HEE is an executive non-departmental public body of DHSC, responsible for co-ordination of education and training within the health and public health workforce within England, including the training of doctors and nurses.
NHS Digital is a non-departmental public body responsible for the information, data and IT systems for commissioners, analysts and clinicians in health and social care in England.
NHSX is a joint unit of NHS England and DHSC, supporting local NHS and care organisations to digitise their services, connect the health and social care systems through technology and transform the way patients’ care is delivered at home, in the community and in hospital.
A power to enable formal legal mergers of DHSC’s arm’s length bodies is currently being considered by Parliament as part of the Health and Care Bill. The formal merger of HEE and NHSE/I is therefore subject to Parliament’s approval of that measure, expected in summer 2022.
NHS Digital and NHSX will form part of the new Transformation Directorate within NHSE alongside Improvement, and Innovation, Research and Life Sciences.
The NHSE/I Transformation Directorate will continue to lead the digital transformation agenda for the NHS and social care at national and ICS level.
NHSX will evolve into the strategy function of the Transformation Directorate.
The £37billion Test and Trace scheme is already being dismantled – despite fears of a devastating winter Covid crisis.
A leaked dossier has laid bare plans to axe the shambolic system in 2022. But a major step in winding it down will come next week.
The Sunday Mirror understands the contact tracing system run by Sitel and Serco will be wound up early over crippling costs.
Up to 10,000 contact tracers and call handlers were last week told their jobs were being axed, insiders said.
In briefings by managers, teams were told there was “no money left”.
Private hospitals treated a total of just eight Covid patients a day during the pandemic despite a multi-billion pound deal with the government to help stop the NHS being overwhelmed, a report reveals.
And they also performed far fewer operations on NHS-funded patients than usual, even though hospitals has suspended much non-Covid care, according to research by a thinktank.
The Treasury agreed in March 2020 to pay for a deal to block-book the entire capacity of all 7,956 beds in England’s 187 private hospitals along with their almost 20,000 staff to help supplement the NHS’s efforts to cope with the unfolding pandemic. It is believed to have cost £400m a month.
However, the Centre for Health and the Public Interest’s report (Pdf) says that on 39% of days between March 2020 and March this year, private hospitals treated no Covid patients at all and on a further 20% of days they cared for only one person. Overall, they provided only 3,000 of the 3.6m Covid bed days in those 13 months – just 0.08% of the total.
No10’s Test and Trace system has had barely any impact on thwarting the spread of Covid, according to official estimates.
The controversial £37billion scheme has been heavily criticised over the past year for being ineffective at breaking the chains of transmission.
New Government modelling found the programme – which critics have described as being the biggest ever waste of taxpayer money – may have only slashed cases by as little as six per cent.
The risk of severe illness and death from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, is extremely low in children and teenagers, according to the most comprehensive analyses of public health data, co-led by researchers at UCL.
However, Covid-19 increases the likelihood of serious illness in the most vulnerable young people, those with pre-existing medical conditions and severe disabilities, although these risks remain low overall.
The preliminary findings, published in three new pre-print studies led by UCL, the University of Bristol, University of York and the University of Liverpool, will be submitted to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to inform vaccine and shielding policy for the under-18s. The studies did not look at the impact of long Covid.
Links from article:
- Full paper on medRxiv: Ward et al. *
- Full paper on ResearchSquare: Smith et al. **
- Full paper on medRxiv: Harwood et al. ***
- Professor Russell Viner’s academic profile
- Dr Joseph Ward’s academic profile
- UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health
- UCL Population Health Sciences
Innova tests’ performance not proven and they should be returned to manufacturer or thrown in bin, says FDA
The US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) has raised significant concerns about the rapid Covid test on which the UK government has based its multibillion-pound mass testing programme.
In a scathing review, the US health agency suggested the performance of the test had not been established, presenting a risk to health, and that the tests should be thrown in the bin or returned to the California-based manufacturer Innova.
…In its report, the agency accused the company of “false or misleading” estimates of the clinical performance of certain configurations of the test, saying the estimates did not accurately reflect the performance of the diagnostic devices during clinical studies.
British health chiefs did war-game a coronavirus pandemic before the nation was eventually hit by Covid but tried to keep it secret, it was revealed today.
Matt Hancock — who faced a grilling from MPs today about No10’s failures throughout the virus crisis — has only ever confessed to carrying out a mock-up of a flu crisis called Exercise Cygnus.
More than 500 people who received their coronavirus jabs have been admitted to hospital with Covid-19, a UK study has found.
Researchers at Liverpool University said the patients had all received one dose of the vaccine at least three weeks before they were admitted.
They said the patients were largely frail and elderly, while the number of people who were hospitalised represented only around 1 per cent of the 52,000 people involved in the research.
According to the UK Government, as of 27 March 2021, 126,515 people have died as a result of contracting Covid-19, and an additional 21,610 people have died with COVID-19 on their death certificates.
