Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven days in medicine: 1-7 April 2020

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 09 April 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1414


Hancock promises 100 000 tests a day in England by end of April

The government pledged to carry out 100 000 covid-19 tests a day in England by the end of April, ramping up its current capacity. The promise by the health secretary, Matt Hancock, followed a mounting backlash against the government over its failure to boost testing capacity. In particular, the failure to fulfil promises to roll out testing for NHS staff has left medical leaders frustrated, with large numbers of doctors having to self-isolate because they are unsure whether they have the virus. (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.m1392)

Doctors’ visas are automatically extended for a year

Visas of doctors, nurses, and paramedics that were due to expire before 1 October will automatically be extended for one year free of charge, the UK government announced. The extension will also apply to family members and will be exempt from the immigration health surcharge. In an announcement on 31 March the home secretary, Priti Patel, said, “Doctors, nurses, and paramedics from all over the world are playing a leading role in the NHS’s efforts to tackle coronavirus and save lives. I don’t want them distracted by the visa process.” (Full story doi:10.1136/bmj.m1381)

Only a third of physicians with symptoms can access testing, poll finds

A survey of over 2513 members of the Royal College of Physicians found that less than a third (31%) were able to access covid-19 testing for themselves if they had symptoms. Nearly a fifth of respondents (18.5%) said that they were off work at the moment, mostly (79.1%) because of …

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