There are plenty of ‘power-mad premiers’ who simply ‘couldn’t care less’



Sky News host Paul Murray has taken aim at “power-mad premiers” across Australia who “couldn’t care less” about their individual citizens.

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Return to office will be wobbly, handle with care


Were we unaware of how much it can take out of you to communicate meaningfully with bunches of colleagues in real life, or were our adrenal glands so used to running on caffeinated battery-stretch we’d evolved to soldier on?

Were our adrenal glands so used to running on caffeinated battery-stretch we’d evolved to soldier on?

And, who forgot to warn us that spontaneous small-talk skills would be yet another casualty of the blasted pandemic (why so first-day-of-school self-conscious)?

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Why should we go back to the office at all, many are asking, when we’ve shown how reliable and productive we are in comfortable pants – even if at times we’ve wanted to smash the PC in fits of “log out and try logging in again!” pique.

We all acknowledge the oft-quoted downsides of being home 24/7: the lack of corridor conversations that can throw up ideas-gold, the “we are one” work-bonding, the fact you can never escape the housework mountain in front of your face, yet no-one can hear you scream (those within range practise selective deafness).

Working from home means we miss out on spontaneous collaboration with colleagues.

Working from home means we miss out on spontaneous collaboration with colleagues.Credit:iStock

And don’t forget the isolation, which many people discussed as “remote” working’s greatest drawback, especially for those who live alone and, introverted or not, find office contact enriching.

We return to our work tribes changed to an extent that perhaps we do not even realise.

No one is suggesting it can’t be, yet many are averse to being pushed, pulled or dragged back and this means what comes next is guaranteed to bring some wobbles. A recent survey by Swinburne University researchers for the Fair Work Commission found only 5 per cent of workers who were sent home during the pandemic want to return full-time, and last week The Age reported a “tussle” brewing between employers and staff over work arrangements for 2021.

According to the The Adapting to the New Normal: Hybrid Working 2021 survey of 600 workers and 300 employers, released by Pitcher Partners Melbourne, Bastion Reputation Management and Bastion Insights, managers are signalling they believe workers are “slacking off” while staff say they’ve been more productive at home.

Clare Gleghorn, chief executive of Bastion Reputation Management, said both employers and staff felt working from home had been a success, but warned if managers became increasingly distrustful and isolation became more entrenched there was trouble ahead.

We return to our work tribes changed to an extent that perhaps we do not even realise.

We return to our work tribes changed to an extent that perhaps we do not even realise.Credit:iStock

Given the “hybrid” model of some work in the office and some at home is likely to be most widely adopted, and the desire of many workers not (yet) to return, the next few months will involve plenty of compassion.

We return to our work tribes changed to an extent that perhaps we do not even realise. Many of us are more cautious, more wary of others and, particularly for those of us who went into long second lockdown, we are carrying the remnants of that puzzling cognitive fog that cruelled our moods and at times crippled our thinking.

Sure we could work through it, but living through it was hard. Summer and incremental freedom largely seared away the malaise, but the emotional echo rings on. I would be comfortable guessing that many of us are still experiencing bouts of feeling tangibly more vulnerable, a state exacerbated rather than relieved by the rough and tumble of pre-COVID office existence.

Employers would do well to understand that a reluctance to return is less likely motivated by a desire to get away with something (how can you, anyway, if your productivity is easily measured) and more likely fuelled by the memories and marks left over from being confined, uncertain and a little bit afraid.

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It will take more than a few trips to the beach to clear the unsettling residue of 2020, so why not allow people to stay home until they feel less tender.

It’s no wonder the couch/computer/pet and coffee set-up is still so appealing to many, we know going back to hubbub will be a different type of tiring. For best results all round please handle us with care.

