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1.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e053222, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622058

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To understand the rationale, implementation and early impact of vertical integration between primary care medical practices and the organisations running acute hospitals in the National Health Service in England and Wales. DESIGN AND SETTING: A qualitative, cross-comparative case study evaluation at two sites in England and one in Wales, consisting of interviews with stakeholders at the sites, alongside observations of strategic meetings and analysis of key documents. RESULTS: We interviewed 52 stakeholders across the three sites in the second half of 2019 and observed four meetings from late 2019 to early 2020 (further observation was prevented by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic). The single most important driver of vertical integration was found to be to maintain primary care local to where patients live and thereby manage demand pressure on acute hospital services, especially emergency care. The opportunities created by maintaining local primary care providers-to develop patient services in primary care settings and better integrate them with secondary care-were exploited to differing degrees across the sites. There were notable differences between sites in operational and management arrangements, and in organisational and clinical integration. Closer organisational integration was attributed to previous good relationships between primary and secondary care locally, and to historical planning and preparation towards integrated working across the local health economy. The net impact of vertical integration on health system costs is argued by local stakeholders to be beneficial. CONCLUSIONS: Vertical integration is a valuable option when primary care practices are at risk of closing, and may be a route to better integration of patient care. But it is not the only route and vertical integration is not attractive to all primary care physicians. A future evaluation of vertical integration is intended; of patients' experience and of the impact on secondary care service utilisation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , State Medicine , England , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , Wales
2.
BMJ Open ; 12(1): e051965, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1622057

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To explore stakeholders' and national organisational perspectives on companionship for women/birthing people using antenatal and intrapartum care in England during COVID-19, as part of the Achieving Safe and Personalised maternity care In Response to Epidemics (ASPIRE) COVID-19 UK study. SETTING: Maternity care provision in England. PARTICIPANTS: Interviews were held with 26 national governmental, professional and service-user organisation leads (July-December 2020). Other data included public-facing outputs logged from 25 maternity Trusts (September/October 2020) and data extracted from 78 documents from eight key governmental, professional and service-user organisations that informed national maternity care guidance and policy (February-December 2020). RESULTS: Six themes emerged: 'Postcode lottery of care' highlights variations in companionship and visiting practices between trusts/locations, 'Confusion and stress around 'rules'' relates to a lack of and variable information concerning companionship/visiting, 'Unintended consequences' concerns the negative impacts of restricted companionship or visiting on women/birthing people and staff, 'Need for flexibility' highlights concerns about applying companionship and visiting policies irrespective of need, ''Acceptable' time for support' highlights variations in when and if companionship was 'allowed' antenatally and intrapartum and 'Loss of human rights for gain in infection control' emphasises how a predominant focus on infection control was at a cost to psychological safety and human rights. CONCLUSIONS: Policies concerning companionship and visiting have been inconsistently applied within English maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, policies were not justified by the level of risk, and were applied indiscriminately regardless of need. There is an urgent need to determine how to sensitively and flexibly balance risks and benefits and optimise outcomes during the current and future crisis situations.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , England , Female , Humans , Pandemics , Pregnancy , SARS-CoV-2
3.
BMC Neurol ; 22(1): 15, 2022 Jan 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1613227

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: An increased susceptibility to COVID-19 has been suggested for individuals with neurodegenerative diseases, but data are scarce from longitudinal studies. METHODS: In this community-based cohort study, we included 96,275 participants of the UK Biobank who had available SARS-CoV-2 test results in Public Health England. Of these, 2617 had a clinical diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases in the UK Biobank inpatient hospital data before the outbreak of COVID-19 (defined as January 31st, 2020), while the remaining participants constituted the reference group. We then followed both groups from January 31st, 2020 to June 14th, 2021 for ascertainment of COVID-19 outcomes, including any COVID-19, inpatient care for COVID-19, and COVID-19 related death. Logistic regression was applied to estimate the association between neurogenerative disease and risks of COVID-19 outcomes, adjusted for multiple confounders and somatic comorbidities. RESULTS: We observed an elevated risk of COVID-19 outcomes among individuals with a neurodegenerative disease compared with the reference group, corresponding to a fully adjusted odds ratio of 2.47 (95%CI 2.25-2.71) for any COVID-19, 2.18 (95%CI 1.94-2.45) for inpatient COVID-19, and 3.67 (95%CI 3.11-4.34) for COVID-19 related death. Among individuals with a positive test result for SARS-CoV-2, individuals with neurodegenerative diseases had also a higher risk of COVID-19 related death than others (fully adjusted odds ratio 2.08; 95%CI 1.71-2.53). CONCLUSION: Among UK Biobank participants who received at least one test for SARS-CoV-2, a pre-existing diagnosis of neurodegenerative disease was associated with a subsequently increased risk of COVID-19, especially COVID-19 related death.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Neurodegenerative Diseases , Biological Specimen Banks , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Neurodegenerative Diseases/epidemiology , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
9.
BMJ Health Care Inform ; 28(1)2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594329

