- NHS trusts told to carry out internal investigations of every incident in which a patient is suspected of contracting covid-19 in hospital
- Concern at the ease at which the virus can spread in hospitals
- New letter requires regional intervention for ‘outlier’ trusts
- No routine regular testing for NHS staff
NHS trusts have been told to carry out internal investigations each time a patient is suspected of contracting covid-19 while in hospital — with “outlier” trusts subject to regional intervention.
In a letter sent to local NHS leaders, NHS England said trusts must carry out “root cause analyses” of all probable “healthcare associated” coronavirus infections, treating each as an ”untoward incident”.
There is concern at the ease at which the virus can spread in hospitals, and the need for the instructions suggests full investigations may not already be carried out routinely by all trusts.
The letter stresses it is “important that we take even greater steps to stop the spread of coronavirus in healthcare settings”.
It says outlier trusts, defined by average numbers over cases aggregated over four weeks, should carry out a “full review of all actions implemented locally” and mobilise support from regional infection prevention control teams.
Earlier this month, HSJ revealed more than 60 per cent of new covid cases diagnosed at two hospitals in Northamptonshire, over a period of more than a week, were caught at least two weeks after the patient was admitted
The letter was signed by NHS England’s chief nurse Ruth May, national medical director Steve Powis, chief people officer Prerana Issar, and national director for emergency and elective care Pauline Philip.
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