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Lancet ; 400 Suppl 1: S78, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2132743


BACKGROUND: The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector has a crucial role in supporting the health and wellbeing of people who are marginalised or who have multiple complex needs. We aimed to understand perceptions of those working in the sector and examine the short-term, medium-term, and long-term effects of COVID-19 on Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise organisations in northern England as they respond to the needs of marginalised communities. This research formed one component of a regional multiagency Health Inequalities Impact Assessment. METHODS: We conducted qualitative focus groups with staff and volunteers from five organisations between March and July, 2021, via a video conferencing platform. Eight of nine focus groups were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. One focus group was not recorded due to concerns raised over anonymity and safeguarding, but non-ascribed fieldnotes were taken. Focus group transcripts were analysed using framework analysis. FINDINGS: One organisation supported children and young people; two organisations supported vulnerable women, young people, and families; one organisation supported refugees and asylum seekers, and one organisation supported disadvantaged individuals to improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Three central themes were identified: the exacerbation of pre-existing inequalities, adversity, and challenges for vulnerable and marginalised populations; the cost of being flexible, innovative, and agile for Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise staff and volunteers; and the voluntary sector as a lifeline (organisational pride and resilience). INTERPRETATION: The considerable expertise, capacity, and resilience of Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise organisations and the crucial role they have in supporting marginalised communities has been clearly shown in their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector therefore has an essential role in the post-COVID levelling-up agenda. The implications of these findings for service provision are that the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise sector must be recognised as an integral partner within any effectively functioning local health system and, as such, adequately resourced to safeguard sustainability and to ensure that attempts to involve the sector in addressing the social determinants of health are not jeopardised. FUNDING: National Institute for Health and Care Research (Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria (grant reference NIHR200173) and Public Health England. SSo is supported by a Health Education England and National Institute for Health and Care Research Integrated Clinical Academic Lecturer award (reference CA-CL-2018-04-ST2-010) and Research Capability Funding, National Health Service North of England Care System Support. VJM is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research School for Public Health Research (grant reference PD-SPH-2015).

COVID-19 , State Medicine , Child , Humans , Female , Adolescent , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , England/epidemiology , Qualitative Research
N Engl J Med ; 387(7): 611-619, 2022 08 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1991733


BACKGROUND: Since January 2022, there has been an increase in reports of cases of acute hepatitis of unknown cause in children. Although cases have been reported across multiple continents, most have been reported in the United Kingdom. Investigations are ongoing to identify the causative agent or agents. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective study involving children referred to a single pediatric liver-transplantation center in the United Kingdom between January 1 and April 11, 2022. These children were 10 years of age or younger and had hepatitis that met the case definition of the U.K. Health Security Agency for confirmed acute hepatitis that was not hepatitis A through E and did not have a metabolic, inherited or genetic, congenital, or mechanical cause, in the context of a serum aminotransferase level greater than 500 IU per liter. We reviewed medical records and documented demographic characteristics, clinical features, and results of liver biochemical, serologic, and molecular tests for hepatotropic and other viruses, as well as radiologic and clinical outcomes. The outcomes were classified as an improving condition, liver transplantation, or death. RESULTS: A total of 44 children had hepatitis that met the confirmed case definition, and most were previously healthy. The median age was 4 years (range, 1 to 7). Common presenting features were jaundice (in 93% of the children), vomiting (in 54%), and diarrhea (in 32%). Among the 30 patients who underwent molecular testing for human adenovirus, 27 (90%) were positive. Fulminant liver failure developed in 6 patients (14%), all of whom received a liver transplant. None of the patients died. All the children, including the 6 who received liver transplants, were discharged home. CONCLUSIONS: In this series involving 44 young children with acute hepatitis of uncertain cause, human adenovirus was isolated in most of the children, but its role in the pathogenesis of this illness has not been established.

Hepatitis , Liver Failure, Acute , Liver Transplantation , Acute Disease , Child , Child, Preschool , Hepatitis/etiology , Hepatitis/surgery , Humans , Infant , Liver Failure, Acute/etiology , Liver Failure, Acute/surgery , Liver Transplantation/adverse effects , Retrospective Studies