Wendy Tuohy is a Sunday Age senior writer. Twitter: @wtuohy

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Women- Relish the Benefits of CBD Oil for a Power Full of Care


Women- Relish the Benefits of CBD Oil for a Power Full of Care

Women- Relish the Benefits of CBD Oil for a Power Full of Care : With more and more countries relaxing their stance on cannabis products, people indulge in more excellent research to realize its benefits. Yes, and their claims justify their findings. Cannabidiol is a popular remedy that works wonders in dealing with some common ailments. It has around 100 chemical compounds that have their presence in marijuana and cannabis plants.

Health professionals worldwide are paying considerable attention to understanding how it works well in affecting the human body. They are all thumbs up for the benefits it possesses in terms of health and wellness and is known to have promising results regarding the health and well-being of women. CBD is not psychoactive, and this property makes it an appealing option for relieving pain and other associated symptoms. CBD oil comes from the extraction of the cannabis plant, which they dilute with hemp seed oil or coconut oil.

Now that we’re talking of the world of benefits, some of the leading ones backed by scientific evidence for women include:

  • Symptoms of PMS:

    Dealing with PMS is no easy walk in the park. Ladies experience a great rush of hormones every month. What’s even worse is that it brings about a change in their mood, emotions, and eating habits. PMS enables women to encounter problems like cramps and anxiety. It may come as a surprise to you that the search for relieving this chronic pain of minimizing PMS symptoms ends at CBD oil. The hemp based wellness a woman addresses PMS symptoms like cramps and even regulates the women’s emotions during the monthly cycle. Thus, it comes out as a miracle drug for the effective treatment of different ailments.

  • Pain Relief:

    The medicinal benefits of cannabinoids travel back to 2900 B.C., and they have been finding its therapeutic use for the treatment of back pain. The claim finds authenticity from science and research today. There is a specialized system in the body, which is known as an endocannabinoid system. This functions in regulating the sleep cycle, pain, appetite, and responses of the immune system. The body also enables the production of endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters binding the cannabinoid receptors in the body’s nervous system. Thus, this substance works to reduce chronic pain by boosting the activities of the endocannabinoid receptors, reducing inflammation, and enhancing the interaction with neurotransmitters.

  • Regulates hormones:

    The role of hormones in the human body is pretty much vital. It works in regulating metabolism, reproduction, body growth, and other essential functions. Hormones are the most crucial to the health of women since it relates to their menstrual cycle. There can be a lot of physiological effects of experiencing imbalanced hormones, which would require medical attention. Thus, with CBD oil, you can obtain balance and regulate the body’s functioning, including the production of hormones. The oil also works well in interacting with the body’s receptors for the promotion of homeostasis.

Conclusion

CBD oil is known to ease the symptoms of common health-related issues like depression, acne, neurological disorders, heart health, and others. Women with cancer claim it to be a natural alternative for symptoms and pain relief. Though the usage, safety, and efficacy of cannabinoids involve extensive research, the consumption would be worthwhile in addressing women’s multifaceted issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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cbd oil side effects, cbd oil benefits, cbd oil for anxiety, hemp oil benefits for pain, how to use cbd oil for pain, hemp oil capsules benefits, cbd benefits chart, where to buy cbd oil,

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$3 million for McGrath Breast Care Nurses – 16 News


Breast care nurses epitomise what it is to be a national hero and it is with great privilege the Morrison-McCormack Government is able to continue supporting the McGrath Foundation’s breast care nurses with a $3 million investment in 2021.

The funding will support these wonderful Australians as they continue to protect and save the lives of so many Australian women and men with breast cancer.

The investment will also fund a scoping project that will seek feedback from patients on what aspects of breast care nurse support they value the most.

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack said Jane McGrath Day, as part of the Sydney Pink Test, was a highlight on the Australian calendar.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it is great to see the Sydney Cricket Ground still awash with pink and the determination of the cricketing community and the wider Australian community to carry on Jane McGrath’s legacy is as strong as ever,” the Acting Prime Minister said.

“Australia’s breast care nurses are at the core of this, particularly in regional communities. They are supporting our breast cancer patients and their families with vital care and genuine compassion.

“They improve the quality of care in so many ways, from fewer specialist appointments, to improved understanding and clarity, to more confidence and reduced anxiety. They are Australian heroes by every definition.

