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health

Six NHS staff contract Covid after car sharing without wearing masks

Six NHS hospital staff have been sent home after falling ill with Covid-19 when they breached government rules by not wearing a mask when sharing lifts to and from work.



graphical user interface, application: Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alicia Canter/The Guardian

The six were told not to come into work by the University Hospitals of North Midlands trust, which is already having to deliver services with almost 600 personnel off work because of the illness.

Staff at the trust, which runs the Royal Stoke and Stafford County hospitals, were told about the incident in an email last week from Dr John Oxtoby, the trust’s medical director. The trust refused to say what roles the six perform at what is one of the NHS’s biggest, or at which hospital they work.

Their actions are a clear breach of the government’s guidance on the measures passengers should take to ensure they are not spreading or being exposed to coronavirus if they are travelling with people who are not in their household or support bubble.

It states that people travelling should “ask the driver and passengers to wear a face covering” as well as opening windows to ensure ventilation, cleaning vehicles in between journeys and sharing the car with the same people on each trip.

In his email to staff on 28 October, Oxtoby said: “It is essential that all staff who are car sharing wear a mask for the full journey to and from work.

“This week we had to send six members of staff home as they did not wear masks and have now developed Covid-19 symptoms.”

He also reminded staff to always wear a visor in clinical areas where doing so is advised, even if a patient has tested negative. The trust refused to say if any staff had recently flouted that rule.

On Tuesday this week, 987 of the trust’s 11,500 staff were off sick, of whom 583 either had Covid-19 or were isolating because someone in their household was displaying symptoms. Those 583 represented a sharp increase on the 421 staff who were off sick due to Covid-19 when Oxtoby sent his email on 28 October – a 39% rise in just six days.

Asked about the behaviour of the six staff, Oxtoby said that trust staff, like everyone in the NHS, had been working hard throughout the pandemic. But, he added: “We all obviously have a responsibility to observe national guidance and our staff are regularly kept up to date with the latest advice as it becomes available.

“Wearing a face mask and eye protection alongside hand washing and social distancing are all important measures of reducing the spread of Covid-19 in our hospitals and to keep our patients and communities safe.”

Lindsay Meeks, the Royal College of Nursing’s West Midlands regional director, said: “While there’s no suggestion this incident involves any of our members, we would urge all nursing staff to adhere to the Covid-19 restrictions in place in their area, and to any guidelines put in place

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health

Veteran-Owned Healthcare Company Awarded Medical Equipment Government Contract Valued at $450 Million

Alliant Healthcare Products will provide the Department of Defense and other federal agencies with a customer-friendly source for innovative medical products via new PMCE contract

Grand Rapids, Michigan –News Direct– Alliant Healthcare Products

Alliant Enterprises (dba Alliant Healthcare Products) has been awarded a Patient Monitoring & Capital Equipment (PMCE) contract by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) valued at $450 million over 10 years. The contract includes medical products from many of Alliant’s high-profile OEM partners, including Olympus America Inc., Philips Healthcare, Skytron, LINET Americas, Belimed Inc., PROCEPT BioRobotics, Veran Medical Technologies, and many others. The PMCE contract is pre-established and pre-vetted by the government as a source for medical equipment and acts as one of the preferred purchasing platforms for the Department of Defense (DoD).

From robotic-assisted surgical devices to hospital beds and endoscopy equipment, this contract will help America’s service members gain access to more than 8,000 best-in-class medical devices and products over the next 10 years. When it comes to new and innovative technology, the lengthy and arduous procurement process has historically limited the ability of the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and DoD to quickly and efficiently purchase critical products. This contract will remove some of the bureaucratic red tape and pave the way to a smoother procurement process for federal government customers, ensuring veterans and active duty military personnel have quicker access to new technologies and life-saving medical equipment.

“This PMCE contract solidifies Alliant’s position as one of the leading providers of medical equipment to the federal government. As a service-disabled veteran-owned small business, we strive to serve those who are actively working to protect our country,” said Eric Albery, President, Alliant Healthcare Products. “As a result of this contract, Alliant is able to provide federal government customers with access to some of the most advanced medical equipment on the market, through an efficient, net-centric ordering, distribution and payment system.”

“Olympus and Alliant have established a high-trust relationship based on mutual respect and alignment of goals to meet the unique equipment needs of the federal government,” said Steve Wendt, Vice President for Government and Distributor Relations, Olympus America Inc. “We are excited to work with Alliant to successfully implement this new agreement administered by the Department of Defense, which will bring additional visibility to Olympus’ innovative technologies and make them more accessible to our nation’s service men and women, and our country’s veterans.”

“There is no community more deserving, and we look forward to working with Alliant to understand how we can better serve the needs of veterans, active duty service men and women, as well as federal health facilities,” said Derek Farias, National Director Government Channel, Philips Healthcare.

