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Int J Health Plann Manage ; 36(5): 1397-1406, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1245422


During the on-going COVID-19 pandemic a number of key public health services have been severely impacted. These include elective surgical services due to the synergetic resources required to provide both perioperative surgical care whilst also treating acute COVID-19 patients and also the poor outcomes associated with surgical patients who develop COVID-19 in the perioperative period. This article discusses the important principles and concepts for providing important surgical services during the COVID-19 pandemic based on the model of the RMCancerSurgHub which is providing surgical cancer services for a population of approximately 2 million people across London during the pandemic. The model focusses on creating local and regional hub centres which provide urgent treatment for surgical patients in an environment that is relatively protected from the burden of COVID-19 illness. The model extensively utilises the extended multidisciplinary team to allow for a flexible approach with core services delivered in 'clean' sites which can adapt to viral surges. A key requirement is that of a clinical prioritisation process which allows for equity in access within and between specialties ensuring that patients are treated on the basis of greatest need, while at the same time protecting those whose conditions can safely wait from exposure to the virus. Importantly, this model has the ability to scale-up activity and lead units and networks into the recovery phase. The model discussed is also broadly applicable to providing surgical services during any viral pandemic.

COVID-19 , Elective Surgical Procedures , Pandemics , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Perioperative Care , SARS-CoV-2
Australas Emerg Care ; 24(3): 186-196, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1157136


BACKGROUND: Emergency clinicians have a crucial role during public health emergencies and have been at the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study examined the knowledge, preparedness and experiences of Australian emergency nurses, emergency physicians and paramedics in managing COVID-19. METHODS: A voluntary cross-sectional study of members of the College of Emergency Nursing Australasia, the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine, and the Australasian College of Paramedicine was conducted using an online survey (June-September 2020). RESULTS: Of the 159 emergency nurses, 110 emergency physicians and 161 paramedics, 67.3-78% from each group indicated that their current knowledge of COVID-19 was 'good to very good'. The most frequently accessed source of COVID-19 information was from state department of health websites. Most of the respondents in each group (77.6-86.4%) received COVID-19 specific training and education, including personal protective equipment (PPE) usage. One-third of paramedics reported that their workload 'had lessened' while 36.4-40% of emergency nurses and physicians stated that their workload had 'considerably increased'. Common concerns raised included disease transmission to family, public complacency, and PPE availability. CONCLUSIONS: Extensive training and education and adequate support helped prepare emergency clinicians to manage COVID-19 patients. Challenges included inconsistent and rapidly changing communications and availability of PPE.

Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/prevention & control , Clinical Competence/statistics & numerical data , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Infection Control/organization & administration , Adult , Australia , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Emergency Medical Services/standards , Emergency Treatment/standards , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Personal Protective Equipment/statistics & numerical data