“I thank Glenn, Holly, Tracy and everyone at the McGrath Foundation for their tremendous work, and express my deep gratitude to McGrath breast care nurses and all breast care nurses for their unrivalled commitment to supporting breast cancer patients.”

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said feedback from the scoping project will help inform the ongoing development of advanced cancer care nursing roles.

The McGrath Foundation will form a stakeholder working group to guide this project and will provide a report to the Government in the second half of 2021.

“When listening to breast cancer patients I often hear them describe their care nurses as their own personal ‘angel,’ and I think that’s a pretty accurate description,’ Minister Hunt said.

“Australia still has one of the highest survival rates for breast cancer in the world. The five‑year relative survival for people with breast cancer was 91.1 per cent from 2012‑2016, but we must aim higher.

“It is critical that as a Government we continue to pursue improvements across the board, and support the ongoing development of cancer care nursing roles so that breast cancer patients receive the greatest care possible.”

Australia’s network of breast care nurses (BCNs) work within multidisciplinary teams to coordinate care from diagnosis and throughout treatment, free of charge.

The Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne thanked Australia’s breast care nurses, saying they helped women and men with breast cancer and their families navigate through the often complex world of hospitals and cancer wards.

“These nurses are improving lives across Australia. They listen, guide and support people with breast cancer and their families with health advice and quality care,” Senator Payne said.

“This holistic care includes physical, psychological and emotional support for people with breast cancer and their families.”

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in Australian women. Tragically, nearly 3,000 lives were lost to breast cancer last year.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with an estimated more than 19,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020, as well as more than 160 men.

The Government already provides funding to support the recruitment, training and employment of specialist breast care nurses through the McGrath Foundation.

This funding is in addition to the Government’s funding of $38 million to the McGrath Foundation from 2019–20 to 2022–23 to increase the number of Commonwealth-funded breast care nurses from 57 to 102 positions.

 

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Ontario expands access to emergency child care as schools remain closed


The Ontario government is expanding the eligibility for emergency child care in a bid to help parents working in critical sectors while the province’s schools remain closed to in-person learning.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce made the announcement at Queen’s Park Saturday morning, saying the government decided to expand the program after it pushed back the date elementary students are expected to return to classrooms.

“We recognize as this elementary school closure is extended, more people, more emergency and front-line workers will need support in this province,” he said.

Expanding this will allow us to responsibly build up and enable more workers to receive free child care during this difficult time, while these individuals have to physically … go into work.”

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the province, on Thursday the government delayed the target date by which elementary students in southern Ontario will return to in-class learning to at least Jan. 25. Students from kindergarten to Grade 8 had been slated to physically return to schools Jan. 11. The target date for secondary students to return is also Jan. 25.

While in-class learning is suspended, the province has prohibited licensed child care centres from serving school-aged children. But it offered free emergency child care to parents working in essential sectors who may not be able to support their kids’ remote learning, including health care professionals, police officers, firefighters and long-term care staff.

Saturday’s announcement extends eligibility to more groups, including parents working in Children’s Aid Societies and residential services, homeless services, hotels and motels acting as isolation centres or vaccination clinics, and education workers required for in-class instruction for students with special education needs.

Lecce said that so far 2,200 emergency child care spaces have been used, and the province has a capacity of about 28,000.

New modelling that provincial officials have warned paints a dire picture of the coronavirus second wave in Ontario is expected Monday. Asked whether students will be able to return to in-person learning at the end of the month, Lecce offered no guarantees.

“COVID obviously throws a lot of curveballs, and there’s no absolutes,” he said, adding that the government “will not and we should not compromise the safety of kids.”

According to the province, the COVID-19 positivity rate for children aged 12 and 13 increased from 5.44 per cent in late November and early December to nearly 20 per cent in early January.

The NDP slammed the Progressive Conservative government for not doing enough to ensure students can safely get back to school as soon as possible.

