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1.
Child Abuse Review Vol 31(3), 2022, ArtID e2738 ; 31(3), 2022.
Article in English | APA PsycInfo | ID: covidwho-1958709

ABSTRACT

The Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland commissioned an audit of social work case files from across service teams to establish whether Think Family Northern Ireland (Think Family NI) and FFP have become embedded across three different services (Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), and addictions and children's services). The audit sought to: identify the extent to which these services co-worked to support families;highlight good practice;and identify areas for improvement. A random sample of files was selected from the three services in four of the five Health and Social Care Trusts, the main statutory provider of services in Northern Ireland. Data were collected from 108 case files. The COVID-19 lockdown ended fieldwork prematurely and electronic data from some files were unavailable (n = 12). Of the 103 families in the final sample, the mother was the primary focus in 85% of cases and, in total, parents had caring responsibilities for 258 children, the majority of whom were aged under 16 years. Joint planning was only evident in 18.5% of cases. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

2.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology ; 129:206-207, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956670

ABSTRACT

Objective: To improve training for all obstetrics and gynaecology trainees in Northern Ireland (NI) through access to an agreed simulation programme. Design: Laparoscopic simulation leads were identified in all training units within NI. A regional laparoscopic simulation programme was designed and reviewed by all units to ensure a regional approach was maintained. Laparoscopic boxes were provided to all units alongside a curriculum document to follow. Method: Laparoscopic simulation leads were identified in all training units. A detailed curriculum was developed which ranged from basic to intermediate and advanced laparoscopic skills. All units were provided with laparoscopic simulation boxes to use throughout the 10 week programme. The teaching sessions were held on alternate Friday afternoons over a 20 week period as part of the regional CME programme within NI. This was part of the restoration of gynaecological surgical training in response to the challenges raised by COVID-19. Each week began with a lecture (delivered virtually) was given on the following topics;Theatre set up and equipment Ergonomics in laparoscopy Laparoscopic instruments and electrosurgery Pelvic anatomy Laparoscopic entry techniques Laparoscopic adnexal surgery Laparoscopic hysterectomy Laparoscopic urogynaecology Specimen retrieval Laparoscopic complications Each lecture was then followed by time spent using the laparoscopic simulation boxes under direct consultant supervision. A laparoscopic skills log book was designed to log all procedures performed by trainees including space for consultant feedback. A post course questionnaire was completed by trainees. Conclusion: COVID-19 has significantly impacted training and this programme has addressed concerns voiced by trainees and has made access to simulation training available to all trainees throughout NI. With consultant supervision and the use of an agreed curriculum and log book this has been a welcomed introduction with limited time spent in a live theatre environment. As this was held in each individual unit throughout NI all COVID regulations were met and good quality teaching in the trainees current training unit. This not only simulated laparoscopic skills but also the consultant supervision and feedback they would have experienced in theatre.

3.
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology ; 129:145, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1956658

ABSTRACT

Design: Training in gynaecological skills has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The RCOG recommended a training impact assessment of trainees as part of the gynaecological surgery recovery plan. A regional survey was designed in Northern Ireland (NI) to assess trainee's attitudes and exposure to current training in gynaecology and future plans for advanced training in gynaecology. Methods: The RCOG gynaecology recovery plan was discussed at the NI deanery school board meeting and an online training impact survey was developed. The survey was then sent to all obstetrics and gynaecology trainees within NI. The results were reviewed and presented back to the NI deanery school board. All units within NI were given access to the results with the aim to adopt a regional approach to improving training opportunities in gynaecology within NI. Results: 39 responses have been received to date from all levels of trainees and all 8 training units within NI. The results for rating current training in gynaecology were;very poor 8%, poor 44%, fair 36%, good 6% and very good 6%. An average of 3 gynaecology clinics were attended in the previous 8 weeks. Only 14% felt their skills were appropriate for their training grade. For attendance in gynaecology theatre sessions;44% <1 per month, 36% 1-2 per month, 17% 1 per week and 3% >1 per week. For proportion of time spent as the lead operator in gynaecology theatre only 33% of trainees were lead operator for >50% of cases. For procedural competence;50% diagnostic laparoscopy, 17% operative laparoscopy, 11% hysterectomy (abdominal, laparoscopic and vaginal 11% each), 19% vaginal repair and 31% laparoscopic management of ectopic pregnancy;64% required gynaecological summative OSATs in this training year;19% were doing a gynaecological ATSM of which 57% felt they would complete;78% of all responders felt they would not be competent at gynaecological surgery by the end of training. Conclusion: COVID-19 has had a clear effect on training in gynaecology and this is evident in all training units throughout NI for all grades of trainees. Trainees are concerned regarding their exposure to gynaecological training and their competence in the future as consultants. Other methodologies for training could be adopted in this time, including simulation, to help improve opportunities.

