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Covid-proofing facilities has been among the hardest tasks of them all for NHS trusts during the pandemic.

Many trusts have experienced outbreaks on their wards, and – once they occur – they can be extremely hard to quash.

The Care Quality Commission has already raised warnings about trusts’ standards of infection prevention control after issuing regulatory notices against two trusts since June.

However, the watchdog is now ramping up its approach, and has said it will carry out up to 20 inspections focused on infection prevention.

The trusts in line to be inspected are those which report the most troubling figures around nosocomial spread combined with concerns raised with the CQC through other channels.

While some trust boards may baulk a little at the sign of more inspections during an exceptionally busy time, the move hopefully offers some patient safety benefits.

And with the NHS facing a third wave – or a rejuvenated second wave depending on your area – a greater focus on infection control is sensible timing.  

On the rise again

Sobering news reported by HSJ today was that every English NHS region has seen a rise in the running weekly total of covid admissions for at least the three consecutive days to 9 December (latest data available), except the Midlands, which experienced a rise for two days and then fall on the ninth. The national weekly total has risen for seven consecutive days to 9 December.

Covid hospital admissions are now rising again in both the North West and North East and Yorkshire regions. The South West region is also now seeing an increase, while the South East, East of England, and London have been rising for some time.

While admissions in the North of the country have begun to tick up, the South and East are experiencing dramatic increases.