The government alleges, therefore, that a total of 148,125 people in the UK have died as a result of COVID-19. As we shall see, this claim is not credible.
- Only three of England’s seven Nightingale hospitals have ever been used to treat Covid patients.
- Cost to the taxpayer is more than £500m to set-up and keep on standby.
- Four of the Nightingales have never treated people with Covid-19.
- Only two of the hospitals have been used to treat Covid patients in during the second wave.
- Nightingales totalled up to £1.27m per inpatient as of January 2021.
- Only 272 inpatients were treated at the Nightingales up until January 2021.
- Nightingale Birmingham, which was the most expensive to set-up at a contracted budget of £109million – has never been used at all.
- Each Nightingale building cost between £409,000 and £1.2m a month to keep on standby.
- The bill to set up the hospitals was £346m, according to contracts awarded by the government to NHS trusts.
- NHS England has forecast total costs will run to £532m for the financial years 2019-21.
- At least £850,000 was also spent with consultancy firms on the construction of the Nightingales.
New documents published by the Department of Health and Social Care show that Doja Limited were awarded the multi-million pound contract in May of last year. The company’s director has said it was founded to sell “rare diamonds”, and does not appear to have a history of supplying PPE.
The company, which has no website and is registered to an accountant’s firm, was handed the contract under a controversial scheme which allows ministers to directly award deals relating to procurement during the pandemic without putting the tender to a competitive process.
Immunocompetent staff, patients and residents who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 by PCR should be exempt from routine re-testing by PCR or LFD antigen tests (for example, repeated whole setting screening or screening prior to hospital discharge) within a period of 90 days from their initial illness onset or test (if asymptomatic) unless they develop new COVID-19 symptoms. This is because fragments of inactive virus can be persistently detected by PCR in respiratory tract samples following infection – long after a person has completed their isolation period and is no longer infectious.
A group of 47 psychologists has claimed this amounts to a strategic decision “to inflate the fear levels of the British public”, which it states is “ethically murky” and has left people too afraid to leave their homes for medical appointments. Led by former NHS consultant psychologist Dr Gary Sidley, the experts have written to the British Psychological Society (BPS) claiming the strategy is “morally questionable.”
Dido Harding’s Test and Trace system is splashing out nearly a million pounds every day to private consultancy firm Deloitte, newly-released government figures have revealed.
David William’s, a top-ranking civil servant at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), told MPs on Monday that 900 of the firm’s consultants were currently employed – at a rate of £1,000 per day.
The disclosure of the astonishing level of expenditure comes after parliamentarians were told that DHSC expected to spend £15 billion on coronavirus in the next three months on testing alone – particularly the rollout of controversial rapid testing – to tackle the pandemic.
The government has now approved the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The reason they have been able to do this so quickly is because they have taken advantage of the temporary authorisation regime laid out by the Human Medicine Regulations of 2012 and 2020. The 2012 Regulations were updated in 2020 specifically to facilitate the smooth rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. In the public consultation preceding the introduction of these updated regulations, several respondents raised concerns regarding unlicensed vaccines and immunity from civil liability. In practice, very little is known about these regulations and their application. This article seeks to shed some light on the temporary authorisation regime and suggest a means of alleviating concerns in the context of “vaccine hesitancy”.
The UK government has granted pharmaceutical giant Pfizer a legal indemnity protecting it from being sued, enabling its coronavirus vaccine to be rolled out across the country as early as next week.
The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed the company has been given an indemnity protecting it from legal action as a result of any problems with the vaccine.
Ministers have also changed the law in recent weeks to give new protections to companies such as Pfizer, giving them immunity from being sued by patients in the event of any complications.
NHS staff providing the vaccine, as well as manufacturers of the drug, are also protected.
On 16 October, the Human Medicines (Coronavirus and Influenza) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 (SI 2020/1125) entered into force. The Regulations cover temporary authorisations for vaccines, civil liability and immunity for participants in vaccination programmes, expansion of the healthcare workforce who can administer vaccines, promotion of vaccines and an exemption to wholesale licensing requirement.
The Department of Health has conceded the initiative to trace contacts of people infected with Covid-19 was launched without carrying out an assessment of its impact on privacy.
The Open Rights Group (ORG) says the admission means the initiative has been unlawful since it began on 28 May.
- 2.4% of all tests were positive (9,674 out of 397,197)
- 3.9% of residents tested positive (6,747 out of 172,066)
- 3.3% of asymptomatic residents tested positive (5,455 out of 163,945)
- 80.9% of residents who tested positive were asymptomatic (5,455 out of 6,747)
- 1.2% of asymptomatic staff tested positive (2,567 out of 210,620)
A healthcare firm which employs the prominent Conservative politician Owen Paterson as a paid consultant has been awarded a £133m contract without any other firms being given the opportunity to bid for the work.
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has given Randox the contract to produce testing kits to help respond to the coronavirus pandemic. It was awarded “without prior publication of a call for competition”, according to details of the contract seen by the Guardian.