4.
Community Practitioner ; 95(3):18-21, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1929203

ABSTRACT

With a growing crisis in the cost of living and little financial relief for the worst-off, the gap between the most and least healthy is likely to widen. Here, Campbell looks at these inequalities and examines whether they can ever improve.

5.
HPS Weekly Report ; 55:44, 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-1929150

ABSTRACT

This article provides the latest updates on the testing and quarantine rules for travellers in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It is advised that travellers are aware of all travel restrictions, self-isolation rules and precautions they should take, in order to reduce their risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) before, during and after travel, as detailed on the fitfortravel COVID-19 health considerations for travel page.

6.
European Stroke Journal ; 7(1 SUPPL):21-22, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1928117

ABSTRACT

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has been reported as affecting the quality and outcomes of stroke care around the world. The impact of the first and second waves of the pandemic in the UK are compared. Methods: Data were extracted from the Sentinel Stroke National Audit Programme database of stroke admissions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Care quality and outcomes for 72,698 patients admitted during the first (1 March - 30 June 2020) and second (27 September 2020 - 31 March 2021) pandemic waves were compared. Results: From the first to second wave, there was an increase in mild strokes admitted (40.3% to 41.3%;p=0.002) and median NIHSS on arrival decreased (5 vs 4, p<0.001). The second wave was characterised by a decrease in direct stroke unit admission (79.8% to 76.6% ;p<0.001). Time to initial assessment by all specialists increased. Time to stroke consultant assessment increased by 34 minutes (262 vs 296 minutes;p<0.001). Complications (pneumonia: 8.6% to 9.4%, UTI: 3.3% to 3.9%;both p < 0.001) and in-hospital mortality (10.6% to 12.4%;p<0.001) increased significantly. Moderate and moderately-severe disability were more prevalent at discharge (18.1 to 18.6%, 18.3% to 19.9% respectively;p<0.001). Early supported discharge increased from 39.1% to 44.5% (p>0.001). Conclusions: Hospital avoidance by patients with mild stroke seen in the first wave was not replicated in the second wave. COVID-19 pressures on hospitals in the second wave appeared to result in fewer direct stroke unit admissions, delays in acute assessment, more complications, and more in-hospital deaths. (Figure Presented).

7.
Lancet Reg Health Eur ; 19: 100429, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1926750

ABSTRACT

Background: We aimed to explore the effectiveness of one-dose BNT162b2 vaccination upon SARS-CoV-2 infection, its effect on COVID-19 presentation, and post-vaccination symptoms in children and adolescents (CA) in the UK during periods of Delta and Omicron variant predominance. Methods: In this prospective longitudinal cohort study, we analysed data from 115,775 CA aged 12-17 years, proxy-reported through the Covid Symptom Study (CSS) smartphone application. We calculated post-vaccination infection risk after one dose of BNT162b2, and described the illness profile of CA with post-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection, compared to unvaccinated CA, and post-vaccination side-effects. Findings: Between August 5, 2021 and February 14, 2022, 25,971 UK CA aged 12-17 years received one dose of BNT162b2 vaccine. The probability of testing positive for infection diverged soon after vaccination, and was lower in CA with prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Vaccination reduced proxy-reported infection risk (-80·4% (95% CI -0·82 -0·78) and -53·7% (95% CI -0·62 -0·43) at 14-30 days with Delta and Omicron variants respectively, and -61·5% (95% CI -0·74 -0·44) and -63·7% (95% CI -0·68 -0.59) after 61-90 days). Vaccinated CA who contracted SARS-CoV-2 during the Delta period had milder disease than unvaccinated CA; during the Omicron period this was only evident in children aged 12-15 years. Overall disease profile was similar in both vaccinated and unvaccinated CA. Post-vaccination local side-effects were common, systemic side-effects were uncommon, and both resolved within few days (3 days in most cases). Interpretation: One dose of BNT162b2 vaccine reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection for at least 90 days in CA aged 12-17 years. Vaccine protection varied for SARS-CoV-2 variant type (lower for Omicron than Delta variant), and was enhanced by pre-vaccination SARS-CoV-2 infection. Severity of COVID-19 presentation after vaccination was generally milder, although unvaccinated CA also had generally mild disease. Overall, vaccination was well-tolerated. Funding: UK Government Department of Health and Social Care, Chronic Disease Research Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, UK Research and Innovation London Medical Imaging & Artificial Intelligence Centre for Value Based Healthcare, UK National Institute for Health Research, UK Medical Research Council, British Heart Foundation and Alzheimer's Society, and ZOE Limited.

