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1.
Policy Design and Practice ; : 1-16, 2022.
Article in English | Taylor & Francis | ID: covidwho-1852845
2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(4)2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1807376

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: The exceptional production of research evidence during the COVID-19 pandemic required deployment of scientists to act in advisory roles to aid policy-makers in making evidence-informed decisions. The unprecedented breadth, scale and duration of the pandemic provides an opportunity to understand how science advisors experience and mitigate challenges associated with insufficient, evolving and/or conflicting evidence to inform public health decision-making. OBJECTIVES: To explore critically the challenges for advising evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in pandemic contexts, particularly around non-pharmaceutical control measures, from the perspective of experts advising policy-makers during COVID-19 globally. METHODS: We conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with 27 scientific experts and advisors who are/were engaged in COVID-19 EIDM representing four WHO regions and 11 countries (Australia, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Ghana, Hong Kong, Nigeria, Sweden, Uganda, UK, USA) from December 2020 to May 2021. Participants informed decision-making at various and multiple levels of governance, including local/city (n=3), state/provincial (n=8), federal or national (n=20), regional or international (n=3) and university-level advising (n=3). Following each interview, we conducted member checks with participants and thematically analysed interview data using NVivo for Mac software. RESULTS: Findings from this study indicate multiple overarching challenges to pandemic EIDM specific to interpretation and translation of evidence, including the speed and influx of new, evolving, and conflicting evidence; concerns about scientific integrity and misinterpretation of evidence; the limited capacity to assess and produce evidence, and adapting evidence from other contexts; multiple forms of evidence and perspectives needed for EIDM; the need to make decisions quickly and under conditions of uncertainty; and a lack of transparency in how decisions are made and applied. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest the urgent need for global EIDM guidance that countries can adapt for in-country decisions as well as coordinated global response to future pandemics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , Health Policy , Humans , Policy Making , Qualitative Research
3.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0264906, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1745315

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To identify the experiences and concerns of health workers (HWs), and how they changed, throughout the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. METHODS: Longitudinal, qualitative study with HWs involved in patient management or delivery of care related to COVID-19 in general practice, emergency departments and hospitals. Participants were identified through snowballing. Semi-structured telephone or video interviews were conducted between February 2020 and February 2021, audio-recorded, summarised, and transcribed. Data were analysed longitudinally using framework and thematic analysis. RESULTS: We conducted 105 interviews with 14 participants and identified three phases corresponding with shifts in HWs' experiences and concerns. (1) Emergency and mobilisation phase (late winter-spring 2020), with significant rapid shifts in responsibilities, required skills, and training, and challenges in patient care. (2) Consolidation and preparation phase (summer-autumn 2020), involving gradual return to usual care and responsibilities, sense of professional development and improvement in care, and focus on learning and preparing for future. (3) Exhaustion and survival phase (autumn 2020-winter 2021), entailing return of changes in responsibilities, focus on balancing COVID-19 and non-COVID care (until becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases), and concerns about longer-term impacts of unceasing pressure on health services. Participants' perceptions of COVID-19 risk and patient/public attitudes changed throughout the year, and tiredness and weariness turned into exhaustion. CONCLUSIONS: Results showed a long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UK HWs' experiences and concerns related to changes in their roles, provision of care, and personal wellbeing. Despite mobilisation in the emergency phase, and trying to learn from this, HWs' experiences seemed to be similar or worse in the second wave partly due to many COVID-19 cases. The findings highlight the importance of supporting HWs and strengthening system-level resilience (e.g., with resources, processes) to enable them to respond to current and future demands and emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Personnel/psychology , COVID-19/psychology , Clinical Competence , Disease Management , Hospitals , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom/epidemiology
4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-316540

