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Fault Lines

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For our hospital at least, it's almost as if swine flu has gone away.  Our H1N1-related workload dropped substantially when the local distribution centres properly started running, but even the couple of patients a day that came to A&E or were admitted have disappeared.

 So it's an unexpected but welcome chance to reflect on what's happened so far and how it can be modified for the expected second wave of infections to come this winter.

A lot of the problems that we experienced were depressingly familiar.  Similar to the geological concept of fault lines, there are certain areas that we know are weakness and when the system is put under pressure then it's there that you see the problems occur.  

One very clear point of illumination for me is about the nature of rapidly changing information. When the advice from the HPA was changing on a weekly basis, we were frequently seeing confusion over the correct course of action.  This was not because practitioners were stupid, lazy or ignorant - this was because the messages were changing too rapidly to absorb for those who weren't absorbed within the pandemic bubble

No doubt there will books written on what we should (and increasingly it appears shouldn't) have done during this pandemic.

 KF 24-8-9

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