“It’s desperately frustrating for parents that Stephen Lecce got in front of the cameras, and didn’t announce a single measure to make schools safe to reopen. This government doesn’t want to invest in schools, and that’s putting our kids health and their education at risk,” said education critic Marit Stiles (Davenport) and child care critic Doly Begum (Scarborough Southwest) in a joint statement Saturday.

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The NDP is calling on the government to implement an effective in-school asymptomatic testing program, cap class sizes at 15 students, make urgent ventilation improvements to school buildings, and offer paid sick and family-care leave for all parents so they can afford to stay home with their children if they think they may be sick, instead of sending them to class or child care.

Lecce announced Friday the province plans to expand its school asymptomatic testing program. The Ontario government is providing $380 million for schools to fight COVID-19 by upgrading their ventilation systems, hiring more custodians, and purchasing personal protective equipment.

Ben Spurr is a Toronto-based reporter covering transportation for the Star. Reach him by email at bspurr@thestar.ca or follow him on Twitter: @BenSpurr



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Young and old to benefit from new childcare centre at Merbein aged care home


Fred Garsed has eight great-grandchildren, but soon the 92-year-old will have 72 adopted great-grandchildren.

A childcare centre has just been built at his aged care home in Merbein, near Mildura in north-west Victoria, as part of a new program designed to improve the wellbeing of aged care residents, offer new experiences to children and benefit the wider community.

“I walk around every morning and I see them [the children], they talk to me,” Mr Garsed said.

Chaffey Aged Care resident Cynthia Kaneckis on her first visit to the Generations Early Learning Centre.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Alexandra Treloar)

Music program paves the way for the childcare centre

In 2018, the aged care home trialled a music program, where parents and their pre-schoolers visited and made music with the elderly residents.

The Music Together Generations program included everything from dancing to modern pop tunes, to well-known nursery rhymes and even international songs.

Chaffey Aged Care CEO Darren Midgley said the outcomes from the program were amazing.

A man is sitting down looking at the plans for a childcare centre
Chaffey Aged Care CEO Darren Midgley looking over the plans for the childcare centre.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Kellie Hollingworth)

Music therapist Catherine Threlfall hoped the trial would be successful and move into other nearby aged care homes, but she never dreamt that it would lead to the development of a childcare centre at Chaffey Aged Care.

A woman stands in front of several ukuleles which are hanging on the wall
Generations Music Together classes run by Catherine Threlfall were so successful that a childcare centre has been built by Chaffey Aged Care.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Alexandra Treloar)

It’s not just the elderly who will benefit

The opening of the Generations Early Learning Centre in Merbein will make a huge difference to local families, who had to travel into Mildura to access daycare.

Parent Haley Sheriff said she was looking forward to her four-year-old daughter Zoey interacting with the aged care residents.

Most of the interaction between the children and the aged care residents will be structured, with plans for reading, music, craft, dance, cooking, gardening and walking activities.

A young girl uses yellow paint on an easel while her mother watches
Haley Sheriff’s four-year-old daughter Zoey was one of the first children enrolled at Generations Early Learning Centre.(ABC Mildura-Swan Hill: Kellie Hollingworth)

Mr Midgley said the intergenerational activities would continue throughout the year, regardless of what happened with the coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation is prepared to use social distancing or technology to keep everyone connected.

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Was care mother and baby received compromised by Covid? – Channel 4 News


The birth of a baby is life changing, but during the pandemic many pregnant mums have found their care wanting, with partners’ attendance restricted, and women giving birth alone.

In December the NHS updated guidance to encourage trusts to allow women to have support at all times, but there are now concerns those rights are being eroded once again in this latest lockdown.

One couple have spoken to Channel 4 News about their experience after the mother-to-be tested positive for Covid.

They claim the level of care they received afterwards was compromised and resulted in a traumatic birth.

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‘It’s boys in the sandbox fighting’: Now stop the bickering and start fixing long-term care, advocates say


Health care may be a provincial responsibility, but advocates are united in demanding that the federal government take a more active role in fixing the country’s long-term care crisis.

