EEAST Thanks Public For Support

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A message  from Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer for East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) was issued earlier today in response to the many random acts of kindness which the British public have shown to ambulance services across the UK in gratitude for their selfless work:

“We would like to thank the public for the wonderful support our crews are getting at this difficult time.’ 

Marcus Bailey, Chief Operating Officer, EEAST

We’ve seen many stories around the region of notes of appreciation and even small gifts being left on ambulance windscreens.’

National and local businesses are also doing a great job in supporting our staff.’

“We’re working incredibly hard to care for people and keep them safe, and we’re asking the public for their continued help and support.’

Everyone can help reduce pressure on the NHS by taking extra care of themselves and observing advice about hand-washing and social distancing.”

Drive-Thru Corona Checks: The How To Guide

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As the spread of the Corona virus in Israel, and in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s instructions, Magen David Adom is preparing to significantly increase the number of samples taken throughout the country, to thousands of samples a day.

On Friday, MDA began piloting a joint “Go –through Corona Testing” complex for Magen David Adom and the Ministry of Health, at the Ganei Yehoshua Complex in Tel Aviv.

Approximately 900 people in isolation and developed symptoms are expected to be sampled were invited by MDA to arrive to the complex, and be tested while sitting in their private vehicles.

Anyone who is in isolation and has developed symptoms should call MDA 101 hotline.

His request is forwarded to the physician to confirm sampling. At this point, a person who has the option of arriving in a private vehicle, without the use of public transportation and not a cooperative vehicle, will make an appointment for the “Go –through Corona Testing” complex.

Then, the person receiving a message (SMS) with a link to fill in personal information, and after entering the details, will receive a QR code directly to their phone.

Only after receiving a QR code can the testing compound be reached, at the appointed time, and in a private vehicle with closed windows. Besides the mobile phone with the QR code, an ID must also be brought.

If you come with a young one who does not have any ID (ID, driver’s license or passport), one of the parents must bring his / her ID along with the attachment containing the child’s details.

If you come with a person who needs assistance during the examination, make sure an adult is sitting next to him in the back seat.

At the entrance to the complex, the phone screen with the received QR code must be displayed through the vehicle window, when it is closed.

This is the only way to enter the compound and conduct the test. The drivers are directed by an inspector to one of the tracks in the complex, stopping at the first of two tents.

Only when you get the order you move on to the next tent.

Upon arrival in the second tent, open the driver’s window, and show the barcode reader that is placed in the mobile phone with the QR code, until approval from the controller sitting several meters away.

If there are multiple samples in the vehicle, the driver must present the barcode reader to everyone’s codes. After obtaining the permit for each sample, proceed within the tent several feet ahead.

Upon arriving to the sampling position — MDA paramedic who wears a full protective kit takes the sample, and passes it on to another nearby MDA team member, who is also protected, who passes the sample to neatly refrigerator until it is taken to the laboratory for testing.

As soon as the samples are taken, the driver must close the vehicle windows and drive back to their home. Magen David Adom would like to emphasise that at no point in the process should anyone get out of the vehicle or open windows, except when requested to do so by anyone working for MDA.

Health Ministry Enlists Help of United Hatzalah in Fight Against Coronavirus

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Israel’s Health Ministry called upon United Hatzalah today to enlist the organization’s help in the national fight against the COVID-19, known as coronavirus.

The Ministry has asked United Hatzalah to utilise its fleet of ambulances and network of first responders to transport coronavirus patients who are in light condition to and from hospitals and centres where patients are being cared for, such as the newly termed “corona-hotels” in Tel Aviv. 

United Hatzalah immediately dispatched its ambulance fleet, consisting of some 30 ambulances, to begin transporting patients.

The organisation’s volunteer ambulance crews responded rapidly to the call and were provided with full protective suits to wear while transporting patients. 

Each ambulance is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before and after a patient is transported. 

Vice President of Operations for United Hatzalah, Dov Maisel, said: “We are proud to answer the call of the Health Ministry and provide this essential service in the fight against the coronavirus.’

“Our volunteers, who number more than 6,000 people, have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to take a more formal role in the battle the country is currently waging.’

“All of our volunteers have been briefed and are aware of the risks involved. Being the true heroes that they are, they are volunteering in droves to participate in the project.”

Maisel added: “The level of care that United Hatzalah provides is second to none and each and every one of the patients we transport can expect to receive the highest level of care possible.’