ABSTRACT

Vaccination is a global success story, yet UK coverage remains undertarget for a number of diseases. The paediatric emergency department (PED) offers the potential for opportunistic vaccination interventions. OBJECTIVES: To map the Greater Manchester (GM) Child Health Information System network to see if it was a viable source of vaccination data for clinicians working in the PED as a case study. METHODS: Postprimary care vaccination management systems for GM were visualised using a systems mapping approach, with data obtained from the Office for National Statistics and commissioners in the GM Health and Social Care Partnership. RESULTS: Once vaccination data left primary care, it passed through 1 of 10 local child health information services (CHISs), using an assortment of different information technology systems, after which it shed individual identifiers and was aggregated within national systems. None of the existing GM CHISs were accessible to PED practitioners. CONCLUSION: More work needs to be done to explore possible alternative sources of accurate vaccination data during a PED consultation.


Subject(s)
Child Health , Emergency Service, Hospital , Child , England , Humans , Information Services , Vaccination
11.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e052646, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591557

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: To examine magnitude of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on inequalities in premature mortality in England by deprivation and ethnicity. DESIGN: A statistical model to estimate increased mortality in population subgroups during the COVID-19 pandemic by comparing observed with expected mortality in each group based on trends over the previous 5 years. SETTING: Information on deaths registered in England since 2015 was used, including age, sex, area of residence and cause of death. Ethnicity was obtained from Hospital Episode Statistics records linked to death data. PARTICIPANTS: Population study of England, including all 569 824 deaths from all causes registered between 21 March 2020 and 26 February 2021. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Excess mortality in each subgroup over and above the number expected based on trends in mortality in that group over the previous 5 years. RESULTS: The gradient in excess mortality by area deprivation was greater in the under 75s (the most deprived areas had 1.25 times as many deaths as expected, least deprived 1.14) than in all ages (most deprived had 1.24 times as many deaths as expected, least deprived 1.20). Among the black and Asian groups, all area deprivation quintiles had significantly larger excesses than white groups in the most deprived quintiles and there were no clear gradients across quintiles. Among the white group, only those in the most deprived quintile had more excess deaths than deaths directly involving COVID-19. CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic has widened inequalities in premature mortality by area deprivation. Among those under 75, the direct and indirect effects of the pandemic on deaths have disproportionately impacted ethnic minority groups irrespective of area deprivation, and the white group the most deprived areas. Statistics limited to deaths directly involving COVID-19 understate the pandemic's impact on inequalities by area deprivation and ethnic group at younger ages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Minority Groups , Mortality , Mortality, Premature , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
13.
Burns ; 47(7): 1547-1555, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575639

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has the potential to significantly impact burns patients both directly through infective complications of an immunocompromised cohort, and indirectly through disruption of care pathways and resource limitations. The pandemic presents new challenges that must be overcome to maintain patient safety; in particular, the potential increased risks of surgical intervention, anaesthesia and ventilation. This study comprehensively reviews the measures implemented to adapt referral pathways and mitigate the risk posed by COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic, within a large Burns Centre. METHODS: A prospective cohort study was designed to assess patients treated at the Burns Centre during the UK COVID-19 pandemic peak (April-May 2020), following implementation of new safety measures. All patients were analysed for 30-day mortality. In addition, a prospective controlled cohort study was undertaken on all inpatients and a random sample of outpatients with telephone follow-up at 30 days. These patients were divided into three groups (operative inpatients, non-operative inpatients, outpatients). COVID-19 related data collected included test results, contact with proven cases, isolation status and symptoms. The implemented departmental service COVID-19 safety adaptations are described. RESULTS: Of 323 patients treated at the Burns Centre during the study period, no 30-day COVID-19 related deaths occurred (0/323). Of the 80 patients analysed in the prospective controlled cohort section of the study, 51 underwent COVID-19 testing, 3.9% (2/51) were positive. Both cases were in the operative group, however in comparison to the non-operative and outpatient groups, there was no significant increase in COVID-19 incidence in operative patients. CONCLUSIONS: We found no COVID-19 related mortality during the study period. With appropriate precautions, burns patients were not exposed to an increased COVID-19 risk. Similarly, burns patients undergoing operative management were not at a significantly increased risk of contracting COVID-19 in comparison to non-operative groups.


