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More than 4400 Covid vaccine doses ‘wasted in one week in Scotland’ – STV news

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More than 4400 doses of coronavirus vaccine were wasted in Scotland in one week, figures have revealed.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government under freedom of information requests showed that in the week ending August 1, a total of 4,448 doses of vaccine were not administered.

Between February and July the number totalled 34,026.

The Scottish Government said there are “several reasons a vaccine may not be administered before being discarded, and therefore ‘wasted’”, including issues with storage, expired doses and “specific clinical situations where there may be some dose loss”.

The figures covered all three of the coronavirus vaccines being given in Scotland – Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna – with the total wasted amounting to 0.51% of the 6,643,551 jabs given.

However the statistics do not include wastage of vaccines in GPs practices, as “GPs do not record this information”.

The figures were released as the Scottish Government continues to urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

From Monday this will include healthy youngsters aged between 12 and 15, after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the vaccine programme was being expanded following advice from the UK’s chief medical officers.

For political news click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/politics-matters/

Warning as nurse and midwife vacancy rate breaks record in Scotland – Nursing Times

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Nursing and midwifery vacancies have been at a record high in Scotland since March, with over 4,800 posts unfilled, unions have warned in response to latest workforce figures.

Latest NHS Scotland workforce statistics, published this week, show that 4,845 whole-time equivalent (WTE) nursing and midwifery posts were vacant at the end of June, representing 7.1% of the total.

They also reveal that in the previous quarter, ending in March, 4,494, or 6.6%, of WTE nursing and midwifery posts were unfilled.

The latter figure has only just been published as not all health boards were able to submit data. The Royal College of Nursing highlighted that the previous record had been 4,013, or 6.3%, in June 2019.

The RCN noted that there were “particular challenges” in a number of health boards and in some nursing areas, such as community and mental health.

For more health news, please click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/health-matters/

Pensioner dies waiting 40 hours for ambulance after collapsing in Glasgow flat – The Scotsman

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According to a report in the Herald Gerard Brown, 65, was found by family on the floor of his flat in Dumbreck, Glasgow last Monday with injuries to his back and arms from a fall.

Paramedics eventually arrived around 3am on Wednesday, after which time Mr Brown had passed away.

Mr Brown’s son Dylan, told the Herald: “They pronounced that he was only just dead because he still had warmth in his body.

“In this day and age, it should not be happening. I know with Covid people are busy and the NHS is struggling, but that’s unacceptable and we just don’t want it happening to another family.”

Dylan added that his father’s GP had told him “I can assure you that if they’d got to him your Dad would still be here”.

Mr Brown was reportedly a cancer survivor, weighing just six stone, who had a history of alcohol-related health problems.

The GP, Dr O’Neill, was reported as first being made aware of Mr Brown’s situation by his ex-wife on Monday morning, after she called let the practice know the family were waiting for an ambulance.

Dr O’Neill told the Herald: “At 9am on Tuesday we get a phonecall from his ex-wife to say ‘listen, he’s still in the house’. I was like ‘you are kidding me?’.

“I got on the phone to the ambulance service at 9.15am and I said ‘this man is going to be found dead’ – and I used that language, because I knew the situation he was in.

The GP was called by police on Wednesday to inform him of Mr Brown’s death. But he said that the long wait was not an isolated incident.

For more health news click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/health-matters/

Doctors are exhausted, says BMA Scotland chief – BBC news

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Scotland’s doctors are “exhausted” and many are cutting working hours or leaving the health service altogether, according to a senior doctors’ leader.

BMA Scotland chairman Dr Lewis Morrison told BBC Scotland that doctors were “washed out physically and mentally” after 18 months of the Covid pandemic.

He said action was needed to stop doctors leaving the profession and to boost recruitment of new medics.

The Scottish government said it was working to manage the pressures.

Speaking ahead of the BMA’s annual representative meeting, Dr Morrison said the “workforce crisis” had its roots in the number of senior doctor vacancies before the pandemic.

But he said that the NHS “being run at 110% capacity” during Covid had deepened the crisis.

The pressures across the NHS had been “immense” in the past few weeks, he said.

Dr Morrison said doctors traditionally had low levels of sickness but it was starting to rise.

“I think the cumulative effect of the pandemic is now starting to show,” he said.

“The main other thing is to look after people, to give people the space to have rest and recuperation as best they can, to not pressurise people to do more and more.

“The message needs to go to the public to still be patient with the NHS because it cannot meet the needs of everybody right now.”

