies.

The plans will build on NHS England’s Local Health Care Record Exemplar programme and seek to remove many of the barriers that have restricted its implementation.

Read the full story in the HSJ.

Non-virus deaths at home on the rise as killer illnesses go untreated

Data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that restricted access to the NHS during COVID-19 meant that other lethal diseases were left untreated.

The figures show that there were more than 6,700 extra deaths in homes across the UK in the last two months, of which just 203 involved COVID-19.

Heart and circulatory diseases were seen to be main cause of the excess deaths and there are concerns that this upward trend is set to continue.

Read the full story in The Telegraph

COVID-19 tracing to become integral to Android and Apple

After the debacle of the NHS track and trace it appears that Apple and Android have finally managed to simplify the challenge by building in a COVID-19 notification system into their products.

Up until now, Apple and Google’s COVID-19 tracing capabilities were attributed to a contact-tracing app which used Bluetooth to track time and distance between devices and sent push notifications to user who may have been exposed to the virus.

With the new system, no app is required, so public health authorities will be able to send notifications to anyone who might be at risk of COVID-19, without needing to develop and maintain the app.

Read the full story in Digital Health News.

Has lockdown been a challenge for your waistline? Soup and shakes for you!

After the success of its trial, the NHS is launching a soup-and-shakes weight-loss plan to help tackle the rise of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is caused by problems with how the insulin hormone regulates glucose in the body and is often linked to being overweight.

A record 2 million people in England are now at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, so it is hoped that the NHS’ new weight-loss programme will help reduce the numbers of those at risk.

Read the full story in The Guardian.


Quote of the week

In response to the Government’s decision to replace Public Health England, a group of 70 organisations have endorsed a joint statement to express their concerns that the current plans pay insufficient attention to the vital health improvement and other wider functions of Public Health England.

In the statement they said: “Reorganisation is difficult at the best of times and these are not the best of times. Avoiding fragmentation and ensuring seamless transition from the current to any new system is essential.”

Read the full statement in The BMJ.