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1st incision - COVID-19: when demand outstrips supply

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The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the healthcare systems of virtually every country on earth, and the UK has been no exception. A massive mobilisation and reorganisation of the British National Health Service (NHS) to address the challenges we were facing from this new and still poorly understood disease happened in weeks. And in the midst of this mass reorganisation, a lot of thinking had to go into how best to allocate limited resources as we faced a potential overload on the NHS.

Two of our members, Dr Melody Redman and Dr James Haslam, put together a paper looking at these questions and applying a biblical principles to the question of resource allocation. It sounds dry, but it is a matter that could quite literally mean life of death. In this special, extra edition of 1st incision, Steve Fouch has a wide ranging discussion with James and Melody about how we decide who gets what treatment, how COVID-19 has changed the way we think about how we allocate limited resources, and how the public's thinking has changed as a result of the pandemic. We also look at what challenges the future holds.

You can read Melody and James' paper, COVID-19: When demand outstrips supply and other resources on COVID-19 on the CMF Website.


1st incision - series three recap & finale

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In the last episode of season three of 1st incision, we look back at some of the ways Christian Medical Fellowship has been responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and at some of the resources and support for health professionals that is still available. We're taking a break for the summer, but we'll be back in the autumn with a fresh series of interviews and discussions at the interface of faith, medicine, nursing and midwifery that affect our Christian lives in today's world.

Past episodes of 1st incision are available from our BuzzSprout page, including all 41 episodes of voices from the frontline

You can find out more about our Pastoral Care Programme at cmf.li/PCWP

While COVID1900Prayer has now finished, you can join us every Friday at 5pm for our new video series on Facebook and YouTube -Pause+Pray

And we'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions for the podcast - just email Steve Fouch on 1st.incision@cmf.org.uk

1st incision - Medical Mission, 'Tentmaking' and Finishing the Task

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Dr Peter Saunders gives an overview of how God is active across the globe working through healthcare professionals. We ask how medical mission is changing, discuss 'tentmaking', and ask when and where our skills might be useful. Peter diagnoses some barriers to our involvement both in the UK and overseas in a challenging and thought-provoking discussion.

You can read more about the work of Peter's organisation, Christian Medical and Dental Association (ICMDA) at icmda.net

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the intensivist

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In our fortieth and final voices from the frontline, we talk to Audrey, an intensivist at a Glasgow intensive care unit.

At the sharp end of dealing with COVID-19, she and her team have been working longer hours, with trainees and non-specialists taking on new roles caring for those most seriously affected by the disease. How have she and her team handled the remarkable circumstances in which they have found themselves in the last three months? How has she found Jesus amid this crisis?

This is the last of our special series of voices from the frontline podcasts, but the 1st incision series continues, with a new episode going live next Friday, 29 May.

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the prison doctor

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Rachael works in NHS prison general practice and is medical director of Integritas Healthcare, a Christian faith-inspired NGO working with detainees in the UK and overseas, particularly in the Philippines.

How has COVID-19 affected detainees and prisons in the UK? How is it affecting the delivery of medical care in prisons in the Philippines? And how is she able to bring spiritual support and wholistic care to prisoners?

You can find out more about the work of Integritas at https://integritas-healthcare.squarespace.com

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - Kurdistan, Iraq

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Dr Janan works as a surgeon in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq. His work involves regularly providing surgical care in refugee camps. Northern Iraq has been in lockdown since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in March, and it seems that the epidemic is under control there. But there is still a real concern that the coronavirus could still break out in the refugee camps, where hand washing and social distancing is not practical. With economic pressures, insecurities and concerns about infection spread, how can we support and pray for Janan and his teams working with refugees in the region?

You can find out more about Dr Janan's organisation, HOME at https://www.homeforhim.org/

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - Spain

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Sara is a family medicine doctor in Madrid, Spain. The country has been hit hard, especially in Madrid, and Sara has personal experience of surviving the virus. She has been actively involved in community-based care for COVID-19 patients and has been part of a wider research group looking at treating the disease outside of acute hospitals. How has COVID-19 affected how she prays and cares for her patients?

