I’m dispensing with our normal layout to bring you updated news on our virtual DHACA day, and calls for help re Covid.19

DHACA Day goes virtual

I had hoped that we could replace tomorrow’s cancelled DHACA Day with a shorter virtual version. However I have run out of capacity to do that so I am hoping we can organise one next Wednesday 25th starting at 10am. The topic that is being suggested by our sponsors, Kent Surrey & Sussex AHSN is “The silver linings to the Covid.19 cloud”. The intention is to draw out in an online discussion forum with active audience participation how we think the pandemic could change the way medicine is practised in the UK for the better, and what we as technologists can do to enable that future. I expect it to last no longer than 90 minutes.

A saying credited to Winston Churchill (though disputed) is “never waste a terrible crisis” which seems an apt expression for how we might turn the tables and ultimately get some benefit from the pandemic. Roy Lilley has already started blazing a trail, discussing promoting home working and online discussions between patient and doctor. The NEJM has a short paper too entitled Virtually Perfect? Telemedicine for Covid-19. We’d like to look even further though – for example at a Kings Fund event last week, one of the keynote speakers suggested that Covid.19 would force those hospitals with poor DToC statistics to speed up their discharge process significantly. Doubtless you our members will have many other suggestions. After the event, we will write it up for the benefit of all.

If you would like to be on the panel please email me as soon as possible.

DHACA’s helping hand – what can you add to our list?

As a separate initiative, we’d like to compile a listing on our website of all the products that members make and services that members provide that will help the health services and patients cope with Covid.19 and the subsequent lockdown. Leonard Anderson has set the ball rolling with a short description of Kemuri so please send me yours!

Urgent calls

1)  In our previous newsletter I included an urgent call for new ideas to tackle Covid.19 and its consequences, closing Thursday. Another just received is for companies who have the capabilities to repurpose their staff and facilities to making ventilators. Please contact ventilator.support@beis.gov.uk if you can help.

By the way, it’s great to see ingenuity being brought into play, including gin distilleries making alcohol for hand sanitisers.

2)  UCL has published an urgent call for help required at Public Health England, specifically:
    1) experienced DNA extractors/qPCR people
    2) people who have experience technically validating qPCR data
    3) HCPC registered staff Biomedical or Clinical Scientists to issue reports
    4)CL3 trained individuals

– who could be seconded to PHE Colindale in blocks of time, if possible, to be trained and help. This could possibly comprise 5 days on 5 days off, including weekends.

Other things that PHE may also need help with include:
    1) serology assay development and testing going forward
    2) genomics assistance
    3) platform validation
    4) viral isolation/positive control materials

If interested in helping out please email Vicki Chalker, Vicki.Chalker@phe.gov.uk

Please keep 10am next Wednesday 25th free in your diaries and watch out for more information.

Kind regards,
Charles