As the number of COVID-19 deaths continues to rise in nursing homes, advocates, experts and union leaders are pushing for Ottawa to set national standards for long-term care and to tie funding dollars to compliance with those standards.

“There is a lot of taxpayer money that is paid to the federal government that gets turned around and sent back to the provinces for health care, and I think that the federal government has a very big role to play in setting standards and expectations and accountability when it comes to that money,” said Vicki McKenna, president of the Ontario Nurses’ Association.

“At the federal level, I think this has to be a rights issue, and the federal government needs to spell that out. Just like we have a Charter of rights and freedoms, we need a charter of rights for residents in long-term care.”

Staffing should be a key focus of national standards, advocates say, that would address recruitment and retention, among other issues.

“I say over and over again, this starts and ends with staffing,” said Sharleen Stewart, president of SEIU Healthcare, an Ontario union representing over 60,000 front-line health-care workers.

“Everything depends on whether you’ve got the proper staffing levels in there. Our outcomes would be so much better if they dealt with this 10 years ago.”

Other suggestions for standards include dealing with the building and design of nursing homes, ensuring residents have access to a variety of health-care professionals, adequate data collection, and penalties for homes that fail to provide proper care.

The idea of national standards has long been rebuffed by some of the bigger provinces, who argue the federal government has no place telling them what to do with money in an area that is squarely within provincial jurisdiction.

But as the treasurer of the Canadian Association for Long Term Care puts it, the issue is about more than just health care.

“We also see it as housing, we see it as fairness for seniors across the country, and we see it as a national priority,” said Jason Lee. “As we’ve identified over the last 10 months, there are issues that need to be addressed across the whole country. And who better to do that than the federal government?”

Ottawa first signalled in the September throne speech that it wanted to work with the provinces and territories on setting national standards for long-term care.

The government also announced $1 billion in its December fiscal update that could go toward staffing and infection control in long-term-care homes, contingent on the provinces providing a detailed spending plan.

But that money is unrelated to the issue of national standards. The government hasn’t indicated what those standards would look like, or offered a timeline as to when they could be implemented. Long-term care has been discussed in conversations between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers that remain dominated by COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

According to a readout from Trudeau’s call with the premiers on Thursday, the discussion included talking about “opportunities to strengthen safety measures” and “the importance of sharing best practices and applying innovative solutions” in long-term-care homes.

“It’s boys in the sandbox fighting with each other, and they have to stop it,” said Stewart at SEIU Healthcare.

While some provinces may argue that national standards won’t fix long-term care — but rather increases in federal health funding — the general public just isn’t on their side, said Dr. Samir Sinha, director of health policy research at the National Institute on Ageing.

“I think the prime minister is in a place of strength right now, because one thing that all Canadians are not impressed with is the state of long-term care,” Sinha said.

“It sounds like the prime minister feels that they do have the moral authority to say ‘We’re not going to give (money) to you unless you agree to participate and be held accountable to these standards.’”

McKenna at the ONA said she’s frustrated that there hasn’t been even more movement on standards since the federal government brought it up last fall.

“Where’s the leadership to move it forward? Doing something like this is courageous in my view, because it’s different, and right now long-term care is on everybody’s radar right across the country,” she said.

It’s a sentiment echoed by Vivian Stamatopoulos, a professor at Ontario Tech University and expert advocate on long-term care, who said she’ll be discussing national standards with Trudeau.

“Unfortunately we cannot rely on various premiers to do the right thing and be morally sound and represent the interests of our seniors,” she said. “We’re running out of time here.”

A national standard on staffing could help remedy a decades-long problem, advocates say, and could ensure that long-term-care home workers are paid a liveable wage with benefits, have the opportunity for full-time work, and wouldn’t be required to work in multiple homes — which inevitably increases the risk of spreading viruses.

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National standards could also mandate what the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario calls its nursing home basic care guarantee — a staffing formula that would provide at least four hours of direct care per resident, per day.