Subject(s)
Burns , COVID-19 , Patient Safety , Reconstructive Surgical Procedures , Burns/epidemiology , Burns/surgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Testing , Cohort Studies , England , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Patient Satisfaction , Prospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
15.
Br J Psychiatry ; 218(1): 7-9, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556719

ABSTRACT

Children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders make up an estimated 10% of the population. Addressing health inequalities and poorer life outcomes is essential to deliver better quality care. Two parent-carers working in national roles in England suggest ways to increase understanding and work together in coproduction to achieve this.


Subject(s)
Neurodevelopmental Disorders , Psychiatry , Adult , Caregivers , Child , England , Humans , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/therapy , Quality of Health Care
18.
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol ; 9(10): 671-680, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531932

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) has been reported to be increasing in frequency during the COVID-19 pandemic. We aimed to examine the rates of DKA hospital admissions and the patient demographics associated with DKA during the pandemic compared with in prepandemic years. METHODS: Using a comprehensive, multiethnic, national dataset, the Secondary Uses Service repository, we extracted all emergency hospital admissions in England coded with DKA from March 1 to June 30, 2020 (first wave of the pandemic), July 1 to Oct 31, 2020 (post-first wave), and Nov 1, 2020, to Feb 28, 2021 (second wave), and compared these with DKA admissions in the equivalent periods in 2017-20. We also examined baseline characteristics, mortality, and trends in patients who were admitted with DKA. FINDINGS: There were 8553 admissions coded with DKA during the first wave, 8729 during the post-first wave, and 10 235 during the second wave. Compared with preceding years, DKA admissions were 6% (95% CI 4-9; p<0·0001) higher in the first wave of the pandemic (from n=8048), 6% (3-8; p<0·0001) higher in the post-first wave (from n=8260), and 7% (4-9; p<0·0001) higher in the second wave (from n=9610). In the first wave, DKA admissions reduced by 19% (95% CI 16-21) in those with pre-existing type 1 diabetes (from n=4965 to n=4041), increased by 41% (35-47) in those with pre-existing type 2 diabetes (from n=2010 to n=2831), and increased by 57% (48-66) in those with newly diagnosed diabetes (from n=1072 to n=1681). Compared with prepandemic, type 2 diabetes DKA admissions were similarly common in older individuals and men but were higher in those of non-White ethnicities during the first wave. The increase in newly diagnosed DKA admissions occurred across all age groups and these were significantly increased in men and people of non-White ethnicities. In the post-first wave, DKA admissions did not return to the baseline level of previous years; DKA admissions were 14% (11-17) lower in patients with type 1 diabetes (from n=5208 prepandemic to n=4491), 30% (24-36) higher in patients with type 2 diabetes (from n=2011 to n=2613), and 56% (47-66) higher in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes (from n=1041 to n=1625). During the second wave, DKA admissions were 25% (22-27) lower in patients with type 1 diabetes (from n=5769 prepandemic to n=4337), 50% (44-56) higher in patients with type 2 diabetes (from n=2608 to n=3912), and 61% (52-70) higher in patients with newly diagnosed diabetes (from n=1234 to n=1986). INTERPRETATION: Our results provide evidence for differences in the numbers and characteristics of people presenting with DKA during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with in the preceding 3 years. Greater awareness of risk factors for DKA in type 2 diabetes and vigilance for newly diagnosed diabetes presenting with DKA during the COVID-19 pandemic might help mitigate the increased impact of DKA. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/epidemiology , Diabetic Ketoacidosis/epidemiology , Emergency Service, Hospital/trends , Patient Admission/trends , Population Surveillance , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Databases, Factual/trends , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/therapy , Diabetic Ketoacidosis/therapy , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Population Surveillance/methods , Time Factors , Young Adult
19.
Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol ; 9(5): 293-303, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1531930