ABSTRACT

Background: As COVID-19 death rates have risen and health-care systems have experienced increased demand, national testing strategies have come under scrutiny. Utilising qualitative interview data from a larger COVID-19 study, this paper provides insights into influences on and the enactment of national COVID-19 testing strategies for health care workers (HCWs) in English NHS settings during wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020). We aim to inform COVID-19 learning and future pandemic diagnostic preparedness. Methods: A remote qualitative, semi-structured longitudinal interview method was employed with a purposive snowball sample of senior scientific advisors to the UK Government on COVID-19, and HCWs employed in NHS primary and secondary health care settings in England. 24 interviews from 13 participants were selected from the larger project dataset. Framework analysis was informed by the non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability of patient-facing health and care technologies implementation framework (NASSS) and by normalisation process theory (NPT). Results: Our account highlights tensions between the communication and implementation of national testing developments;scientific advisor and HCW perceptions about infectiousness;and uncertainties about the responsibility for testing and its implications at the local level. Conclusions: Consideration must be given to the implications of mass NHS staff testing, including the accuracy of information communicated to HCWs;how HCWs interpret, manage, and act on testing guidance;and the influence these have on health care organisations and services.

5.
Journal of Risk and Financial Management ; 15(2):40, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-1624975

ABSTRACT

What problem the Fed and other central banks are solving by printing money and letting interest rates fall to zero is the focus of this paper. This activity does not appear to affect nominal GDP or inflation prior to COVID, and yet central bank liabilities have continued to rise. This suggests the presence of rising cash demand that has prevented excess cash and inflation pressures from emerging. While there was some hope that quantitative easing would be a new instrument in addition to interest rates as far as monetary policy goals were concerned, this has not proved to be the case. Instead, banking system demand for central bank liabilities keeps rising as an endogenous response to the changed business models of banks forced on them by post-crisis re-regulation and extremely low interest rates. These ideas were tested with cointegration and error correction econometric techniques. Examples of the growing risk of leverage and counterparty risks in this disequilibrium process are provided.

6.
The Lancet ; 398, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1537140

ABSTRACT

Background The COVID-19 pandemic has posed severe challenges to policy makers in all countries: these include uncertainty about the science of the disease, its epidemiology, and public behaviour, coupled with the need to act fast. This real-time study was undertaken to capture UK Government scientific advisers' perceptions of how scientific advice worked and to learn lessons about what works best in a fast-moving response to a novel epidemic. Methods Regular semi-structured calls were recorded with ten prominent scientific advisers to elicit their roles in, and reactions to, the UK's COVID-19 response. Interviewees were recruited using the existing networks of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Emerging and Zoonotic Infections. They were active in fields including biomedical research, modelling, and global health, and they included members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). In pandemic conditions interviewing was opportunistic: one participant spoke to us almost every 1–2 weeks, others at longer intervals. Interviews were transcribed and coded using a published analytical framework for the study of policy decision-making. Findings 93 interviews were conducted between Feb 17, 2020, and July 22, 2021. We report interviewees' perceptions that scientific advice had not led to sufficiently rapid policy decisions, and that a lack of transparency was sapping public trust. Interviewees also drew attention to policy makers' failure in the early months of the pandemic to frame a policy goal, and the problems this posed for giving scientific advice. It also became clear that scientific advisers and policy makers operated in different intellectual worlds, and that useful advice was most likely to be given when individuals could span this gap and understand the agendas of each group. Interpretation These findings provide empirical information about how science advice has worked, uncovering power dynamics and business processes that are not otherwise well understood. We argue that politicians abdicated responsibility by their early “follow the science” rhetoric, later renegotiated. The study would be strengthened if the perceptions of policy makers were also included. We requested interviews with eight policy makers, who declined due to unavailability. Funding UK Research and Innovation—National Institute for Health Research.