The Ontario government announced last year it would adopt such a staffing standard, but doesn’t expect to achieve it until 2024.

The building and design of nursing homes could be embedded in national standards, McKenna said, pointing to the need to limit the number of residents sharing rooms and washrooms, and providing for proper ventilation.

Data would be another key area, said Lee at the long-term-care association, explaining that data collection requirements currently vary across the country.

“Some people, their eyes glaze over when you talk about data, but data has some real positive outcomes, because you can measure what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong,” Lee said.

“If you don’t know because you don’t have the data, haven’t recorded it, haven’t shared it, then we continue to have the system we have.”

In the short term and in the face of provincial opposition to national standards, Stewart argues the federal government should immediately establish a funding source — similar to the $2,000-a-month Canada Emergency Response Benefit from the spring — to provide nursing-home workers with a proper wage.

She pointed to reports this week of workers having to stay in a women’s shelter in Ottawa.

“Where’s the federal financial support for that? They need to have a direct funding source that goes right to the front-line health-care workers,” she said. “These workers, predominantly women, are literally starving and homeless.”

Among the short-term measures the federal government has implemented for long-term care is funding for Canadian Red Cross teams to go into nursing homes, where they work alongside the existing staff and can help with infection control, daily activities including delivering meals and cleaning, and socialize with the residents.

Ontario’s Ministry of Long-Term Care told the Star that “a home or hospital partner/agency may choose to request or decline the use of the Canadian Red Cross based on the specific supports the home needs.”

Teams were sent in to seven long-term care homes in Ontario last year, and on Dec. 23 the Ontario government announced that federal funding had allowed for Red Cross teams to provide support to up to an additional 20 homes until at least the end of March.

But according to the ministry, so far only one home — Newmarket Health Centre — “has required the support services that Canadian Red Cross offers” since the Dec. 23 announcement.

Tendercare Living Centre in Scarborough, which has so far seen 73 deaths — the highest number of COVID-19 deaths in an Ontario long-term-care home — is among the hardest-hit homes who have not requested a Red Cross team.

“Our team carefully considered the Red Cross’ potential assistance but did not feel their assistance could meet the residents’ care needs due to the acuity of their illness and the need for nurses. Red Cross provides (personal support workers) and Tendercare has good PSW coverage,” said Janine Hopkins, spokesperson for North York General Hospital, which is managing Tendercare.



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Quarantine hotel worker confirmed to have UK strain of coronavirus as visits to Greater Brisbane aged care facilities restricted



A cleaner who tested positive to coronavirus after working in a quarantine hotel in Brisbane has been confirmed through genome sequencing as having the more contagious UK strain of the virus, Queensland Health says.

The woman, aged in her 20s, is the first locally acquired case to be contracted from hotel quarantine in Queensland.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said she had enforced restrictions to vulnerable facilities in Greater Brisbane as a precaution while contact tracing efforts continued.

“We’re taking a very cautious approach with this case, now that we know for sure this person has the UK variant of the virus,” Dr Young said in a statement.

“Evidence shows that this variant is 70 per cent more infectious than other strains.

“This is why I’m taking this firm action swiftly, to protect our most vulnerable facilities.”

Dr Young said visitors would be restricted to aged care, hospitals, disability services and corrections facilities, with these restrictions imposed immediately.

“These restrictions apply to the Metro North, Metro South and West Moreton Hospital and Health Service regions,” Dr Young said.

The woman’s positive case has brought the state’s streak of 113 days without community transmission to an end.

Earlier on Thursday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the woman, who is from the southern Brisbane suburb of Algester, developed symptoms yesterday and was tested on the same day.

Health authorities said the woman was believed to have been in the community while infectious for five days and worked a shift as a casual cleaner at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane’s CBD on January 2.

It came after she received a negative result on December 29 as part of routine weekly testing.

There have been four other cases previously linked to the hotel, including one person who was diagnosed with the UK strain.

Queensland Health issued a health alert on Thursday for three southern Brisbane suburbs: Algester, Sunnybank Hills and Calamvale.