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In patients with type 2 diabetes, hyperglycaemia is an independent risk factor for COVID-19-related mortality. Associations between pre-infection prescription for glucose-lowering drugs and COVID-19-related mortality in people with type 2 diabetes have been postulated but only investigated in small studies and limited to a few agents. We investigated whether there are associations between prescription of different classes of glucose-lowering drugs and risk of COVID-19-related mortality in people with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: This was a nationwide observational cohort study done with data from the National Diabetes Audit for people with type 2 diabetes and registered with a general practice in England since 2003. Cox regression was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) of COVID-19-related mortality in people prescribed each class of glucose-lowering drug, with covariate adjustment with a propensity score to address confounding by demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical factors. FINDINGS: Among the 2 851 465 people with type 2 diabetes included in our analyses, 13 479 (0·5%) COVID-19-related deaths occurred during the study period (Feb 16 to Aug 31, 2020), corresponding to a rate of 8·9 per 1000 person-years (95% CI 8·7-9·0). The adjusted HR associated with recorded versus no recorded prescription was 0·77 (95% CI 0·73-0·81) for metformin and 1·42 (1·35-1·49) for insulin. Adjusted HRs for prescription of other individual classes of glucose-lowering treatment were as follows: 0·75 (0·48-1·17) for meglitinides, 0·82 (0·74-0·91) for SGLT2 inhibitors, 0·94 (0·82-1·07) for thiazolidinediones, 0·94 (0·89-0·99) for sulfonylureas, 0·94 (0·83-1·07) for GLP-1 receptor agonists, 1·07 (1·01-1·13) for DPP-4 inhibitors, and 1·26 (0·76-2·09) for α-glucosidase inhibitors. INTERPRETATION: Our results provide evidence of associations between prescription of some glucose-lowering drugs and COVID-19-related mortality, although the differences in risk are small and these findings are likely to be due to confounding by indication, in view of the use of different drug classes at different stages of type 2 diabetes disease progression. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no clear indication to change prescribing of glucose-lowering drugs in people with type 2 diabetes. FUNDING: None.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/drug therapy , Hypoglycemic Agents/adverse effects , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Cohort Studies , England , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proportional Hazards Models
20.
Harm Reduct J ; 18(1): 114, 2021 11 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1526640

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Up-to-date monitoring of non-combustible nicotine products (e.g. e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapies (NRT), heated tobacco products (HTP); NNP) is important to assess their impact. To date, there is little evidence on the association between ever regular use (defined here as 1 year or more) of NNP and current smoking status. AIMS/METHODS: The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence, and sociodemographic, alcohol and smoking status correlates, of ever regular use of NNP in England in 2020. A cross-sectional survey of adults in England was conducted between February and June 2020. RESULTS: A total of 8486 adults were surveyed; 94.9% (8055) were complete cases. The weighted prevalence of ever regular NNP use was 5.4% (n = 436; 95% CI 5.0-6.0), of which 82% (n = 360; 95% CI 78.7-85.8) was single and 18% (n = 79; 95% CI 14.8-22) multiple product use. Amongst ever regular NNP users, the prevalence of ever regular NRT, e-cigarette and HTP use was 64.7% (95% CI 60.1-69), 43.4% (95% CI 38.8-48) and 2.5% (95% CI 1.4-4.5), respectively. In adjusted analysis, ever regular NNP use was associated with smoking status, being significantly higher among current (22.3%; adjusted OR (aOR) 34.9, 95% CI 24.0-50.8) and ex-smokers (12.7%, aOR 19.8, 95% CI 11.1-14.4) than among never-smokers (0.6%). More advantaged occupational grade (aOR, 1.27 95% CI 1.02-1.57) and at least hazardous alcohol use (aOR, 1.38 95% CI 1.06-1.78) were associated with greater prevalence of ever regular NNP use. CONCLUSIONS: Ever regularly using NNP was highest among smokers and ex-smokers and rare among never-smokers. Among people who have ever regularly used NNP, NRT is the most popular.


Subject(s)
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems , Smoking Cessation , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , England/epidemiology , Humans , Nicotine , Prevalence , Tobacco Use Cessation Devices
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