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1.
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
2.
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.

3.
Antibiotics (Basel) ; 10(12)2021 Dec 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1572351

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of primary care services. We aimed to identify general practitioners' (GPs') perceptions and experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in general practice in England. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 GPs at two time-points: autumn 2020 (14 interviews) and spring 2021 (10 interviews). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically, taking a longitudinal approach. Participants reported a lower threshold for antibiotic prescribing (and fewer consultations) for respiratory infections and COVID-19 symptoms early in the pandemic, then returning to more usual (pre-pandemic) prescribing. They perceived the pandemic as having had less impact on antibiotic prescribing for urinary and skin infections. Participants perceived the changing ways of working and consulting (e.g., proportions of remote and in-person consultations) in addition to changing patient presentations and GP workloads as influencing the fluctuations in antibiotic prescribing. This was compounded by decreased engagement with, and priority of, AMS due to COVID-19-related urgent priorities. Re-engagement with AMS is needed, e.g., through reviving antibiotic prescribing feedback and targets/incentives. The pandemic disrupted, and required adaptations in, the usual ways of working and AMS. It is now important to identify opportunities, e.g., for re-organising ways of managing infections and AMS in the future.

4.
EuropePMC; 2021.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-292861

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the delivery of primary care services. We aimed to identify general practitioners (GPs) perceptions and experiences of how the COVID-19 pandemic influenced antibiotic prescribing and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in general practice in England. Twenty-four semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 GPs at two time-points: autumn 2020 (14 interviews) and spring 2021 (10 interviews). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically, taking a longitudinal approach. Participants reported a lower threshold for antibiotic prescribing (and fewer consultations) for respiratory infections and COVID-19 symptoms early in the pandemic, then returning to more usual (pre-pandemic) prescribing. They perceived less impact on antibiotic prescribing for urinary and skin infections. Participants perceived the changing ways of working and consulting (e.g., proportions of remote and in-person consultations), and the changing patient presentations and GP workload as influencing the fluctuations in antibiotic prescribing. This was compounded by decreased engagement with, and priority of, AMS due to COVID-19-related urgent priorities. Re-engagement with AMS is needed, e.g., through reviving antibiotic prescribing feedback and targets/incentives. While the pandemic disrupted the usual ways of working, it also produced opportunities, e.g., for re-organising ways of managing infections and AMS in the future.

5.
Pilot Feasibility Stud ; 7: 144, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1322951

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Parent carers of children with special educational needs or disability are at higher risk of poor mental and physical health. The need for a tailored, peer-led group programme was raised by parent carers, who co-developed the Healthy Parent Carers programme with researchers. This study aimed to test the feasibility of programme delivery in community settings, and the feasibility and acceptability of a randomised controlled trial design. METHODS: Participants were individually randomised with concealed allocation to a structured group programme and access to online resources (intervention), or access to the online resources only (control). Measures of wellbeing and secondary and economic outcomes were collected before randomisation, immediately post-intervention, and 6 months post-intervention. Descriptive statistics on recruitment and attrition, demographics, attendance, and fidelity of intervention delivery were analysed with feedback on the acceptability of the trial design. RESULTS: One hundred and ninety-three parent carers expressed an interest in taking part. Ninety-two participants recruited from across six sites were randomised (47 intervention, 45 control). Lead and assistant facilitators were trained and delivered the group sessions. Sixteen (34%) participants in the intervention arm did not attend any sessions, and attendance varied across sites and sessions. One participant withdrew post-randomisation, and 83 (90%) participants completed outcome measures at the six-month follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated that it was feasible to deliver the programme in community settings. The number of parent carers who expressed interest signifies the need for such a programme and the feasibility of recruiting to a definitive trial. Loss to follow-up was low. Further research is needed to explore ways to reduce barriers to participation in person and assess the feasibility and acceptability of programme content and delivery for more ethnically diverse groups, and potentially using interpreters. Given the Covid-19 pandemic and delivery format feedback, there is also a need to investigate remote or blended delivery strategies. Although the results indicate that a definitive trial is feasible, programme impact would be strengthened through exploration of these uncertainties. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ISRCTN, ISRCTN15144652 , registered on 25 October 2018, ClinicalTrials.gov , NCT03705221 , registered on 15 October 2018.

6.
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
7.
BMJ Open ; 11(6): e046799, 2021 06 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276961

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: There is an urgent need to idenfy treatments for COVID-19 that reduce illness duration and hospital admission in those at higher risk of a longer illness course and complications. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The Platform Randomised trial of INterventions against COVID-19 In older peoPLE trial is an open-label, multiarm, prospective, adaptive platform, randomised clinical trial to evaluate potential treatments for COVID-19 in the community. A master protocol governs the addition of new interventions as they become available, as well as the inclusion and cessation of existing intervention arms via frequent interim analyses. The first three interventions are hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and doxycycline. Eligible participants must be symptomatic in the community with possible or confirmed COVID-19 that started in the preceding 14 days and either (1) aged 65 years and over or (2) aged 50-64 years with comorbidities. Recruitment is through general practice, health service helplines, COVID-19 'hot hubs' and directly through the trial website. Participants are randomised to receive either usual care or a study drug plus usual care, and outcomes are collected via daily online symptom diary for 28 days from randomisation. The research team contacts participants and/or their study partner following days 7, 14 and 28 if the online diary is not completed. The trial has two coprimary endpoints: time to first self-report of feeling recovered from possible COVID-19 and hospital admission or death from possible COVID-19 infection, both within 28 days from randomisation. Prespecified interim analyses assess efficacy or futility of interventions and to modify randomisation probabilities that allocate more participants to interventions with better outcomes. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval Ref: 20/SC/0158 South Central - Berkshire Research Ethics Committee; IRAS Project ID: 281958; EudraCT Number: 2020-001209-22. Results will be presented to policymakers and at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN86534580.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aged , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine , Prospective Studies , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
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