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Introducing the hospitalist

Have you heard of the hospitalist? It’s an American concept, and one I would like a new Conservative government to consider introducing here to improve patient care while in hospital following yesterday’s devastating report in The Sunday’s Times which highlighted their neglect to meet targets. A pity if it is too late to add to our health policy for the general election as it could make a...
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How the NHS should clean up its act

Today’s alarming report on the Dr Foster Hospital Guide about our under performing NHS trusts – based on a range of indicators including death rates, infection rates and staffing levels – reminded me of something worrying I learnt at the Infection 2009 conference earlier this month. Dr Peter Wilson, consultant microbiologist at University College London Hospital, told me that because...
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This is an isolation pod for superbugs

Hospitals have too few side wards for patients with serious infections, such as MRSA and C.difficile, and one solution is to use a mobile isolation pod, such as the two shown in this video which were displayed at the excellent Infection 2009 conference in Birmingham last week. I was stunned by the technology and thought which has gone into the designs. For example, a patient can lie in bed...
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Viewing the “Brum Eye”

I was fortunate enough to stay in the very comfortable Hyatt Hotel during my stay in Birmingham last week. It has a tunnel linking directly to the ICC where the prestigious Infection 2009 conference was held which I was promoting. After arriving on Tuesday evening, I was invited to join Sir Richard Sykes, the conference president, and other speakers for a pre-conference dinner. As I was dropped...
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BBC Newsround film at Infection 2009

A school party who visited Infection 2009 today found themselves thrust in the media spotlight when BBC Newsround heart throb Ricky dropped in to interview them about bugs and sneezes. The pupils from the Arthur Terry School used a “snotgun” and a mask of Homer’s face to fire a sneeze through his nostrils and down a “runway” to demonstrate how far a sneeze travels....
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Government has no idea how many people are dying from hospital infections

I find it quite shocking that the government has no idea how many people are dying from hospital infections. The publication today of a report on hospital infections highlights how the NHS’s £12 billion IT system cannot even make a vital linkage between various data on infections. This major report has had national news coverage – stating how 80% of hospital infections are not being monitored –...
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Climate change and swine flu

It’s more like September than November today. There is no thick morning mist across the flat Fenland landscape, and no need to wrap up in scarves and gloves. People are still going out in tee-shirts, and even shorts. Normally around Bonfire Night, you can see your breath in the cold, damp air when you blow out, but it’s still too warm for that. Yet many people I know have had colds, sore throats...
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Epidemic Intelligence, Twitter and the 2012 Olympics

I’m really looking forward to attending the Infection 2009 conference in Birmingham next week as its press officer, a major scientific conference which is debating superbugs like swine flu, as well as epidemics and pandemics. One of the studies which will be featured includes the results of a unique report by research scientists who are using social network sites like Twitter for Epidemic...
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Epidemics and pandemics, what is to come?

I’m really delighted about a new project I am working on to promote a medical/scientific conference called Infection 2009 which is being held in Birmingham next month. It might not sound a very sexy subject, but the topics which its world leading experts will speak about could have a considerable impact on our lives. The very distinguished Sir Richard Sykes is conference president, (chairman of...
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