8.
BJPsych Open ; 8(S1):S71, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1902487

ABSTRACT

AimsWith extensive evidence and track record on efficiency, third-wave psychotherapies, i.e. mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs), have gained popularity in the United Kingdom (UK) as the mainstream tool for mental health and well-being. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of MBI training has shifted from physical meetings to online to improve access nationally. To date, there is limited data on the differences of online MBIs available in the UK. This web pages review is aimed to elucidate the available resources for online training on MBIs in the UK.MethodsGoogle Search engine was used to identify web pages providing MBI training in the UK from February 2021 to March 2021. The search words used were “mindfulness”, “acceptance commitment therapy”, “dialectical behaviour therapy”, “DBT”, “Compassion focused therapy”, “CFT”, “England”, “Northern Ireland”, “Scotland”, “Wales”, and “United Kingdom”. The search word “ACT” was omitted due to a high number of irrelevant search results. Inclusion criteria were any web page providing mindfulness training in the English language, based in the UK. Exclusion criteria were web pages that were not from the UK with limited information and the web page was not about the provision of mindfulness training. Given the high number of web pages appearing in the Google Search for each of the localities, further search was stopped when all ten web pages that appeared on a Google search page were all excluded.ResultsThe total number of web pages returned from searches was 23,030,000 of which were 13.1 million for England, 2.89 million for Scotland, 3.09 million for Wales, 2.18 million for Northern Ireland, and 1,770,000 were unspecified. Only 165 web pages offering MBI training were included. Among those, 57% were for the general public while 30% had information for both professionals and the public. The majority of them, i.e. 65% offered online training courses when only 25% of them offered both online and face-to-face training. There were 25% of web pages offering free basic courses for the public. There was a similar split between the group, individual and mixed training.ConclusionThere is a significant amount of MBI training resources available online for both public and professionals. One interesting finding is that a significant portion of them provide free basic training which is very encouraging and certainly has a positive impact on the accessibility of mindfulness education during the pandemic disruption.

9.
Anthropological Journal of European Cultures ; 31(1):58-71, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1875343

ABSTRACT

This article discusses the usefulness of critical analytical auto-ethnography in studying migrant (im)mobilities in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas the auto-ethnographic genre has boomed during COVID-19 times, the authors of auto-ethnographic texts usually focus on their own experiences of the pandemic, engaging in an evocative style of writing. Following an overview of autoethnographic writing genres, this article discusses complex issues of insider/outsider status in pandemic research. It calls for a critical and analytical auto-ethnographic approach to the study of migrations and mobilities in a context in which they are currently unevenly distributed.

10.
Diabetic Medicine ; 39(SUPPL 1):98-99, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1868601

ABSTRACT

Aims: The covid-19 pandemic disrupted the provision of diabetes care in the UK with many routine clinic visits replaced with video or telephone appointments. Using an online survey we aimed to investigate the effect that the pandemic had on diabetes self-management in relation to the increased provision of telehealth. Methods: An anonymous questionnaire was distributed in collaboration with Diabetes UK local groups in the Scottish Highlands and in Northern Ireland via their email lists (n = 94). We conducted a thematic analysis of responses combined with descriptive analysis. Results: 62% (n = 52) of respondents said that their daily exercise had reduced and 37% (n = 31) said their diet deteriorated during the pandemic. Conversely 20% (n = 17) said their diet improved, and 16% (n = 13) said daily exercise increased, due to more time and freedom associated with working from home. We also found that despite greater convenience, 52% of participants thought telehealth was a poor substitute for face-to- face appointments. Some respondents (51%, n = 43) said that they had delayed the use of healthcare services because of covid-19. Of these respondents a further 47% (n = 20) said that the delay had had adverse effects on their health. Conclusions: Greater access to telehealth services does not appear to compensate for negative effects of complication development and self-management challenges associated with covid-19. In future, less reliance on telehealth and a more blended targeted approach is required to ensure delay and escalation of diabetes complications does not have significant adverse effects on individual health and healthcare services.

