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BMJ Open ; 12(6): e059103, 2022 06 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1891836


Point-of-care (POC) tests have the potential to improve paediatric healthcare. However, both the development and evaluation of POC technology have almost solely been focused on adults. We aimed to explore frontline clinicians' and stakeholders' current experience of POC diagnostic technology in children in England; and to identify areas of unmet need. DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: Qualitative semistructured telephone interviews were carried out with purposively sampled participants from clinical paediatric ambulatory care and charity, industry and policymaking stakeholders. The interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically. RESULTS: We interviewed 19 clinicians and 8 stakeholders. The main perceived benefits of POC tests and technologies were that they aided early decision-making and could be convenient and empowering when used independently by patients and families. Clinicians and stakeholders wanted more POC tests to be available for use in clinical practice. Most recognised that play and reward are important components of successful POC tests for children. Clinicians wanted tests to give them answers, which would result in a change in their clinical management. Detecting acute serious illness, notably distinguishing viral and bacterial infection, was perceived to be an area where tests could add value. POC tests were thought to be particularly useful for children presenting atypically, where diagnosis was more challenging, such as those less able to communicate, and for rare serious diseases. Many participants felt they could be useful in managing chronic disease. CONCLUSIONS: This exploratory study found that clinicians and stakeholders supported the use of diagnostic POC technology in paediatric ambulatory care settings in England. Some existing tests are not fit for purpose and could be refined. Industry should be encouraged to develop new child-friendly tests tackling areas of unmet need, guided by the preferred characteristics of those working on the ground.

Point-of-Care Systems , Point-of-Care Testing , Ambulatory Care , Child , Humans , Qualitative Research , Technology
Fam Pract ; 39(3): 332-339, 2022 05 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1555944


BACKGROUND: Primary care manages a significant proportion of healthcare in the United Kingdom and should be a key part of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic response. AIM: To assess preparedness for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by understanding GPs' perception of their ability to manage current and future service demand, set-up of triage processes, and training in Covid-19 infection prevention and control procedures. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional survey of practicing GPs in the United Kingdom, with 2 rounds of data collection early in the pandemic. METHODS: Online survey, scripted and hosted by medeConnect Healthcare, comprising 6 closed prompts on 7-point Likert scales, and an optional free-text component. Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Free-text data were analysed thematically. RESULTS: One thousand two GPs completed each round; 51 GPs completed free-text responses in March, and 64 in April. Quantitative data showed greatest confidence in triage of Covid-19 patients, and GPs were more confident managing current than future Covid-19 demand. GPs' responses were more optimistic and aligned in April than March. Free-text data highlighted that GPs were concerned about lack of appropriate personal protective equipment and personal risk of Covid-19 infection in March, and unmet needs of non-Covid-19 patients in April. In both rounds, GPs expressed feeling overlooked by government and public health bodies. CONCLUSION: Guidance to support general practice clinicians to manage future waves of Covid-19 or other health emergencies must be tailored to general practice from the outset, to support clinicians to manage competing health demands, and mitigate impacts on primary care providers' wellbeing.

The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has posed significant challenges for the health services in the United Kingdom and abroad. A Doctors Association UK poll published in early March 2020 found that only 1% of 800 GPs believed the NHS was well prepared for the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. We surveyed 1,002 GPs across the United Kingdom to gauge how well prepared they felt to cope with the challenges posed by Covid-19. We conducted surveys in March and April 2020, an important time early in the pandemic with rapid changes and uncertainty. We found that GPs were more confident about their ability to manage Covid-19 patients, and do so safely, in April. GPs were most confident that they would be able to triage Covid-19 patients but were concerned about future Covid-19 demand. GPs expressed frustration about a lack of personal protective equipment in March. In April, GPs' primary concern was that patients with other health concerns were not being seen. In both samples, GPs expressed feelings of being overlooked by the government. Primary care needs tailored guidance from as early as possible in a health crisis to support clinicians to manage the competing demands of responding to emergency situations, maintain usual care and their own wellbeing.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Primary Health Care , State Medicine
Science ; 371(6528): 521-526, 2021 01 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1093836


Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are innate sensors of viruses and can augment early immune responses and contribute to protection. We hypothesized that MAIT cells may have inherent adjuvant activity in vaccine platforms that use replication-incompetent adenovirus vectors. In mice and humans, ChAdOx1 (chimpanzee adenovirus Ox1) immunization robustly activated MAIT cells. Activation required plasmacytoid dendritic cell (pDC)-derived interferon (IFN)-α and monocyte-derived interleukin-18. IFN-α-induced, monocyte-derived tumor necrosis factor was also identified as a key secondary signal. All three cytokines were required in vitro and in vivo. Activation of MAIT cells positively correlated with vaccine-induced T cell responses in human volunteers and MAIT cell-deficient mice displayed impaired CD8+ T cell responses to multiple vaccine-encoded antigens. Thus, MAIT cells contribute to the immunogenicity of adenovirus vectors, with implications for vaccine design.

Adenoviridae/immunology , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Mucosal-Associated Invariant T Cells/immunology , Viral Vaccines/immunology , Animals , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Dendritic Cells/immunology , Genetic Vectors/immunology , Humans , Interferon-alpha/metabolism , Interleukin-18/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism