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Covid wave 2

This new year, we find ourselves in perilous times managing a recurrent viral surge (resulting from a mutated strain) which seems to be steeper than the last. Vulnerable elderly people and front-line staff are actively being vaccinated, but we seem to be some way behind the viral wave and always trying to catch up. Like many, I read the sobering and extremely sad news of the death of Professor Donal O’Donoghue, Registrar at the Royal College of Physicians, London. There is much fear upon hearing how colleagues, friends and family have been affected by this terrible disease. Morale has undoubtedly been shaken by the duration of altered working patterns, staffing constraints and high intensity environments we are working in. I have also witnessed tremendous courage, professionalism and resilience by medical staff which has made me proud to be working in medicine.

We, as diabetes and medical specialists have an extremely important role to play in a variety of ways; helping to prevent hospital admissions by continuing to manage and support teams that look after high-risk clinic and community patients, treating patients that are hospitalised with Covid -19 and guiding teams to help manage acute diabetes presentations and glucocorticoid related extreme hyperglycaemia.

There may be pressures to redeploy diabetes specialist nursing teams.  We were reminded that there is a national document that recommends these services be maintained in covid-19 surges wherever possible and that we, as a diabetes specialist community, need to support fellow teams to send the correct messages to our organisations;

There are some concerns regarding the proposed altered vaccine schedule, a helpful commentary from the British society of Immunology was recently brought to my attention which outlines both an expert and pragmatic view.

GIRFT have recently released new guidance to help trusts improve the care of COVID-19 patients which I am sure many of you may have read. Clinical practice guide for improving the management of adult COVID-19 patients in secondary care has been endorsed by numerous specialist societies including ABCD. The document represents learning and good practices from across the NHS: Clinical practice guide for improving the management of adult COVID-19 patients in secondary care.

ABCD continues to monitor developments to help support colleagues working in the specialty. We can all be a little more positive in the knowledge we now have a third approved vaccine and effective anti -IL-6 therapies to save more lives and speed up patient recovery.

I wish you, your colleagues and loved ones all keep well during this challenging time. I am sure, in time, we will be able to look back and be reassured that “The end was in sight and we all stood firm to make a difference”.