11.
Rheumatology (United Kingdom) ; 61(SUPPL 1):i140, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1868422

ABSTRACT

Background/Aims Treatment guidelines for psoriatic arthritis consider both skin and joint involvement and recommend collaborative multidisciplinary team (MDT) working when selecting therapy. However, multidisciplinary practice for psoriatic disease (PD) has not been well studied, with little data on service models and current practice. This survey explored collaborative working in PD treatment by rheumatology and dermatology healthcare professionals (HCPs) to provide a better understanding of current working patterns, collaborating specialties, as well as benefits and challenges of combined clinics for PD management. Methods An online survey was emailed to rheumatology and dermatology HCPs using professional networks. We requested information on role, collaborating specialties, benefits and barriers to collaborative working in PD, and the impact of COVID-19. The ideal service model and additional comments completed the survey. Results We received 80 responses between October 2020 and April 2021, covering England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Of these, 56 respondents (70.0%) were consultants, 22 (27.5%) clinical nurse specialists and one each a lead pharmacist (1.3%) and specialist registrar (1.3%). Rheumatology HCPs accounted for 40.0% of respondents (n=32) and dermatology HCPs for 60.0% (n=48). As part of their PD MDT, most respondents (n=60, 75.0%) worked collaboratively with other specialties. Combined clinics, whether virtual, face to face or an MDT, accounted for 51.5% of collaborative working for rheumatology HCPs and 58.9% for dermatology HCPs. Collaboration with other specialists mainly occurred by email or written referrals (Table 1). The most important perceived benefits of combined clinics were shared knowledge, better patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. The biggest challenges to setting up combined clinics were job plan time (rated as 'difficult' or 'very difficult' by 78.8% of respondents), logistics (67.5%) and unsupportive senior management (66.3%), while 77.5% felt COVID-19 had partial or significant impact on combined clinics. Conclusion This is the first survey to explore UK collaborative working in PD. Approaches varied, with different models of working and little consistency. While HCPs appreciated the benefits of collaborative working, numerous challenges in establishing formal arrangements were identified. More evidence is needed to demonstrate the perceived benefits of collaborative working in improving patient outcomes by standardising best practice.

12.
BMJ Open Quality ; 11(2), 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1848787

ABSTRACT

The findings within this short report, generated from thematic analysis of nine semistructured interviews with the Northern Ireland Project ECHO team (including authors of this reflection) and informed by reflective practice literature,7 highlight important additional lessons for other teams and organisations using the ECHO approach. Participatory approaches to setting curriculum and programme content, and linking objectives to wider service goals such as integration of care, service transformation and achieving measurable patient outcomes, were consistently present in networks that were considered most effective by the Northern Ireland Project ECHO operational team. Participants must feel safe in sharing sensitive information, discussing challenging cases, while being open to learning and critical feedback. Funding This study was undertaken as part of programmatic and process evaluation with healthcare providers funded through the Health and Social Care Board of Northern Ireland.