Any residents from those suburbs have been urged to get tested immediately.

The case has health authorities very concerned and has prompted an increase in testing of staff members in hotel quarantine to ensure they are tested for the virus every shift, rather than every week.

Queensland Health has also urged anyone who has visited the below locations to get tested immediately.

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NHS may have to start using beds in CARE HOMES if pressure continues to worsen


NHS hospitals may have to start transferring patients to care homes if coronavirus keeps piling pressure on their wards, a senior health official warned today.

Chris Hopson, chief of healthcare union NHS Providers, warned that some hospitals are almost full already and looking for beds elsewhere for their patients.

‘They know there is some spare capacity in the care and nursing sector,’ he said. ‘They’re in the middle of conversations with care and nursing home colleagues to see if they can access that capacity.

‘It’s literally leaving no stone unturned to maximise every single piece of capacity that we’ve got, in those areas under pressure.’ 

If care homes are turned into overflow wards for hospitals it is likely only non-Covid patients would be sent to them, following uproar over a Government policy in the first wave which saw people recovering from coronavirus sent into care homes where they were feared to have triggered killer outbreaks.   

Shocking figures last night revealed the number of Covid patients in British hospitals surged past 30,000 on January 4 — the most recent data. This was up 27 per cent in a week and towers above the worst figure of 21,700 seen in April 2020.

And hospitalisations are only expected to surge further after health chiefs announced more than 50,000 new infections for the ninth day in a row yesterday.

It comes as an intensive care professor in London warned the situation in hospitals is ‘definitely worse than the first wave’ as the capital grapples with mounting cases.

And the capital’s medical director Vin Diwakar said that they could be overwhelmed within less than two weeks even in a ‘best’ case scenario. Even if coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased — including opening the Nightingale — the NHS would still be short 2,000 general, acute and ICU beds by January 19, it was reported.

Hospitals across England are seeing more coronavirus patients than they did in the first wave in 2020 (Pictured: Staff in an intensive care ward in St George’s Hospital in London)

Some hospitals are approaching breaking point, and preparing to turn to care homes for help, the chief executive of NHS Providers has said. The number of Covid-19 patients in hospital had surged past 30,000 by January 4, NHS data reveals

On BBC Radio 4 this morning Mr Hopson said the situation is ‘really escalating very quickly’.

‘We’ve seen 5,000 new patients in hospital beds with Covid-19 over the last week – that’s 10 full hospitals worth of new Covid patients in just seven days so there’s a really big challenge.’

LONDON’S HOSPITALS ‘TO BE OVERWHELMED IN TWO WEEKS’

London’s hospitals will be overwhelmed by Covid-19 in less than two weeks even in a ‘best’ case scenario, an official briefing reportedly warns.

Medical director at NHS London Vin Diwakar provided the worrying analysis to medical directors of the capital’s hospital trusts over a Zoom call this afternoon.

Even if coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased – including opening the Nightingale – the NHS would still be short 2,000 general, acute and ICU beds by January 19, the HSJ reports.

Three scenarios are laid out in the report – ‘best’, ‘average’ and ‘worse’. These account for the impact of four per cent daily growth, five per cent growth and six per cent growth respectively.

Growth for beds on January 5 was 3.5 per cent, with the rate at 4.8 per cent for ICU beds, the report claimed. 

He said the Nightingales hadn’t been utilised – except in Manchester and Exeter – because they required staffing, snatching vital doctors and nurses away from overstretched wards and emergency units.

‘It’s better if we can access any spare capacity in the nursing home sector because its got staff there,’ he said.

‘We all recognise that if we’re going to do that then we really need to help care and nursing home.

‘So, for example, if we’re going to discharge patients who need consistent access to high quality therapy we’re going to need to ensure that our community services can provide that support.

‘We also know if we’re going to discharge patients that are perhaps slightly more higher levels of acuity than normal we’re going to have to provide extra nursing support.

‘The issue is we’re now at a point where unless we can access this capacity, we’re not going to be able to treat the patients that we need to treat in the NHS.’