“In just a few hours this afternoon, we have transported nearly a dozen patients and look forward to assisting the Health Ministry moving forward.’

“Whether the need be corona-related or a general medical emergency, our volunteers and ambulance teams are at the ready, fully equipped and prepared to handle any emergency.”

Hospital Parking Appeal: JustPark Enables Public To Offer Free Parking To NHS Workers & Patients During Pandemic

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With an increase in demand for parking spaces near hospitals and makeshift health centres due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a nationwide public appeal has launched to ease the burden on travelling NHS staff and patients.

JustPark, the UK’s most popular parking app, is urging the public and businesses located close to hospitals to offer their car parking spaces for free.

The app enables unused parking spaces to be listed for others to reserve and pay for in advance, but is allowing free parking for healthcare workers and patients by making it possible to list spaces for free.

JustPark is appealing for anyone with a suitable space near an NHS site to list it for free so a healthcare professional or patient can have access to it.

JustPark will not levy any fees for either the space holders or the drivers and is offering this to connect key workers and patients with available spaces.

With a network of over 50,000 locations and over 4.5 million registered users, it is hoped that this may provide an invaluable service for an already under-pressure NHS.

Anthony Eskinazi
Founder & CEO, JustPark

The appeal comes following an announcement by TfL that a number of London Underground stations will close from Thursday (19 March).

In order to set up a free listing, customers can visit the dedicated Coronavirus appeal page on the JustPark website, where they can add the details of their space in 2 minutes

Anthony Eskinazi, Founder and CEO of JustPark said: “This is clearly a very difficult time with many challenges that we all need to pull together to overcome.’

“There is a general sense that people want to help one another, and this appeal is one of the ways they can do that.’

“Healthcare staff are working round the clock to care for the public, but there are an increasing number of parking issues facing NHS workers, which is adding to the pressure they are facing at this time.’

Dr Jonathan Behar
Locum Consultant Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist,
Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust

“Many people have unused parking spaces in key locations, so we’re appealing for them to support the efforts of our NHS by making them available as free hospital parking to those in need.’

“While it might only be a small step, it is important to ensure the fight against the virus can continue.”

Dr Jonathan Behar, 39, a Consultant at the Royal Brompton Hospital, commented: “Due to the extra pressure that COVID-19 is putting on the NHS, we’re noticing that parking is increasingly becoming an issue — not just for our patients, but for our staff as well.’

“Staff at the hospital are facing long shifts already while we do our best to treat patients, so we urge people who have available parking near hospitals to visit the JustPark website and list it for free.”

To make a free listing for hospital or healthcare parking, visit the JustPark website at: https://www.justpark.com/about/coronavirus-appeal/

Independent Ambulance Providers Reach Out To NHS Ambulance Chiefs

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The Independent Ambulance Association has reached out to hard pressed NHS Ambulance Trusts to offer the assistance of providers to assist NHS efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic.

Commenting, Alan Howson (IAA Executive Chairman) said:

“Independent ambulance providers have vehicles and fully trained staff (many of them former NHS staff) who can provide assistance to the NHS in its efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic.’

Alan Howson, Executive Chairman, IAA

“Several of our Members are already providing support on a local basis through agreed Resilience Plans but there is much more they can do.’

“For example, those who would normally provide full medical cover at sporting events and similar and high dependency patient transfers have resources the NHS could easily use.’

“Our Members also have a significant number of non-emergency vehicles capable of transferring a range of patients, vehicles NHS Ambulance Trusts simply don’t have.’

“We have reached out to the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives to offer our assistance to NHS Ambulance Trusts at this time and look forward to their response.”

Drive-Thru Corona Testing

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In the wake of the spread of the Corona virus in Israel, and in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s instructions, Magen David Adom is preparing to significantly increase the number of people being tested throughout the country, to thousands a day. 

Most of the samples will be collected, starting tomorrow, in Drive-thru complexes, to which citizens will arrive in their private vehicles, with the sample taken while they’re  sitting in the vehicle.

MDA’s Drive-Thru Covid-19 Sampling Stations

For this purpose, Magen David Adom, in collaboration with Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman and Director General of the Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov, decided to set up the Drive through complex in Tel Aviv in the first phase, and later five more in Haifa, Jerusalem, Petah Tikva, Rishon Lezion and Be’er Sheva.

The complexes will operate 24 hours a day, and they are expected to reach hundreds to thousands of Israelis each day. 