7.
Des. J. ; 3(23): 327-330, 20200503.
Article in English | WHO COVID, ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-1396572
8.
BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1216, 2021 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282252

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As COVID-19 death rates have risen and health-care systems have experienced increased demand, national testing strategies have come under scrutiny. Utilising qualitative interview data from a larger COVID-19 study, this paper provides insights into influences on and the enactment of national COVID-19 testing strategies for health care workers (HCWs) in English NHS settings during wave one of the COVID-19 pandemic (March-August 2020). Through the findings we aim to inform learning about COVID-19 testing policies and practices; and to inform future pandemic diagnostic preparedness. METHODS: A remote qualitative, semi-structured longitudinal interview method was employed with a purposive snowball sample of senior scientific advisors to the UK Government on COVID-19, and HCWs employed in NHS primary and secondary health care settings in England. Twenty-four interviews from 13 participants were selected from the larger project dataset using a key term search, as not all of the transcripts contained references to testing. Framework analysis was informed by the non-adoption, abandonment, scale-up, spread, and sustainability of patient-facing health and care technologies implementation framework (NASSS) and by normalisation process theory (NPT). RESULTS: Our account highlights tensions between the communication and implementation of national testing developments; scientific advisor and HCW perceptions about infectiousness; and uncertainties about the responsibility for testing and its implications at the local level. CONCLUSIONS: Consideration must be given to the implications of mass NHS staff testing, including the accuracy of information communicated to HCWs; how HCWs interpret, manage, and act on testing guidance; and the influence these have on health care organisations and services.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , State Medicine , COVID-19 Testing , England , Health Personnel , Humans , Pandemics , Policy , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Infect Prev Pract ; 3(3): 100146, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1225263

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to personal protective equipment (PPE) supply concerns on a global scale. While efforts to increase production are underway in many jurisdictions, demand may yet outstrip supply leading to PPE shortages, particularly in low resource settings. PPE is critically important for the safety of healthcare workers (HCW) and patients and to reduce viral transmission within healthcare facilities. A structured narrative review was completed to identify methods for extending the use of available PPE as well as decontamination and reuse. METHODS: Database searches were conducted in MEDLINE and EMBASE for any available original research or review articles detailing guidelines for the safe extended use of PPE, and/or PPE decontamination and reuse protocols prior to September 28, 2020. Grey literature in addition to key websites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Infection Prevention Association of Canada (IPAC), and the National Health Service (NHS) was also reviewed. RESULTS: Extended use guidelines support co-locating patients with confirmed COVID-19 within specific areas of healthcare facilities to enable the use of PPE between multiple patients, and reduce PPE requirements outside these areas. Decontamination strategies for N95 respirators and face shields range from individual HCWs using conventional ovens and microwave steam bags at home, to large-scale centralized decontamination using autoclave machines, ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, hydrogen peroxide vapors, or peracetic acid dry fogging systems. Specific protocols for such strategies have been recommended by the US CDC and WHO and are being implemented by multiple institutions across North America. Further studies are underway testing decontamination strategies that have been reported to be effective at inactivating coronavirus and influenza, and on SARs-CoV-2 specifically. CONCLUSIONS: This narrative review summarizes current extended use guidelines and decontamination protocols specific to COVID-19. Preserving PPE through the implementation of such strategies could help to mitigate shortages in PPE supply, and enable healthcare facilities in low resource settings to continue to operate safely for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

10.
CJEM ; 23(2): 232-236, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103612

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health, specifically on patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with non-COVID-related diseases, remains largely undocumented. OBJECTIVE: This study explored how overall rates of presentations to the emergency department were impacted immediately after the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically how key presenting symptoms representing emergency, standard and low-acuity conditions were impacted. METHODS: A sequential modified Delphi survey and cross-sectional analysis of administrative census data from a tertiary care center in New Brunswick, Canada, were performed. Details of ED presentations for emergency, standard and low-acuity conditions from February 1 to April 30, 2020, were compared to data from previous years. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the number of patients visiting the ED with emergency, standard and low-acuity complaints immediately after March 13, 2020, compared to 2019. The proportion of females and males remained similar, with a median age of 48 years in 2020 and 44 years in 2019. Total presentation patterns to the ED (registrations, admissions to hospital and left without being seen numbers) decreased, compared to previous years. CONCLUSIONS: We report a predictable decrease in patient visits to the ED with minor, non-life-threatening conditions during a pandemic. However, we also report a decrease in presentations for emergency and standard conditions. Improved messaging highlighting the need to seek help for "true" emergencies, while providing non-ED options for minor, non-life-threatening conditions, may be helpful under normal circumstances and during future pandemics.


