1/14 Widespread media pick up this morning of our press comment on trust leaders' concerns that current test shortages are impacting negatively on NHS staff and patients. Press comment can be found here: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/new…. Thread follows.
3/14 Trusts are concerned that current test shortages mean NHS staff are having to self isolate because they, and their family members, who need a test, can't access one. Worries this will affect vital service delivery, service recovery and winter preparations.
4/14 Important to remember the family angle - e.g. if NHS staff can't get their children tested they have to self isolate / stay off work to look after them. Trust leaders saying they need every possible member of staff at work given current pressures.
5/14 Trusts also concerned about impact of testing shortages on patients who need tests prior to planned hospital treatment. Trusts now seeing examples of patients being unable to get tests, cutting across trusts’ ability to restore services in way they have been asked to.
6/14 Trusts concerned, for example, that patients waiting for hospital treatment can no longer highlight this fact when applying online to access a test. Trust leaders disappointed this was done without trusts being told that it was happening.
7/14 Trust leaders from places as far as apart as Leeds, Bristol and London were flagging at the weekend that this is a growing problem for them. But, like everyone else, they feel they are working completely in the dark here....
8/14 ...They don’t know how long shortages will last and how widespread they are. They don't know what priority will be given to healthcare workers & families in accessing tests. They can't plan and help manage the problem if they don't have the information they need...
9/14 Good example - talked to one hospital trust over weekend who had set up small scale "test your own" staff testing operation to get staff tested at start of pandemic. This wasn't scalable so it was turned off when mainstream testing capacity became available....
10/14 ...This worked fine, as promised, until the last week or so when staff couldn't access tests again. So do they start up their small scale "test your own" operation again or not? If yes, for how long? They need answers!
11/14 Given the importance of an effective testing regime, not just for staff, but also for NHS patients and the general public, trust leaders want the Government to be honest and open about what is going on here - how big a problem will this be, for how long?
12/14 Trust leaders frustrated that, throughout pandemic, government has always seemed more concerned with managing political implications of operational problems rather than being open and honest about them. EG shortages of PPE and testing reagents earlier in the pandemic.....
13/14 Government response has often been to rely on a random, impressive sounding, overall statistic - number of tests performed or PPE items delivered. Or to set out bold ambition - a world class test & trace service by June, or moonshot testing regime some point next year...
14/14 ....Both approaches ignore operational problem at hand. Neither helps frontline organisations that actually have to deal with the problem. Particularly frustrating given that there are often good reasons for these problems, if only someone explained detail publicly!

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More from @ChrisCEOHopson

16 Sep
1/14 NHS financial allocations for second half of the year released overnight. Thread of initial thoughts below. Probably of most interest to those steeped in, and fans of, the delights of NHS finances. But some potentially big issues depending on how this plays out.....
2/14 NHS frontline been waiting for allocations for some time, so good that they have finally arrived. There is a lot of complexity here. These allocations have been made at system level for the first time and they also include some detailed calculations on individual items.
3/14 Four specific areas of concern that we expect trusts to raise. First, some ambitious assumptions about recovering non-NHS income that will be a significant issue for a number of trusts who are a long way off from seeing their non NHS income return to pre-COVID levels.
Read 14 tweets
16 Aug
1/11 @NHSProviders response to reports on future of PHE. Quick thread summarising the argument below - we all need to learn lessons from covid-19 in a spirit of learning, not blame apportionment. Government included. Much that we can do better, together, in public health. ImageImage
2/11 Five obvious issues on public health that NHS trust leaders think COVID-19 has highlighted. We look forward to seeing whether the Government's plans for the future of @PHE_uk reflect these lessons.
3/11 Lesson 1: Years of underfunding for Public Health England, and public health more widely, resulted in UK not being properly prepared to tackle pandemic like COVID-19. E.G. local authority public health grant has been cut by 25% in real terms over the last five years.
Read 12 tweets
12 Aug
1/12 Trust leaders frustrated and disappointed to see the service they have been providing over the last few months described, and widely reported, last week as "covid only". It's untrue, unfair and potentially dangerous. My new blog here: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/blo…. Thread follows.
2/12 Even at the height of coronavirus, for every one COVID-19 patient in hospital, there were two non-COVID inpatients being treated for other conditions. More than three million urgent tests and checks were provided over the pandemic and 3.6 million people were treated in A&E.
3/12 NHS has continued to deliver, on average, 1,800 babies a day every day since the pandemic started. Although cancer referrals did drop, 65,000 patients started treatment for cancer during the pandemic. Yes, 14% fewer than same three months last year. But hardly covid-only.
Read 12 tweets
30 Jun
1/17 Today, we're launching results of first major survey of NHS trust leaders since covid-19 started. The report - "Recovery Position, What Next for the NHS" looks at challenges facing NHS to treat covid 19 patients and restart services. Report here: nhsproviders.org/media/689775/r…
2/17 You can find the press release (good summary) of our new report on the challenges facing the NHS as it restarts services here: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/new…. Linked blog can be found here: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/blo….
3/17 Four key messages from first member survey post covid-19: lot more patients now needing treatment; trusts losing lot of capacity due to covid-19 (up to 40%); trusts going as fast as they can to restart services; but it will take some time to resume full range of services.
Read 18 tweets
14 Jun
1/23 This week has seen the first data release from NHS Test and Trace so a good point to assess its progress so far and look at what now needs to be done. Thread follows. Usual basis, we're not Government or @NHSEngland, we're the voice of NHS trusts: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/pre…
2/23 Rapid, good, progress has been made since early May to establish a working, national level, phone and online based, contact tracing service, linked to the national testing regime. This is a significant achievement, given the context, and deserves appropriate recognition.
3/23 However it’s clear that, as a nation, we are coming to this very late - much later than other countries. We would be in a much better position had this work been started, with this team, in March not early May. Public inquiry will need to identify why this didn’t happen.
Read 23 tweets
12 Jun
1/16 There's been a lot of coverage of, and twitter traffic on, recent, helpful, @NAOorguk and @1adass reports today, significant amounts of it focusing on NHS discharges to care homes. I thought it would be good to post another twitter thread on this, drawing on the new reports.
2/16 Usual basis – we are not Government, we are not @NHSEngland, we are the voice of trusts. Full basis of comment here: nhsproviders.org/news-blogs/pre…. We recognise there is a different perspective from the social care sector. We are communicating what trusts have told us.
3/16 We strongly agree with the key @NAOorguk report sentence (Summary point 16) “Due to government policy at the time, not all patients were tested for COVID-19 before discharge, with priority given to patients with respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms”.
Read 16 tweets

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