The complexes will be located in open areas, which allow for continuous entry and exit of vehicles, such as parking of football fields and parking lots.

Each of the complexes will be staffed by Magen David Adom teams, members of the Israeli police and security guards, who will maintain public order.

MDA’s Drive-Thru Covid-19 Sampling Stations

Patients who are unable to access the complex without the use of public transport will be able to do the sampling in their home, as it has been so far.

Anyone approved by a physician to be sampled will receive an SMS message with the details, and will be asked to arrive at the new compound at the specified time, will go through identification process while the team wear full anti-infectious gear, throughout the process, the tested person will remain in his vehicle, and then drive back directly to his home.

Rescue Day 2020 — CANCELLED

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It is with regret that Rescue Day 2020, which was due to be held on Saturday 11th July at 7 Lakes Country Park, Crowle has been cancelled, following the latest guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Several of our organisers are employed by our emergency and health services and along with our stakeholders, who support the planning and delivery of Rescue Day are all under extreme pressure at this time, therefore regrettably a joint decision has been taken to cancel the event.

Chris Long, Chair of the Rescue Day Society, said “We thank our hosts, 7 Lakes Country Park, and all our organisers, officials, volunteers, exhibitors and their families for their support during these unprecedented times.’

“This decision has not been taken lightly and in partnership with our key stakeholders we need to ensure the safety of our visitors, exhibitors, emergency and rescue services. Furthermore, our social responsibilities extend to the broader population and the potential drain on valuable public health resources on which we are all reliant.”

Rescue Day remains committed to promoting the great work of our emergency and voluntary services, raising money for charities and good causes, it has funded many lifesaving public defibrillators and equipment which have been placed in local communities.

Exhibitors will be contacted within the next 7-10 days to arrange refunds of any pitch or programme fees.

Grants from our 2019 event will be announced later in the year.

We know our visitors and exhibitors will be sad to hear that this year’s event has been cancelled, however we are pleased to let you know that Rescue Day will return in 2021 on Saturday 10th July 2021 and we look forward to welcoming you all back next year.

Please keep an eye on our website rescue day 999.comand social media accounts, facebook.com/rescuedayuk/ and twitter.com/Rescue_Day for more information.

The latest UK Government advise on COVID-19 can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

Healthcare Fund To Provide Organisations With Up To £50,000 To Cultivate Innovation In The West Midlands

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West Midlands Academic Health Science Network (WMAHSN) has today (5thMarch) opened the applications for its 2020 Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Health Innovation Fund.

The fund was developed in partnership with MidTECH Innovations and Mercia Asset Management (MAM), to support start-up businesses in the healthcare sector from across the region.  

Applicants have the opportunity to be awarded convertible loans of up to £50,000 as well as access to future investment capital, invaluable mentoring workshops from industry experts and access to a network of key contacts within the NHS and healthcare sectors to support the development of their ideas.

The fund, which is being led by Peter Dines, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Life Sciences at Mercia, is open to applications from SMEs who are currently collaborating with a West Midlands based NHS organisation.

Move it or Lose it, an organisation which provides FABS (flexibility, aerobic, balance and strength) exercise classes to older adults and those with long term health conditions, was awarded the loan in 2017.

The number of over 65s in the UK is steadily increasing and will likely form a quarter of the population by 2037.

With the average person now spending approximately 16 of their later years in poor health, finding viable solutions to improve health and wellbeing in later life will also help lessen the burden on our healthcare providers. 

Move it or Lose it received funding to develop technology and routes to market to help educate and enable older adults to take control and monitor their own activity levels, thereby reducing demand for clinical services.

Joe Robinson, Director of Research and Innovation at Move it or Lose it said: “The fund has helped provide us with the capital needed to increase our service offer, which otherwise would not have been possible.’

“Through this scheme the company has been able to grow and reach more older people helping them live healthier, happier and more active lives.”

Tammy Holmes, Head of Innovation Exchange at WMAHSN said: “We are thrilled to announce the return of the SME Innovation Fund and be in the position to support businesses dedicated to transforming healthcare landscape of the West Midlands.’

“To date, the scheme has successfully supported over ten SMEs, helping them bring their ideas to life and spark great collaboration between innovators and NHS organisations.’

“We can’t wait to see what innovations organisations in the West Midlands have to offer and work together to help make sure our region is healthier, more productive and delivering the best possible clinical outcomes for patients.”