13.
Clinical Cancer Research ; 27(6 SUPPL 1), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1816916

ABSTRACT

Objective The COVID-19 pandemic has placed an inexorable strain on endoscopy services worldwide, affecting the diagnosis of esophago-gastric (EG) cancer and Barrett's esophagus (BE). As coronavirus infection rates rose many professional bodies advised that all endoscopy, except emergency and essential procedures, be stopped immediately. We sought to quantify the decline in EG cancer and BE diagnoses following implementation of British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) guidance related to COVID-19 and the psychosocial effects on BE patients. Methods We examined EG cancer and BE diagnoses in Northern Ireland from March-September 2020 and compared them with the three-year average number of patients during the same time period between 2017-2019 by utilizing Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) data. The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 was assessed using an online survey, which included validated WHOQOL-BREF and EQ-5D-5L quality of life measures, and was completed by 24 BE patients from April-May 2020. Results During the first six months of the pandemic the proportion of EG cancer and BE diagnoses declined by 26.6% and 59.3%, respectively, compared to expected levels. In April, BE diagnoses fell by 95.5% but by September, whilst EG cancer rates had returned to baseline, BE cases remained suppressed by approximately 20%. We estimate that these declines in diagnosis represent 53 'missed' EG cancer and 236 'missed' BE diagnoses. In the online survey sample, BE patients reported consistently lower quality of life scores than population norms, and highlighted a number of concerns with regard to their health and care. Conclusion The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in an abrupt decline in EG cancer and BE diagnoses and has profoundly impacted the wellbeing of BE patients. Our study represents the first report of the impact of COVID-19 on the diagnosis of BE. Strategies to mitigate the ongoing effects of the pandemic are urgently required to preserve the ability to rapidly detect and diagnose cancer and pre-malignant conditions.

14.
Clinical Cancer Research ; 27(6 SUPPL 1), 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1816900

ABSTRACT

Introduction: The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on pathological diagnoses of cancer in Northern Ireland, and assess potential inequalities across subgroups of the population. Methods: Data from the four Northern Ireland pathology labs were used to assess trends in pathological cancer diagnoses from 1st March to 12th September 2020 overall and by cancer site, gender and age. These trends were compared to the same timeframe from 2017-2019. Results: Between 1st March and 12th September 2020 there was a 23% reduction in cancer diagnoses compared to the same time period in the preceding three years. Although some recovery occurred in August and September 2020, this revealed inequalities across certain patient groups. Pathological diagnoses of lung, prostate and gynaecological malignancies remained well below pre-pandemic levels. Males and younger/middle-aged adults, particularly the 50-59 year old patient group, also lagged behind other population demographic groups in terms of returning to expected numbers of pathological cancer diagnoses. Conclusions: There is a critical need to protect cancer diagnostic services in the ongoing pandemic to facilitate timely investigation of potential cancer cases. Targeted public health campaigns may be needed to reduce emerging inequalities in cancer diagnoses as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

15.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice ; 30(SUPPL 1):i15-i16, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1816116

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Community pharmacy is one of the most accessible sectors in the health service and played a key role in responding to COVID-19 (1). Efforts to tackle COVID-19 have required an immediate response from the community pharmacy workforce. Aim: To examine views and experiences of community pharmacists regarding changes in practice/processes in preparation for and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A telephone questionnaire was conducted across a geographically stratified sample of community pharmacists in Northern Ireland (NI). Based on the total number of pharmacies (N=528) and an anticipated response rate of 30%, up to 433 pharmacies were to be contacted to achieve a target sample size of n=130 (sampling fraction 24%). The questionnaire sections comprised: (1) measures taken to prevent COVID-19 infection;(2) response to the pandemic, i.e. immediate actions taken, effect on service provision and new/innovative ways of working;(3) pandemic preparedness;(4) communication with GPs and patients;(5) professional knowledge;(6) recovery and future outlook. Data were coded, entered into SPSS v27, and analysed descriptively. Free-text comments were summarised using thematic analysis. Results: One hundred and thirty community pharmacists (175 approached) completed the questionnaire (74% response rate). Pharmacists responded comprehensively to implementing infection control measures, e.g. management of social distancing in the shop (n=125, 96.2%), making adjustments to premises, e.g. barriers/screens (n=124, 95.4%), while maintaining medicines supply (n=130, 100.0%) and advice to patients (n=121, 93.1%). Patient-facing services such as minor ailments and smoking cessation were initially stopped by 115 (88.5%) and 93 (71.5%) pharmacies respectively during the first wave of the pandemic (March-May 2020);by the second wave (Sep-Dec 2020), modified services had resumed in 121 (93.1%) and 104 (79.9%) pharmacies respectively. Newly commissioned services were provided, e.g. emergency supply service (n=121, 93.1%), flu vaccination for healthcare workers (n=101, 77.7%) and volunteer deliveries to vulnerable people (n=71, 54.6%);new initiatives were developed, e.g. measures to flag/assist patients with sensitive issues (n=73, 56.2%). Pharmacies with a business continuity plan increased from 85 (65.4%) pre-pandemic to 101 (77.7%) during the second wave. Free-text responses indicated how pharmacists adapted practice in the front line to reassure and advise the public and maintain essential medicines supply. Pharmacists were least prepared for the increased workload and patients' challenging behaviour, but 126 (96.9%) reported that they felt better prepared during the second wave. Telephone was the main method of communication with patients (n=107, 82.3%) and GPs (n=114, 87.7%). Pharmacists felt they had sufficient training resources available (n=113, 86.9%) to maintain professional knowledge. Pharmacists agreed/strongly agreed that they would be able to re-establish normal services (n=114, 87.7%), were willing to administer COVID-19 vaccines (n=105, 80.7%) and provide COVID-19 testing (n=79, 60.8%) in the future. Conclusion: The high response rate is a strength of the study, but the impact is limited by not including patients or service commissioners. The pharmacy workforce remained accessible and maintained supply of essential medicines and advice to patients throughout the pandemic. Provision of modified and additional services such as vaccination reinforced the clinical and public health role of pharmacy.

