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TFS Healthcare Weekly News Roundup

Our weekly roundup of news articles including what’s it like using the Covid-19 contact tracing app and NHS fees to be scrapped for overseas health staff.

Call us if you need us: mental health charity’s message to nurses in distressNursing Standard
15 May – Article by Kimberley Hackett

A nationwide campaign to urge health workers to seek mental health support during the COVID-19 pandemic has been launched.

The No Mask for Mental Health campaign which will appear on TV and social media, features workers discussing the strain the pandemic has placed on their mental health.

The campaign is in response to an increased number of calls the foundation has received. Between February and April it received up to 84 requests for help a day. This compares to up to 45 a day in the same period in 2019.

Trustee Imogen Landers said: ‘Unfortunately there is no personal protective equipment for the mind’.

COVID-19: how working at the Nightingale has changed my student experience – Nursing Standard
15 May – Article by Lynne Pearce

As the NHS continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing students at the University of Salford are helping to tackle the pandemic by caring for patients at local hospitals. Two students describe their first weeks in the workplace, and what has helped them cope.

Coronavirus symptoms: UK adds loss of smell and taste to list – BBC
18 May – Article by Michelle Roberts

Loss of smell or taste have been added to the UK’s list of coronavirus symptoms that people should look out for and self-isolate with.

Until now, only a fever and cough were triggers for people to shut themselves away in self-isolation in case they had and could spread the infection.

Ear, nose and throat doctors had been warning for weeks that more symptoms should be included.

Scientific advisers told the government to update the advice.

Coronavirus: Fasting for Ramadan on the front lineBBC Video
18 May – by Olivia Lang and Safia Mohamed

Every year millions of Muslims fast for the holy month of Ramadan, not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset.

But what is it like to fast as a healthcare worker in the time of the coronavirus?

The BBC spoke to two women working on the front line who shared their stories.

Let’s quash the criticism of nursing students opting for theory-only studies – Nursing Standard
20 May – Article by Lynne Pearce

Nursing students who are choosing to pursue the theory option during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than doing an extended clinical placement, sometimes face criticism from those who think they have made the wrong choice.

‘I’ve spoken to lots of students who feel guilty, ashamed and embarrassed, and are having to justify themselves when they shouldn’t need to,’ says second-year adult nursing student Brian Webster.

Such criticism of this group has driven Mr Webster to set up the website ThinkTheory19 to support the UK’s nursing students, particularly those who have selected the online theory route.

What’s it like using the Covid-19 contact tracing app? – BBC Video
21 May

Isle of Wight resident Megan Mackney has told the BBC what it was like to receive a notification from the Covid-19 contact tracing app.

People on the island were invited to test the NHS app at the heart of the government’s testing strategy two weeks ago.

Ms Mackney said she expected to get more information after being notified she had been near someone with symptoms.

Coronavirus: Could there be a second wave? – BBC Video
22 May – Chris Morris, motion graphics by Jacqueline Galvin

As countries around the world consider when and how to ease restrictions, attention is being focussed on the best ways to avoid second or even third waves of Covid-19 infections.

NHS fees to be scrapped for overseas health staff and care workersBBC
21 May

NHS staff and care workers from overseas will no longer have to pay an extra charge towards the health service after mounting pressure from MPs.

Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the PM had asked the Home Office and Department for Health to exempt NHS and care workers “as soon as possible”.

The health immigration surcharge on non-EU migrants is £400 per year and set to rise to £624 in October.

The move to grant the exemption came after the PM’s spokesman defended the fee earlier on Thursday.

Officials are now working on the detail and more will be announced “in the coming days”.

But it is understood the plan will include exemptions for all NHS workers, including porters and cleaners, as well as independent health workers and social care workers.

New guidance for practice nurses redeployed to community – Nursing Times
22 May – Article by Rebecca Gilroy

A new document has been published outlining the key competencies required of practice nurses if they are redeployed into community roles during the coronavirus crisis.

The Queen’s Nursing Institute set out the guidance, called Minimum Bridging Competencies for General Practice Nurses Transitioning to Community Nursing, which was funded by NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The competencies are designed to support general practice nurses (GPNs) taking on new roles at short notice.

With the majority of nursing staff experiencing skin conditions, new RCN resources provide guidance on maintaining healthy skinRCN
22 May

New resources from the RCN will help nursing staff look after their skin health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With nursing staff washing their hands and using alcohol rub and gloves more frequently, maintaining skin health and avoiding skin conditions such as dermatitis is a key concern.

The new resources include information about hand hygiene, protecting your hands, guidance on gloves, signs of skin conditions, and how to report issues to your employer.

Read last week’s news roundup