News round-up 26 August

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25th August 2022 about a 4 minute read

There is plenty of positive news in this week’s round-up. The results of a research trial promise a much-improved treatment for a condition affecting patients with diabetes, while a new augmented reality pilot in Lincolnshire looks set to provide better and more efficient care for patients in the community. A pilot at three NHS trust hopes to show that fractional dosing with the monkey pox vaccine can offer as much protection as a full dose.

Trial results could lead to transformation in diabetes care

Results from a research trial could transform the way the NHS treats patients experiencing diabetic peripheral neuropathic pain (DPNP).

The OPTION-DM trial, conducted by researchers at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, evaluated the four drugs currently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for DPNP.

It found that the four drugs performed at a similar level with all providing significant pain relief for patients. It also found, however, that a combination of the drugs led to substantially bigger pain reduction and an improved quality of life for the patients in general. Researchers hope that the results will lead to a revision of NICE guidelines for managing the condition.

NHS and care homes in England to pause routine Covid testing

Automatic Covid testing for hospital patients and care home residents in England is to end, the government has announced.

From 31 August, NHS and social care staff will no longer be offered lateral flow tests, unless they show symptoms.

Although free testing for the public ended in April, it has continued in some high-risk settings. The reason for the decision to end automatic testing, the government said, was that Covid rates have fallen.

All new admissions to care homes and hospices will continue to be tested for Covid, however, as will patients with weakened immune systems who are admitted to hospital or transferred between wards.

Augmented reality glasses piloted for community services in North Lincolnshire

Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust is to carry out a pilot of augmented reality glasses.

The A.Consult glasses, which have been developed by ConceptHealth, will be worn by health professionals during home visits. With the patient’s consent, they will be able to record parts of their visit, including video footage, such as dressing a wound, or audio. The glasses will transcribe information directly into the electronic patient record to be stored on the cloud.

Staff will also be able to share live footage with colleagues to get a second opinion, use thermal imaging to determine if a wound has improved and look up their next appointments, with live traffic updates helping them calculate how long it will take them to get there.  Over time, A.Consult will learn how long it takes to complete certain tasks, helping staff to manage their diaries more effectively.

‘Fractional dosing’ will quintuple numbers protected against monkeypox

The NHS is about to start a pilot in which patients will receive smaller doses of the monkeypox vaccine.

Results from clinical trials have shown that this approach, known as fractional dosing, prompts an almost identical immune response in patients. Because world supplies of the vaccine are limited, it is hoped that, if the trial is successful, it will enable the NHS to optimise its existing supply and protect more patients.

The approach is to be piloted in three NHS trusts in England (Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and Local Health and Wellbeing in Greater Manchester). Patients at these trusts will receive a 0.1ml dose of the monkeypox vaccine rather the standard 0.5ml.

East and North Hertfordshire introduce digital care plans

The Lister Hospital in Stevenage, part of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, has deployed digital care plans to enable clinical staff to access vital patient information when they need it.

The implementation of the digital care plan software, provided by Nervecenter, follows a pilot at two wards at the hospital.

Nursing teams will be able to record assessments and care plans digitally, which means that all clinical and operational teams will be able to see all the information they need. Nurses will also be able to use mobile devices to capture assessments, notes and observations at the patient’s bedside, which will be transferred directly to the electronic patient record, making the information instantly available to others.