For more information around the SME Innovation Fund application process and requirements or to submit an application, please visit: https://meridian.wmahsn.org 

Israel Develops New App To Alert Users If They Have Been Exposed To Coronavirus

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Track Virus is a new Israeli app that will alert users who have been in the vicinity of someone diagnosed with Coronavirus.

The new Track Virus app has been developed in partnership with United Hatzalah of Israel and will notify users as to whether or not they have been in the same location or close contact with anyone positively diagnosed with the Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

The application, which is already available for download by Android users, and will shortly be available for iPhones as well, tracks the location of the users from the time it is downloaded.

The information is kept anonymously on each smartphone and is not uploaded to the cloud. Downloading does not require any form of identification or information gathering.

The app works by crosschecking a person’s path with the paths of confirmed patients of the coronavirus as listed by the Health Ministry.

Should a person have been in a location where a confirmed ill person was, they will receive a notification on their app. 

It is important to note that the application only works from the time it is downloaded and not retroactively.

Therefore it is important to download it immediately. 

Vice President of Operations of United Hatzalah of Israel Dov Maisel explained: “As the number of Coronavirus patients rises the harder it becomes for the public to keep track of all the different places that they have all been and the updates from the Health Ministry. ‘

“Additionally, people often have a hard time recalling exactly where they have been and when. The app solves both of these problems.’

“The app is updated in real-time whenever the Health Ministry issues notification regarding the whereabouts of a person confirmed to be a carrier of the virus. It crosschecks all of the paths of the diagnosed patients with the whereabouts of the user.’

“If the user has been to any of the locations identified by the Health Ministry, then the user will receive a specialised notification from the app. The user will then know that they are in danger of having been exposed to the virus and can act accordingly.” 

The creator of Track Virus, Uri Feldman added: “We are very excited that a  large organisation such as United Hatzalah has partnered with us in tracking and hopefully stopping the spread of the Coronavirus by using advanced smartphone technology.’

“Starting on Sunday, tens of thousands of users will receive the necessary information regarding the whereabouts of confirmed Coronavrus carriers faster, in a more up-to-date manner and with more accuracy.”

The app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store via http://bit.ly/TrackVirusDownload.

MDA Increases Blood Drive Activity

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Due to a growing number of citizens in home isolation that are unable to donate blood and in order to prevent a national blood shortage, MDA blood services has decided to conduct multiple special blood drives today (Saturday) at the following locations: Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, laqiyaa, Fassuta, Gatt, Qalansuwa, Kfar Kanna, Sajur, Arraba, and after Shabbat ends there will be drives also in Jerusalem, Ashdod and Haifa.

These blood drives started at 11 a.m. and will continue in some of the locations late into the night. All blood drives are being conducted in accordance with ministry of health regulations aimed at preventing  infection with the coronavirus.

Additional locations and times of blood drives can be found on the Magen David Adom website via https://www.mdais.org/blood-donation or on the “My MDA” app.

Following a special meeting in coordination with MDA’s Director General and the CEO of the Ministry of Health, MDA Blood Services have been instructed to significantly increase blood drives in Israel as part of preparation for a situation where many citizens will be unable to donate blood because of home isolation.

MDA Blood Services reminds you that anybody who was abroad, in contact with a verified Corona patient or contracted the coronavirus anytime in the past twenty-eight days cannot donate blood.

Director of MDA Blood Services Prof Eilat Shinar explains: ” increasing the available stock of available blood units is first and foremost dependent on harvesting thousands of new fresh units that can be used up to 42 days from the donation date.’

“In addition MDA blood services are preparing to freeze hundreds of blood units that can be used up to 10 years from when they were donated.’

“In this fashion we plan on allowing ongoing and continuous supply of blood units to hospitals across Israel while preserving the safety of recipients of the blood units.’

“It is important to state that there is no fear of contracting the coronavirus while donating blood both from the side of the blood donors and the blood recipients”

MDA Director General, Eli Bin added:” MDA blood services takes no risks, every person that was abroad or in contact with a Corona patient, and of course everybody in home isolation are not allowed to donate blood.’

Therefore we are working to significantly increase the stock of available blood units in Israel so that at no stage will there be a shortage of units. I thank MDA blood services Director Professor Eilat Shinar and blood donors and volunteers across Israel.” 

In addition to increasing the available stock of blood units, MDA is taking steps in preparation to harvest plasma from people that have been cured from the coronavirus.

These plasma units will contain a large amount of antibodies of the virus and will be part of treatment of patient suffering from severe symptoms following infection by the coronavirus.