16.
International Journal of Pharmacy Practice ; 30(SUPPL 1):i21-i22, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1816102

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Community pharmacy has played a frontline role during the COVID-19 pandemic (1,2). Governments and professional organisations in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland (RoI) have acknowledged the need to support and maximise community pharmacy to maintain delivery of patient care. However, the pandemic's impact on day-to-day changes to community pharmacy practice has not been comprehensively examined across the island of Ireland. Aim: To identify changes as communicated by policy and professional bodies to community pharmacy practice across the island of Ireland in preparation for and/or response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and to compare identified changes in Northern Ireland (NI) and RoI. Methods: Government, health service, regulatory and professional organisation websites in both NI and RoI were searched using relevant search terms (e.g. pharmacist, COVID- 19). Any document (e.g. official publications/reports, website pages, circulars) containing information relating to changes to community pharmacy-related infrastructure, funding/resourcing, legislation, guidelines or policies in preparation for, and/ or response to, COVID-19, published between 1st January and 31st October 2020 was included. Guidelines on clinical use of medicines were excluded as this was considered a separate topic. Initial screening of each website was undertaken by one reviewer. Brief details of potentially relevant documents were collated in a spreadsheet. Following removal of duplicates, full-texts of identified documents were assessed for inclusion by two reviewers independently, with discrepancies resolved through discussion. A content analysis was undertaken. Results: In total, 253 documents were identified. Following removal of duplicates and screening, 98 documents were included in the analysis. Most documents were published in the first three months of the pandemic (March-May 2020). A key theme related to medication prescribing and supply, with changes implemented to ensure continued access to medicines. In both NI and RoI, significant changes were made to emergency supply arrangements (e.g. increase in allowable duration of supply at the request of patients). In RoI, legislative changes were made to recognise Healthmail as the national electronic prescription transfer system and to temporarily extend prescription validity. In NI, many community pharmacy services (e.g. Minor Ailments Service, Medicines Use Review) were 'stood down' during initial months of the pandemic. Much of the communication in NI and RoI related to operational changes to ensure business continuity. In both jurisdictions a temporary register of pharmacists was introduced to allow previously registered pharmacists to contribute to the health service response. Additionally, in NI, General Dental Practitioners were redeployed to assist with community pharmacy response. Other areas of focus across both jurisdictions included infection control within a workplace setting, dealing with situations where staff were affected by COVID-19, and the use of personal protective equipment during pharmacy service provision. Conclusion: This study examined changes in community pharmacy practice across two jurisdictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst our searches were limited to publicly accessible documents only, the overlap in identified changes reflects the similarities in challenges faced by community pharmacists in adapting and responding to COVID-19. The cross-country comparison may help pharmacists and policy-makers to identify optimal approaches for responding to any future public health crises.

17.
Community Practitioner ; 95(2):31-33, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1772357

ABSTRACT

'I do think pads should be free because it's a natural thing--every girl will end up having her period at some point in their life and not everyone can afford 'em.' That's the view of Sophie, 14, from Hull. She is not alone in this perception. More than a third of UK girls and young women aged 14 to 21 have struggled to afford period products since the pandemic began, up from one in 10 pre-pandemic. Among those who can afford products, almost a quarter struggled to get hold of them, mostly because of shortages in the shops. 'Periods don't stop in a pandemic,' says Rachel Grocott, director of communications and public fundraising at Bloody Good Period (BGP). BGP focuses mostly on asylum seekers and refugees, but at one point during the pandemic it was supplying period products to NHS hospitals because staff were struggling to find supplies in the shops after working long shifts.