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the palliative care specialist

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Alice is a palliative care specialist. In a speciality that has always focused on touch, close personal interaction and open access visiting, COVID-19 and social distancing measures have totally changed the way that she is caring for the dying and the bereaved. It is taking a toll on her team as well as on dying patients and their families. As she goes into these difficult situations, how does her faith equip her to respond in such a time as this?

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the psychiatrist

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Mental health is a big issue in the current crisis. Today we talk to Hans, a psychiatrist from Switzerland. Uncertainties about the illness, its effects on us and our loved ones, on our livelihoods, on everyday life, can all lead to anxiety and isolation. How can we cope with these strains on our mental health? Are there positive challenges and opportunities to be discovered in these situations?
You can find out more about ICMDA at https://icmda.net and at our COVID-19 blogs at https://cmf.li/COVID19blogs

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the pain specialist

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Tom is a senior consultant in pain medicine, specialising in portable devices that help manage chronic pain. Although he practised for many years in the US, he is now working in the UK. How is COVID-19 having an impact on his work? How does he see his faith equipping him to meet the needs of his patients?

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the neonatoligist

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Lee is a neonatologist, working with very premature babies who need intensive support in the first weeks of life. He recently volunteered to work at the London Nightingale Hospital, working with adults on ventilators with COVID-19. He supports more junior staff who are less experienced in nursing ventilated patients. How does he reconcile his Christian faith with the suffering he sees as a result of COVID-19?
NB - this podcast was recorded in late April, before the announcement that the London Nightingale Hospital was to be mothballed.

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - CMF Catalyst Teams

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CMF Catalyst Teams are local teams of Christian health workers coming together to help unite and equip fellow Christian health professionals live and speak for Christ in their workplaces. We speak to three Catalyst Team leaders from around the UK, Noel, Brian and Angela, about how they are responding as Christians to the particular challenges of COVID-19 in their parts of the country.

You can find out more about Catalyst Teams at https://www.cmf.org.uk/catalyst-teams/

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - Australia

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Michael is GP in Sydney and is regional secretary for the International Christian Medical Dental Fellowship (ICMDA). Like many countries at the moment, Australia is on lockdown and practising social distancing in response to COVID-19. How are Churches and Christian health professionals mobilising as part of the wider national response?

COVID-19 voices from the frontline - Teamwork

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Today, we have a compilation of short stories from members on how their teams are responding to COVID-19 challenges and how they are working together and supporting one another in new ways.


COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the ENT surgeon

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Audrey is an ENT (ear, nose & throat) surgeon. Specialist teams like hers are being re-deployed to help manage the influx of COVID-19 patients, reducing the number of admissions as much as possible. With the sheer pressure and rapidity of change, how is she managing? And how is the situation opening up new opportunities and doorways?

1st incision - Personal well-being and going the distance

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The well-being of doctors, midwives and nurses has become a very topical issue. The General Medical Council has recently released a report looking at the systemic and organisational factors that lead to clinician stress. The British Medical Association is providing a 24/7 helpline and access to counselling services. But what about the Christian perspective? Do CMF members maintain their well-being in their workplaces? How do we support Christian clinicians to continue to live and speak for Jesus? And how do we care for the carers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

You can find out more about CMF's Pastoral Care and Well-being programme at https://cmf.li/PCWP

Remember to join us every day at 7 pm (BST/UTC+1) for #COVID1900Prayer, a chance to pray for health workers, our nation and the world as we respond to COVID-19


COVID-19 voices from the frontline - the final year medical students

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In today's story, Zack shares how the COVID-19 crisis is having a very real impact on the training of doctors, and how do we deal with having our expectations thwarted by circumstances beyond our control.
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