RéSUMé: CONTEXTE: L'impact de la pandémie COVID-19 sur la santé publique, en particulier sur les patients se présentant aux services d'urgence (SU) avec des maladies non liées à la COVID, demeure en grande partie non documenté. OBJECTIF: Cette étude a exploré la façon dont les taux globaux de présentations au service des urgences ont été touchés immédiatement après la déclaration de la pandémie de COVID-19, et plus particulièrement la façon dont les principaux symptômes représentant des conditions d'urgence, standard et de faible acuité ont été touchés. MéTHODES: Une enquête Delphi séquentielle modifiée et une analyse transversale des données du recensement administratif provenant d'un centre de soins tertiaires du Nouveau-Brunswick, au Canada, ont été réalisées. Les détails des présentations du SU pour les conditions d'urgence, standard et de faible acuité du 1er février au 30 avril 2020 ont été comparés aux données des années précédentes. RéSULTATS: Il y a eu une diminution significative du nombre de patients se rendant au service d'urgence avec des plaintes d'urgence, standard et de faible gravité immédiatement après le 13 mars 2020, par rapport à 2019. La proportion de femmes et d'hommes est demeurée semblable, avec un âge médian de 48 ans en 2020 et de 44 ans en 2019. Le nombre total de modèles de présentation à l'urgence (inscriptions, admissions à l'hôpital et nombre laissé sans être vu) a diminué par rapport aux années précédentes. CONCLUSIONS: Nous faisons état d'une diminution prévisible des visites de patients aux urgences pour des affections mineures qui ne mettent pas leur vie en danger pendant une pandémie. Toutefois, nous signalons également une diminution des présentations pour les situations d'urgence et les conditions normales. Des messages améliorés soulignant la nécessité de demander de l'aide pour les urgences « réelles ¼, tout en offrant des options non urgentes pour des conditions mineures et qui ne mettent pas la vie en danger peuvent être utiles dans des circonstances normales et lors de futures pandémies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Emergencies , Emergency Service, Hospital/statistics & numerical data , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , COVID-19/therapy , Cross-Sectional Studies , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Incidence , New Brunswick/epidemiology , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
11.
CJEM ; 22(4): 431-434, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-698710

ABSTRACT

Emergency medical services (EMS) is called for a 65-year-old man with a 1-week history of cough, fever, and mild shortness of breath now reporting chest pain. Vitals on scene were HR 110, BP 135/90, SpO2 88% on room air. EMS arrives at the emergency department (ED). As the patient is moved to a negative pressure room, he becomes unresponsive with no palpable pulse. What next steps should be discussed in order to protect the team and achieve the best possible patient outcome?


Subject(s)
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation , Coronavirus Infections/complications , Emergency Service, Hospital/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/complications , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , Patient Care Team/organization & administration , Personal Protective Equipment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
14.
CJEM ; 22(4): 440-444, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-216071

ABSTRACT

A previously healthy 42-year-old male developed a fever and cough shortly after returning to Canada from overseas. Initially, he had mild upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and a cough. He was aware of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and the advisory to self-isolate and did so; however, he developed increasing respiratory distress over several days and called 911. On arrival at the emergency department (ED), his heart rate was 130 beats/min, respiratory rate 32 per/min, and oxygenation saturation 82% on room air. As per emergency medical services (EMS) protocol, they placed him on nasal prongs under a surgical mask at 5 L/min and his oxygen saturation improved to 86%.


Subject(s)
Airway Management/methods , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Occupational Exposure/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Decision Making , Disease Progression , Equipment Design , Humans , Intubation, Intratracheal , Oxygen Inhalation Therapy , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
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