RECENT FEATURE ARTICLES
Steve Eames provides an insight into the role of robotic technologies in preventing infection during outbreaks, such as COVID-19, from disinfection of contaminated areas, to medical support and triage of patients. China has led the way, in terms harnessing innovation and artificial intelligence, but there is increasing potential for medical support automation in the NHS, as the technology arrives in the UK.
The cleaning of complex reusable surgical instruments requires different considerations and processes, compared to conventional reusable instruments. Samuel Morais BScEng (Hons), from STERIS, offers some advice on tackling some of the key challenges around decontamination of complex surgical instruments – from cleaning and transport, through to reprocessing.
The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust has partnered with CFES and Getinge to make its vision of an NHS-owned decontamination super centre a reality – offering the ability to improve services within the Trust, as well as other hospitals in the London area and beyond. Louise Frampton witnessed first-hand the scale of the operation on a visit to the state-of-the-art Enfield site.
Major savings in medicines expenditure have been reported by a hospital in North Wales, following the installation of an automated medication cabinet within the operating theatre. The automated system is also improving the accountability of medication use and helping to improve safety.
At Infection Prevention & Control 2020, NHS leaders warned that increased efforts are required to reduce healthcare-associated infections, if we are to win the fight against antimicrobial resistance. With ambitious targets now set to cut Gram-negative bloodstream infections, what role can clinicians have in delivering improvement? Louise Frampton reports
The NHS has seen significant changes in the profile of its staff as it struggles to fill widespread and growing nurse shortages. Analysis by the Health Foundation shows that the skills mix is changing, as the number of registered nurses is being outstripped by increases in clinical support staff.
The Marmot Review 10 Years On has highlighted the devastating impact that a decade of austerity has had on health outcomes. For the first time in over a century, progress in life expectancy has stalled and even declined for women, while health inequalities have widened.
There is increasing recognition of the need to tackle disruptive behaviours in the perioperative setting, including ‘incivility’. Kate Woodhead RGN DMS discusses the issue of bullying in theatres and the impact that this has on patient safety and the retention of staff.
Stefan Hogendoorn, chief technical officer at Cloud Technology Solutions, explains how machine learning is being used to improve medical diagnoses and healthcare provision, highlighting the potential to reshape the future of clinical services in the UK.
Could smartphones democratise healthcare and relieve the pressure on healthcare facilities? Louise Frampton discusses how the combination of mobile devices with diagnostic tools could offer new possibilities to test, track and treat conditions – from rapid diagnosis of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and HIV, to the tracking of Ebola outbreaks.
The NHS is treating more patients but has not yet achieved the fundamental transformation in services and finance regime needed to meet rising demand. Short-term fixes have made some parts of the NHS seriously financially unstable, according to the National Audit Office (NAO).
Urgent action is needed to transform ophthalmic services to prevent devastating and avoidable sight loss for patients. Lack of timely follow-up for glaucoma patients is a recognised issue across the NHS and research suggests that around 22 patients a month suffer severe or permanent sight loss as a result of delays.