For more health news, click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/health-matters/

NHS faces ‘staffing disaster’ as 5,000 nursing jobs left vacant – The Times

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The Royal College of Nursing Scotland has demanded action as it emerged that vacancies within nursing and midwifery amounted to 4,900 posts,
Vacancies within the NHS have reached “record levels”, as figures showed that more than 500 consultant positions and almost 5,000 jobs in nursing and midwifery are vacant.
The staffing gaps came as the health secretary warned that the summer had seen a “perfect storm” for the NHS in Scotland amid high demand and a “knackered” workforce.
Humza Yousaf said health boards were having to make difficult decisions about the types of treatment they could offer when he appeared at Holyrood’s health committee yesterday.
Asked about recently declaring “code black” — meaning they had reached full capacity — and fatigue among staff, Yousaf said the NHS was still “in the midst” of the pandemic and were having to take “tough decisions” about non-urgent surgery.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Scotland has demanded action as it emerged that in June this year vacancies within nursing and midwifery amounted to the whole-time equivalent of 4,900 posts.
That is the highest number ever, the union claimed, up from 4,000 posts in June 2019, with the current total meaning around 7 per cent of roles are unfilled. Meanwhile, the same figures showed 540 consultants posts were vacant in June — up from a previous high of 514 two years ago.
RCN Scotland claimed the vacancy rates in some areas, such as NHS Highland, NHS Shetland and NHS Dumfries and Galloway, meant that more than one in ten nursing and midwifery roles were lying empty.
The union added that across Scotland, 10 per cent of district nursing posts were vacant, while there were 8 per cent of mental health nursing posts unfilled — a record high

For more health news, click here: https://www.scotlandmatters.co.uk/health-matters/

Covid inquiry must be given all the powers needed to take action and force change – Sunday Post

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Bereaved families have called on ministers to include them in preparations for Scotland’s public inquiry into the official response to the pandemic.

Cathie Russell, who lost her mother Rose Hamilton, 89, in July, leads the Care Home Relatives Scotland campaign group and said that, despite meeting with current Health Secretary Humza Yousaf and his predecessor Jeane Freeman, they and Lost Loved Ones, another network supporting families and campaigning for an inquiry, had not been informed preparations were under way.

She said: “We have had around a dozen meetings and nothing was said about the consultation process, despite us asking officially to be core participants in the inquiry.”

Patrick McGuire of law firm Thompsons Scotland, who has been involved in a number of Scottish public inquiries and represents some of the families affected by the pandemic, has written an open letter to Deputy First Minister John Swinney calling on him to ensure the terms of reference for the Covid inquiry will give it the necessary powers.

He said: “This inquiry is much too important to everyone in Scotland for it not to include these key groups, and after being professionally involved in five public inquiries which have in many ways failed to live up to the expectations of victims, we cannot afford to see any repeat of the same mistakes.

McGuire warned, if carried out thoroughly, the Scottish Covid inquiry could ultimately lead to criminal prosecutions. He said: “There is no point in spending millions on a public inquiry and then finding the terms of reference have placed a straightjacket on the authorities who are then expected to take action.”

Glasgow and Lanarkshire worst Covid hotspots in Europe – STV news

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Glasgow and Lanarkshire are the two worse hit corona hotspots in Europe, according to the World Health Organisation.

The rate of Covid-19 cases per person in the two Scottish regions are significantly higher than elsewhere in the country, the United Kingdom and the continent.

Lanarkshire’s seven-day rate of cases per 100,000 people was more than 1111, with Glasgow’s higher than 1014.

The regions with the next worst levels of Covid-19 are Kosovo and Israel with rates of 734 and 718 respectively.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Cyde staff facing tide of abuse and threats – The Herald

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Nurses, doctors and other hospital workers are being subjected to hundreds of physical and verbal assaults each month in Scotland’s largest health board area, new statistics have revealed.

Frontline staff in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde faced 354 violent and aggressive incidents and threats on average during the first half of the year, with 2,479 occuring between January and July.

Scots doctors’ leaders blast ‘worrying gaps’ in SNP’s NHS Covid recovery plan as Sturgeon vows to inject £1billion – Scottish Sun

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DOCTORS’ leaders hit out last night over “worrying gaps” in the SNP’s long-awaited NHS Covid recovery plan.

Nicola Sturgeon vowed to spend £1billion on improving care while tackling massive waiting lists and treatment backlogs through a 22 per cent increase in activity by 2026.

The blueprint, unveiled yesterday by the First Minister and her Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, promised to dramatically boost post-pandemic treatment numbers – but rivals claimed she had already broken a pre-election promise on increasing patient capacity.

Ms Sturgeon said the plan would drive the NHS recovery “beyond its pre-pandemic level”, with reinstating face-to-face GP appointments and cutting A&E visits urgent priorities.

But experts warned the 28-page document lacked detail – while one cancer charity suggested it was a “missed opportunity”.

BMA Scotland chair Dr Lewis Morrison said it failed to address recruitment challenges and said: “We cannot hope to deliver what is currently demanded of our NHS, let alone an extra ten per cent.

“Striving to meet this commitment is unrealistic without the staff to do it, and it risks driving existing staff harder.

Nicola Sturgeon faces demands to ‘take responsibility’ for failings during Covid pandemic – Daily Express

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“They had gone and I didn’t feel safe. I didn’t feel I was being valued as a Scottish NHS worker and there was no explanation as to why this PPE was out of date or what was happening.

“The fact that my practice was borrowing equipment from builders merchants, from scouts giving us donations.

“We were in no way prepared for the pandemic and the Scottish Government did not produce the equipment we needed quick enough.”

The First Minister said the judge-led inquiry would have a “person-centred, human rights-based” approach.