18.
Emerald Open Research ; 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1772213

ABSTRACT

Background: Rising food bank usage in the UK suggests a growing prevalence of food insecurity. However, a formalised, representative measure of food insecurity was not collected in the UK until 2019, over a decade after the initial proliferation of food bank demand. In the absence of a direct measure of food insecurity, this article identifies and summarises longitudinal proxy indicators of UK food insecurity to gain insight into the growth of insecure access to food in the 21st century. Methods: A rapid evidence synthesis of academic and grey literature (2005–present) identified candidate proxy longitudinal markers of food insecurity. These were assessed to gain insight into the prevalence of, or conditions associated with, food insecurity. Results: Food bank data clearly demonstrates increased food insecurity. However, this data reflects an unrepresentative, fractional proportion of the food insecure population without accounting for mild/moderate insecurity, or those in need not accessing provision. Economic indicators demonstrate that a period of poor overall UK growth since 2005 has disproportionately impacted the poorest households, likely increasing vulnerability and incidence of food insecurity. This vulnerability has been exacerbated by welfare reform for some households. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically intensified vulnerabilities and food insecurity. Diet-related health outcomes suggest a reduction in diet quantity/quality. The causes of diet-related disease are complex and diverse;however, evidence of socio-economic inequalities in their incidence suggests poverty, and by extension, food insecurity, as key determinants. Conclusion: Proxy measures of food insecurity suggest a significant increase since 2005, particularly for severe food insecurity. Proxy measures are inadequate to robustly assess the prevalence of food insecurity in the UK. Failure to collect standardised, representative data at the point at which food bank usage increased significantly impairs attempts to determine the full prevalence of food insecurity, understand the causes, and identify those most at risk.

19.
Irish Studies in International Affairs ; 32(1):1-7, 2021.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1736743

ABSTRACT

In this respect a roll call of some international anniversaries is a potent reminder. 2020 was the 75 th anniversary of the United Nations and the launch of the Nuremberg Tribunal. The UN is Ireland's primary reference point in international matters, and in 2020 the country secured a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council. 2020 also marked the 60th anniversary of Ireland's decision to contribute to the UN mission to the Congo, which established its unparalleled commitment to UN peacekeeping. 2020 was the 50th anniversary of the operationalisation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NET) and the field remains a key agenda item of the UN. There is, therefore, a strong case for the enhancement and perfection of the innovative EU response, the Joint Procurement Agreement for the Procurement of Medical Countermeasures (JPA), to cope with future cross-border public health crises. In continuation of this negative assessment of the developed world, John Ryan is deeply critical of Boris Johnson's government's conduct of the Covid-19 public health crisis in the UK, an advanced Northern European country that possessed many advantages.

20.
2021 IEEE EMBS International Conference on Biomedical and Health Informatics, BHI 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1730849

ABSTRACT

As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent national lockdown, general practices tried to limit unnecessary footfall into surgeries during this period. This paper aims to investigate how General Practice (GP) prescribing changed following the first COVID-19 lockdown by analysing open-source General Practice prescribing data in England and Northern Ireland. Prescribing data was obtained for the calendar years 2019 and 2020 at British National Formulary (BNF) chapter and section levels, aggregated and compared year on year and with each other. Particular attention was given to the change in prescribing between February and March of both years to examine the change in prescribing immediately following the start of the lockdown. Prescribing markedly increased across BNF categories in March 2020 followed by a dip and return to pre-COVID-19 levels in late summer. The rise in the number of items prescribed in England between February and March 2020 was nearly twice that seen in the same period the previous year (14.5% vs 7.6%). Northern Ireland saw a much greater relative increase of 20.7. The “peak, trough and recovery” pattern observed across BNF chapters reflected patients obtaining bigger stocks of prescriptions pre-lockdown. The higher Northern Ireland peak may be part-explained by lack of electronic transfer to pharmacies which exists in England. Increased antimicrobial prescribing, which spiked in March 2020, may relate to issuing “rescue packs” at the outset of the pandemic, with the sustained decline in the following months a possible effect of Covid measures and reduced consulting. © 2021 IEEE

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