July to September 2020 – year 3, remote working in the heatwave

Summer heat.

The heading of this news sums up this summer. Getting hotter by the day and busier with tourists oblivious of risks of transmission. We continued with our own personal mini lockdown, going out early in the morning to beat the crowds, wearing masks, staying home working the rest of the day and some evening walks exploring the hills, seeking green and cooler air. In August our home got so hot I had to take annual leave, could not do any work. Could not travel either. There is now a quarantine to go back to the UK from France.

And then the summer crashed into Autumn with a storm – Alex – destroying villages in Alpes Maritime and Northern Italy, and a second wave of COVID-19.

I am preoccupied how I will ever learn to live with COVID- risk.

“When people say ‘suppression’, they often include the concept that we’ll live with a certain level of disease,” says Prof. MacIntyre. “But COVID-19 isn’t a chronic disease that will remain at the same level. It’s an epidemic disease, which means if you’ve got a certain level of disease, it’s just going to keep growing and getting bigger.” (Landow, 2020)

Meanwhile in the news more horrible worldwide climate disruptions, Trump and the coming election, UK test and trace debacle and raising clusters across Universities in the north of England, Brexit and UK Parliament voting to break the law. In Australia, Victoria has gone through a second lockdown.

Planning future projects and other summer research activities

Despite the heat and the social distancing, research activities were quite productive.

– Three papers were finally published (details below)

– A collaboration with Norway on a new project proposal resulted in a project submission to the Norwegian Research Council (I am included as international expert).

– I started exploring new research questions about collective mindfulness and medications applied to the problem of medication shortages in hospital, with working documents circulated to colleagues for comments.

– I engaged in the debate on response to the pandemic with a response to The BMJ. (I’d like to think that my suggestion for shades of colours to convey levels of risk was picked up by the Washington Post – though possibly a coincidence, maybe we were just thinking the same way)

– I led HOFMI-WG response to World Health Organisation (WHO) ‘Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030 Towards Zero Patient Harm in Health care’ consultation

And I am now trying to get ready for the last three months of this wonderful fellowship.

Here our papers published over the summer (more recent first)

Zheng, Wu Yi, Lichtner, V, Van Dort, BA, Baysari, MT, The impact of introducing automated dispensing cabinets, barcode medication administration, and closed-loop systems on work processes and safety of controlled mediations in hospitals: A systematic review. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy, published first online on 2nd September 2020

Lichtner, V, Franklin, BD, Dalla-Pozza, L, Westbrook, JI, Electronic ordering and the management of treatment interdependencies: a qualitative study of paediatric chemotherapy, BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making. 20, 193 (2020).

Westbrook, Li, Raban, Woods, Koyama, Baysari, Day, McCullagh, Prgomet, Mumford, Dalla-Pozza, Gazarian, Gates, Lichtner, Barclay, Gardo, Wiggins, White, Associations between double-checking and medication administration errors: A direct observational study of paediatric inpatients, BMJ Quality & Safety Published Online First: 07 August 2020. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-011473

Seminars and events I attended

  • MIE2020 online workshop: How can EFMI working groups remain vibrant, inclusive and relevant? Ideas from the evaluation working group, on 5 Jul 2020 (online), with Philip Scott, Elisavet Andrikopoulou, James Mitchell and Stephanie Medlock
  • MIE2020 online workshop: Ultra-Personalized Medicine: N-of-1 Treatment in an N-of-1 World, on 15 Jul 2020 (online), with Carolyn Petersen, Robab Abdolkhani, Paul Demuro, Robin Pierce
  • UCL Lecture: Prof Michael Heinrich ‘Access and Benefit Sharing in Central and South America’, 16th July
  • University of Leeds ECR professional development: Impacting Large Organisations – Workshop (online), led by Dr Matthew Donaghy (who has held a number of senior roles in the NHS, Deloitte and the House of Commons), 29th July 09:30 – 12:30ISQua Live webinar: Problem Detection with Dr Gary Klein, 29th July 2020 , second webinar in the Critical Crisis Thinking Learning Journey
  • Women at Leeds Network Event (2/9/2020) What’s it like being a member of the Government SAGE emergency planning group? Professor Cath Noakes and Professor Iyiola Solanke about their views and experiences as members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) during the Covid-10 pandemic.
  • David Allen; Steve Whatson; Ian Taylor (8/9/2020) English Fire and Rescue Services – Preparedness for Emergency Services Network (ESN), presenting the final report of research on the UK’s Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP) and the Services’ readiness for and confidence in the UK’s Emergency Services Network (ESN).
  • “World Patient Safety Day: HSIB Safety Investigations’ Online Seminar & Learning Event” (17/9/2020) Event to learn how HSIB conducts investigations, family engagement in engagement, maternity themed reports, early learning from our Covid-19 investigation
  • Presentations by Steve Shorrock (EUROCONTROL), Nicolaus Dmoch (NetJets) Dr. Spenceley (Intensive Care UK) and Dr. Horsley, (Intensive Care NZ), James Kwasny and Guy Mouton (American Airlines) (30/9/2020) part of the Learning from All Operations event


Landow, S. Elimination, eradication, and the myth of ‘living with’ a certain level of COVID-19. UNSW Sydney Newsroom

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