Friday Five

The resurgence of cases and the covid testing crisis – this week’s Friday Five

Plan for reforming social care threatened by covid

The government is unlikely to bring forward its plan for social care reform by the end of the year as initially promised in the prime minister in his election manifesto.

When questioned over the government’s plans in the Lords this week, the Department of Health and Social Care’s innovation minister Lord Bethell said: “I cannot commit to a social care plan before the end of the year. It will require a huge amount of political collaboration and I suspect it will take longer than the next few months.”

But all hope is not lost as the sector has been promised a £600m infection control fund to help through the winter.

Read the full story in The HSJ.

Rationing testing and risk it could pose

With children returning to the classroom and many returning to the office, it’s perhaps not surprising that September has seen a sharp increase in the numbers of COVID-19 cases. But are these figures accurate?

As the infection curve steepens once again, leaders in healthcare have started to voice their concerns about the shortage of covid testing capacity and the suggestions that tests may have to be rationed. Surely we need to get a grip on the stats if we are to avoid spiralling out of control?

Read the full story in The Telegraph.

Digital immunity passports could be the Government’s answer to the testing crisis

A leaked memo has revealed that digital immunity passports are to form part of the Government’s new plans to ramp up testing.

The Government has promised to expand the testing programme with £100 billion by early next year and the digital immunity passport programme known as ‘Operation Moonshot’ will be a key part of it.

The programme aims to carry out up to 10 million COVID-19 tests a day by early next year and will allow people who have tested negative for the virus to return to work, to travel and to take part in other activities.

Read the full story in Digital Health News.

Deaths from influenza and pneumonia top those from COVID-19

Stats from the Office of National Statistics have shown that influenza and pneumonia have contributed to more weekly deaths than COVID-19 since the middle of June. Only 1% of deaths now mention coronavirus on the death certificate compared to 12.8% which mention influenza and pneumonia.

The number of deaths involving COVID-19 has been falling for the last 20 weeks and interestingly the numbers of overall deaths has also now plummeted, with 1,443 fewer deaths in the most recent weekly figures. Only time will tell as to whether the second wave will be as deadly as the first.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.


Quote of the week

“This pandemic could be a watershed moment in creating the social and political will to build a society that values everyone’s health now and in the long-term” – Jo Bibby, Director of Health at the Health Foundation.

In their latest long-read, the Health Foundation explores the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the wider government and societal on health inequalities in the UK.

It’s an interesting read. Check it out here.