Search Result for 'care homes'

Vitamin D: Did a Prescribing Ban in Care Homes Contribute to Fatalities?

Smoked Salmon: A great source of Vitamin D. Order from Bleiker's Smokehouse in Yorkshire Key points Vitamin D, contrary to popular thought, is not a vitamin. It is an inflammation-regulating steroid hormone involved in many of the body’s essential processes.1 Leaked NHS internal guidance, issued in June 2020, states that “evidence supports a causal role in Vitamin D status and COVID-19 outcomes”, and urges clinicians to “monitor, report and treat”.2 Meanwhile, a NICE rapid evidence review also published in June, states “there is no evidence to support taking vitamin D supplements to specifically prevent or treat COVID‑19.” However, it does re-enforce its September 2018 advice that at-risk groups should take a 10µg supplement all year round.3 Rewind to March 2018: the ‘world’s biggest quango’ NHS England, released new guidance not to issue Vitamin D and many other commonly available over-the-counter (OTC) medicines on prescription, which was intended to save NHS costs by promoting patient self-care.4 Vulnerable elderly care home residents, many of whom lack mental capacity, are unable to obtain Vitamin D without a prescription, as Care and Quality Commission (CQC) regulations prevent tablets being given by care staff without GP Guidance.5 This logistical deadlock has not been resolved, and Vitamin D deficiency has long been known to be widespread in care homes.6 Over 19,000 care home residents in England ...

False Positives in Care Homes

by Dr Clare Craig FRCPath Outbreaks of Covid in care homes appear to have spiked in September in the UK. Does this mean we will see a resulting spike in deaths? This article explores the possibility that a significant number of the alleged outbreaks in care homes could be based on false positive test results. The continuing absence of systemic cross-checking of alleged positive results against established clinical and diagnostic evidence such as loss of smell and distinctive CT chest scans remains deeply disappointing. At an absolute minimum, anyone who receives an alleged positive Covid result should be retested from scratch. The percentage of tests carried out in the community that were reported as positives reached a steady state over the summer at 0.8 per cent of tests. Reaching a steady state like this over a period of weeks is suggestive of having arrived at the baseline false positive rate. Similar figures have been used by SAGE. Matt Hancock has said the figure is “less than one per cent”. The argument in support of the idea that a significant proportion of national UK Covid diagnoses in July and August 2020 were actually due to false positives is provided in a separate blog post. This paper addresses the narrower issue of alleged outbreaks in care homes. This is how a false ...

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