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Seven days in medicine: 11-17 August 2021

BMJ 2021; 374 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n2028 (Published 19 August 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;374:n2028

Covid-19

Trusts welcome new rules on self-isolation

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said he hoped that changes to rules on self-isolation in England would help to improve staffing level at trusts, as from 16 August people who are double jabbed do not need to self-isolate when identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive for covid-19. Since mid-July,1 NHS and care staff who were told to self-isolate have been allowed to work in “exceptional circumstances” if they are fully vaccinated and return a negative PCR test, but the effect on staffing has not been as great as anticipated, said Hopson.

PPE providers on fast track will be named

After a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office, the UK government said that it would publish the names of companies it had contracted to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) when they were placed on a fast track “VIP lane” by officials. Contracts worth billions were awarded to companies with little or no experience in PPE supplies and without competitive tender. In November the National Audit Office found that suppliers referred to the VIP lane were 10 times as likely to be awarded a contract as those that came through the ordinary lane.2

Charity offers scholarships to bereaved children

The Healthcare Workers’ Foundation (healthcareworkersfoundation.org), set up in March 2020 to support the relatives of healthcare workers who died during the covid pandemic, is offering education scholarships worth £5000 (€5870; $6880) a year to NHS staff’s bereaved children who …

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