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Some COVID-19 restrictions reimplemented and others relaxed – this week’s Friday Five

Warnings of a second wave of COVID-19 in Europe

This week, the news has been filled with concerns about a looming second wave of COVID-19 infections in Europe. Since the beginning of July, the number of new cases of COVID-19 has been steadily rising in a number of countries in Europe, with Spain experiencing the biggest increase reaching 1738 cases a day. A similar (but steadier) rise is now being witnessed in the UK, and the Government has started to reintroduce quarantine restrictions to control the number of cases here.

Read the full story in the Independent.

Isolation for COVID-19 symptoms to increase to ten days

With rising concerns about the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 across Europe and the news that the R rate has now crept over one in two regions of the UK, the government has now increased the isolation period for those with COVID-19 symptoms from seven to ten days.

Experts have blamed the recent rise in cases on the lifting of lockdown measures, with particular concern about the behaviour of young people.

Read the full story in the Telegraph.

NHS People Plan encourages post-pandemic innovation

In the NHS People Plan published yesterday, NHS England launched a new drive to put staff wellbeing at the heart of NHS recovery, with measures designed to address new pandemic challenges and improve physical and mental health support for staff.

The People Plan builds on innovations driven by staff during the pandemic and sets out how the NHS can embed them. This includes increasing flexibility for NHS workers, risk assessments for vulnerable staff and encouraging former staff to return to practice as part of a recruitment drive during 2020/21.

The Health Secretary Matt Hancock welcomed the launch and also announced a new bureaucracy busting drive that aims to enable staff to spend less time on paperwork and more time with their patients.

Read the full story at GOV.UK.

Blanket isolation rule for operations scrapped

As hospitals try to battle the backlog of planned procedures that built up during the COVID-19 pandemic, NICE has introduced new guidelines to allow more flexibility for patients.

Under coronavirus guidelines, all patients were required to self-isolate for 14 days before planned tests and treatments to minimise the risk of catching the virus before going into hospital. However, this has led to widespread reports of problems with patients not wanting to isolate or cancelling.

It’s hoped that easing restrictions for patients will help the NHS get a grip on the large numbers of people waiting for treatment.

Read the full story in the HSJ.


Quote of the week

Speaking about the future of healthcare at a Royal College of Physicians event, Health Secretary Matt Hancock discussed the need for better technology to drive forward better healthcare.

“We want to double down on the huge advances we’ve made in technology within the NHS and social care, because it’s not really about technology, it’s about people.”

Read the full story in Digital Health News.


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