Hospital acquired COVID-19 remains a major problem as it STILL accounts for 15% of COVID hospital patients:… It remains the biggest undiscussed problem in the pandemic to date: a thread.
It was even worse: a paper by PHE and LSHTM for SAGE in January stated that 20-25% of infections in hospital patients in the first wave were hospital acquired:…
Upper estimates of this data suggest that around 36,000 cases in the first wave were caught this way which could mean 8,000 deaths related to hospital acquired COVID occurred in that wave:…
This is not just an England issue. In Scotland at the end of January there were 4055 hospital acquired cases which made up around 21% of COVID hospital patients:…
Why does this matter? Apart from the human tragedy of so many avoidable deaths, the SAGE paper noted “without any nosocomial transmission the duration of the first wave in hospitals may have been shortened.”
So what should the lesson be? Given the CQC has looked at some hospitals who have had multiple hospital acquired outbreaks and found infection controls were good it makes you think that these weren’t the right controls.
We should definitely have earlier advice to adhere to social distancing in the non-Covid areas of hospitals. This select committee exchange with Prof Steve Powis demonstrates why crucial time was lost in the early stages:…
Speed of testing in hospitals is also a vital tool we should have used earlier: why did it take until November to introduce weekly testing of NHS staff?…
But the biggest unknown was the extent of airborne rather than surface infections. Future guidelines need more focus on ventilation than hands & surfaces. Upgrading ventilation systems - esp in old hospitals - is expensive, but clearly worth doing to prepare for future pandemics.

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More from @Jeremy_Hunt

29 Apr
Big news for the NHS that Sir Simon Stevens is stepping down. A thread...
When we recruited for a successor to Sir David Nicholson in 2013, there was a good deal of trepidation about the role following controversy over the 2012 Act. Simon, however, was the standout candidate and hiring him remains one of the best decisions I have ever taken.
Despite his time as a special adviser in No 10 and in the private sector in the US, SImon has always been NHS to his core. But neither he nor I knew just how bumpy things would become with immense operational and financial pressures across the NHS and social care system.
Read 8 tweets
1 Mar
Deeply disappointed to hear UK govt is halving aid to Yemen. Timing is inexplicable with the UN warning only last week that Yemen faces the worst famine the world has seen for decades. In their words it is ‘falling off a cliff’. Thread...
In their appeal for MORE funding, the UN cited aid cuts from other countries last year which cut 4 million people off from food aid, who are now ‘in the long, slow, brutal, painful, agonizing process of starving to death’.…
UNICEF say 2 million children are acutely malnourished and over 368,000 children under 5 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 1.7million children are internally displaced. Only 1 in 3 people have access to running water.
Read 6 tweets
25 Jan
Why lockdown isn’t working fast enough and what we should do next: a thread..... Not just borders and monitoring new strains, but time to fix the biggest flaw in our current strategy, namely that three quarters of those with symptoms do not self-isolate.
6.3 million have had their first jab, infections are down 22% (7 day avg) & hospital patients 4% below Jan 18 peak. So why should we be cautious?…
The answer is uncertainty over new strains: whilst vaccine seems to work as well against UK/Kent strain, this may not be the case with the S African strain (already here) and the Brazilian strains (one of which is already here but not yet the Manaus one):…
Read 10 tweets
4 Jan
Time to act: thread on why we need to close schools, borders, and ban all household mixing RIGHT AWAY.
To those arguing winter is always like this in the NHS: you are wrong. I faced four serious winter crises as Health Sec and the situation now is off-the-scale worse than any of those.
It’s true that we often had to cancel elective care in Jan to protect emergency care but that too is under severe pressure with record trolley waits for the very sickest patients
Read 11 tweets
9 Mar 20
As soon as the government officially moves us to the ‘delay’ stage, it is effectively confirming that an epidemic IS coming. So on the basis of the information we currently have, what's the outlook?
Yesterday was the first day confirmed new cases in the UK exceeded those in China (67 in the UK vs 40 in China). Last week Chris Whitty told the select committee he saw ‘no reason in theory why the UK would go higher than China.’ So how bad did it get in China?
Chris Whitty used a figure of 20% of population in Wuhan province when he came in front of the select committee, but says those with symptoms are likely to be 5% or less. WHO figures are lower - only 0.1% of population - but there is likely to be significant under-reporting.
Read 9 tweets
24 Jul 19
1/4 I would have been honoured to carry on my work at the FCO but understand the need for a new PM to choose his team. BJ kindly offered me another role but after 9 yrs in Cabinet & over 300 cab mtgs now is the time to return 2 backbenches from where PM will have my full support
2/4 I've been a cabinet minister for every hour my 3 gorgeous children have been alive. So whilst it may seem strange for someone who just tried to become PM (& is a terrible cliche) I have decided now is the time for the biggest challenge of all - to be a GOOD DAD!
3/4 It has been a huge honour 2 be responsible 4 the finest diplomatic service in the world & 2 see the courage & wisdom of our diplomats & intelligence services. Thanks 4 guiding me with such patience & professionalism! Proud to have stood up alongside you for British values.
Read 4 tweets

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