The new PMCE contract is effective immediately for government customers, adding to Alliant’s arsenal of pre-established government contracts for medical products. Founded in 2002, Alliant Healthcare has become a trusted and respected staple within the federal government healthcare market, working closely with the DoD, VA, Indian Health Service, National Institute of Health and many

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health

Pence to continue campaigning after ‘close contact’ staff contract coronavirus

Multiple senior aides to the vice president have recently tested positive for COVID-19

While a number of people in Mike Pence‘s inner circle recently tested positive for COVID-19, the vice president reportedly has no plans to cancel his scheduled campaign events with the General Election drawing within a week away.

Pence apparently does not plan to self-quarantine to be sure not to spread coronavirus under the guise of being an essential worker, should he have unknowingly contracted the virus from one of his staff members. He and his wife, Karen Pence, tested negative on Saturday and Sunday, as reported by The New York Times.

According to spokesman Devin O’Malley, Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short tested positive for the disease on Saturday. In addition to Short, four other members of his staff have also contracted the virus that has caused a global pandemic. Marty Obst, one of Pence’s advisors, also tested positive earlier this week, a person familiar with the matter said.

Vice President Mike Pence (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)
Vice President Mike Pence (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

 “While Vice President Pence is considered a close contact with Mr. Short, in consultation with the White House Medical Unit, the vice president will maintain his schedule in accordance with the C.D.C. guidelines for essential personnel,” O’Malley stated.

Pence, under his role as second in command to President Donald Trump, is in charge of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

READ MORE: Odell Beckham Jr. doesn’t think he can get COVID-19: ‘It’s mutual respect’

Despite these positive tests affecting people so near to him, Pence is choosing to continue traveling around the nation under his separate capacity as a vice presidential candidate and surrogate for the Trump reelection campaign, less than 10 days out from the Nov. 3 election. This comes weeks after Trump and First Lady Melania Trump contracted coronavirus earlier this month. The disease hospitalized the president for days.

Since the President’s diagnosis, it was reported that several other members of the Administration had contracted COVID-19. This includes former political advisor Kellyanne Conway, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, policy advisor Stephen Miller and campaign manager Bill Stepien.

Questions surrounding the safety protocols at the White House concerning coronavirus have been raised heavily since it penetrated to heavily weeks ago. President Trump has also returned to holding public campaign rallies, and the Washington Post reported that during the first presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, guests of Trump opted not to wear masks during the broadcast.

Pence plans to maintain an aggressive campaign schedule this week despite an apparent outbreak of the coronavirus among his senior aides, the White House says. O’Malley said the vice president and his wife “remain in good health.”

READ MORE: Fauci advocates mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge across US

Trump commented on Short early Sunday after his plane landed at Joint Base Andrews, outside Washington.

“I did hear about it just now,” he said. “And I think he’s quarantining. Yeah. I did hear

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health

Backus Hospital nurses overwhelmingly ratify 4-year contract that boosts pay, provides new face mask policy

Unionized nurses at Backus Hospital have overwhelmingly ratified a four-year contract that provides pay raises and daily replacements of face masks, the Backus Federation of Nurses announced Thursday.

Nurses at the Norwich hospital voted nearly unanimously to approve the settlement that was negotiated Saturday with Hartford HealthCare, the hospital’s parent company, the union said. It did not report the vote count.

“Now we can focus on what we do best — delivering the great quality care all of our patients deserve,” said Sherri Dayton, president of the Backus Federation of Nurses.

Pay raises of 12% by the third year of the contract and 14% by the fourth year was a big win for the union, which wants to see an end to nurses leaving for better paid jobs. The union represents more than 400 nurses at Backus.

In addition, Hartford HealthCare agreed to single-use face masks. Nurses said they had to use masks stored in brown paper bags. The four-year agreement, which is effective immediately, also provides rooms for breastfeeding mothers, reduces employees’ insurance premiums and keeps nurses’ rights to daily overtime.

Nurses had been working under the previous contract that expired Sept. 1.

Stephen Singer can be reached at [email protected]

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©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

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health

Backus Hospital and the union representing more than 400 nurses agree to a tentative contract after 4 months of bargaining

Backus Hospital and the union representing more than 400 nurses agreed early Saturday morning to a tentative four-year contract the union president hailed as a victory.

Sherri Dayton, president of the Backus Federation of Nurses, said pay raises will help secure a major goal of the union: keeping nurses from leaving for jobs with higher salaries.

In addition, Hartford HealthCare, the hospital’s parent company, agreed to single-use face masks “instead of storing masks in brown paper bags,” she said.

Donna Handley, president of the hospital called the agreement a “fair and responsible contract.”

We greatly value and respect our nurse colleagues and the critical roles they play in our hospital,” she said in an emailed statement.

Nurses have scheduled a ratification vote Thursday.

Nurses went on strike for two days this week to pressure the hospital to negotiate better contract terms. Dayton said the walkout and political involvement by Gov. Ned Lamont helped spur an agreement.

Stephen Singer can be reached at [email protected]

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©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)

Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Source Article

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