Professor Rupert Pearse, a consultant in the capital, also told the programme how staff are already being stretched to the limit in London. 

‘It is definitely worse than the first wave and proving much harder to deal with now as the resources we had in the first wave aren’t available to us,’ he warned.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, warned of spiralling admissions

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, warned of spiralling admissions

‘So we’re really struggling to provide the quality of patient care that we think patients deserve. And the impact of the pandemic is taking care away from other illnesses such as cancer and heart disease.’

MailOnline has contacted NHS England to ask how care homes may be utilised to help take the pressure off central hospitals.

Intensive care patients are already being moved from the hardest hit regions to those where there is spare capacity.

Some doctors are currently considering moving the most critically ill from London and the South East to as far afield as Yorkshire and the South West.

The President of the Intensive Care Society, Dr Stephen Webb, said yesterday around 10 intensive care patients were already being shifted every day. 

Most of these are moved from and to hospitals within the same regions, he said, but a small number may be moved between regions. 

A nurse works on a patient in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in St George's Hospital in Tooting, south-west London

A nurse works on a patient in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in St George’s Hospital in Tooting, south-west London

At St George's a surge in coronavirus patients has meant the number of intensive care beds had to be doubled from 60 to 120

At St George’s a surge in coronavirus patients has meant the number of intensive care beds had to be doubled from 60 to 120

Staff sickness due to coronavirus and self-isolation means doctors, nurses and healthcare assistances face demanding shift patterns and exhausting work looking after critically ill Covid-19 patients (Pictured: Staff in St George's Hospital)

Staff sickness due to coronavirus and self-isolation means doctors, nurses and healthcare assistances face demanding shift patterns and exhausting work looking after critically ill Covid-19 patients (Pictured: Staff in St George’s Hospital)

There were 30,451 people in hospital with Covid-19 as of January 4, with 2,645 on ventilators in intensive care

There were 30,451 people in hospital with Covid-19 as of January 4, with 2,645 on ventilators in intensive care

NHS statistics show that it is rare for people under the age of 40 to die of Covid-19, with 100 of the 17,572 fatalities in November and December in that age group

NHS statistics show that it is rare for people under the age of 40 to die of Covid-19, with 100 of the 17,572 fatalities in November and December in that age group

Nurses and doctors work on wards at University College Hospital, London, pictured above

Nurses and doctors work on wards at University College Hospital, London, pictured above

Normally, it is rare for intensive care patients to be moved between hospitals. 

Dr Webb, who also works in the East of England, said: ‘The problem with sending patients to the North is that those units were really badly affected earlier in this wave, and they could be hit with the new variant. It’s a very tricky situation.

‘If the virus continues as it is, I’m much more fearful we may get to saturation point for ICUs, but we have still got a bit of time. We do have capacity in other parts of the country, but not a lot.

‘Currently, in the East of England, South East and London, many intensive care units are already saturated. This is where we’re seeing daily export of patients. but at the moment this is mainly locally.

‘So it may be a few miles down the road between London hospitals. We try to avoid moving patients and we always try to move the least sick of our ICU patients. They are transferred using all the equipment needed to keep them alive, accompanied by an ICU doctor and a nurse.’

It comes after it was revealed last night that London’s hospitals may be overwhelmed by Covid-19 in less than two weeks even in a ‘best’ case scenario.

Medical director at NHS London Vin Diwakar provided the worrying analysis to bosses of the capital’s hospital trusts over a Zoom call yesterday afternoon.

Even if coronavirus patients grew at the lowest likely rate and capacity is increased – including opening the Nightingale – the NHS would still be short 2,000 general, acute and ICU beds by January 19, the HSJ reported.

Three scenarios are laid out in the report – ‘best’, ‘average’ and ‘worse’. These account for the impact of four per cent daily growth, five per cent growth and six per cent growth respectively.

Growth for beds on January 5 was 3.5 per cent, with the rate at 4.8 per cent for ICU beds, the report claimed. 

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