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1.
Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry ; 26(4): 909-923, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237026

ABSTRACT

LGBTQ+ youth accessing healthcare settings manage the 'storms' of health conditions (e.g. pain, fatigue, social isolation, etc.) while navigating emerging identity exploration and understandings in settings which may have historically overlooked or disaffirmed these identities. The launch of National Health Service Rainbow Badges across the paediatric division of an inner-city hospital provided a context for staff to begin thinking about their practice, development needs and dilemmas in working with LGBTQ+ youth. Through a programme of activity that included staff training, surveys, focus groups and youth engagement, we gained insight into current practice in supporting LGBTQ+ youth and families. This paper presents our findings, ideas for responding to challenges, and areas for future development, including implications in light of the coronavirus pandemic.


Subject(s)
Sexual and Gender Minorities , State Medicine , Adolescent , Child , Focus Groups , Humans , Social Environment
10.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e066524, 2023 05 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239547

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: We aimed to design and produce a low-cost, ergonomic, hood-integrated powered air-purifying respirator (Bubble-PAPR) for pandemic healthcare use, offering optimal and equitable protection to all staff. We hypothesised that participants would rate Bubble-PAPR more highly than current filtering face piece (FFP3) face mask respiratory protective equipment (RPE) in the domains of comfort, perceived safety and communication. DESIGN: Rapid design and evaluation cycles occurred based on the identified user needs. We conducted diary card and focus group exercises to identify relevant tasks requiring RPE. Lab-based safety standards established against British Standard BS-EN-12941 and EU2016/425 covering materials; inward particulate leakage; breathing resistance; clean air filtration and supply; carbon dioxide elimination; exhalation means and electrical safety. Questionnaire-based usability data from participating front-line healthcare staff before (usual RPE) and after using Bubble-PAPR. SETTING: Overseen by a trial safety committee, evaluation progressed sequentially through laboratory, simulated, low-risk, then high-risk clinical environments of a single tertiary National Health Service hospital. PARTICIPANTS: 15 staff completed diary cards and focus groups. 91 staff from a range of clinical and non-clinical roles completed the study, wearing Bubble-PAPR for a median of 45 min (IQR 30-80 (15-120)). Participants self-reported a range of heights (mean 1.7 m (SD 0.1, range 1.5-2.0)), weights (72.4 kg (16.0, 47-127)) and body mass indices (25.3 (4.7, 16.7-42.9)). OUTCOME MEASURES: Preuse particulometer 'fit testing' and evaluation against standards by an independent biomedical engineer.Primary:Perceived comfort (Likert scale).Secondary: Perceived safety, communication. RESULTS: Mean fit factor 16 961 (10 participants). Bubble-PAPR mean comfort score 5.64 (SD 1.55) vs usual FFP3 2.96 (1.44) (mean difference 2.68 (95% CI 2.23 to 3.14, p<0.001). Secondary outcomes, Bubble-PAPR mean (SD) versus FFP3 mean (SD), (mean difference (95% CI)) were: how safe do you feel? 6.2 (0.9) vs 5.4 (1.0), (0.73 (0.45 to 0.99)); speaking to other staff 7.5 (2.4) vs 5.1 (2.4), (2.38 (1.66 to 3.11)); heard by other staff 7.1 (2.3) vs 4.9 (2.3), (2.16 (1.45 to 2.88)); speaking to patients 7.8 (2.1) vs 4.8 (2.4), (2.99 (2.36 to 3.62)); heard by patients 7.4 (2.4) vs 4.7 (2.5), (2.7 (1.97 to 3.43)); all p<0.01. CONCLUSIONS: Bubble-PAPR achieved its primary purpose of keeping staff safe from airborne particulate material while improving comfort and the user experience when compared with usual FFP3 masks. The design and development of Bubble-PAPR were conducted using a careful evaluation strategy addressing key regulatory and safety steps. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT04681365.


Subject(s)
Respiratory Protective Devices , State Medicine , Humans , Health Personnel , Perception , Hospitals
11.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e070975, 2023 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239135

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Previous research highlighted that in the early 2000s a significant share of the Italian population used and paid out of pocket for private healthcare services even when they could potentially have received the same treatments from the National Health Service (NHS). The decrease in public investments in healthcare and the increase in health needs due to the population ageing may have modified the use of private health services and equity of access to the Italian NHS. This study aims to investigate the change in the prevalence of individuals who have fully paid out of pocket for accessing healthcare services in Italy between 2006 and 2019 and the main reasons behind this choice. DESIGN: Cross-sectional comparative study. PARTICIPANTS AND COMPARISON: Two representative samples of the Italian population were collected in 2006 and 2019. OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence of access to fully paid out-of-pocket private health services; type of service of the last fully paid out-of-pocket access; main reasons for the last fully paid out-of-pocket access. RESULTS: We found an increase in the prevalence of people who declared having fully paid out of pocket at least one access to health services during their lifetime from 79.0% in 2006 to 91.9% in 2019 (adjusted OR 2.66; 95% CI 1.98 to 3.58). 'To avoid waiting times' was the main reason and it was significantly more frequent in 2019 compared with 2006 (adjusted OR 1.75; 95% CI 1.45 to 2.11). CONCLUSIONS: This comparative study, conducted the year before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted an increase in the prevalence of Italian residents who have fully paid out of pocket for access to health services to overcome long waiting times. Our findings may indicate a reduced access and possible worsening of the equity of access to the public and universalistic Italian NHS between 2006 and 2019.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , State Medicine , Humans , Cross-Sectional Studies , Pandemics , Health Services , Health Services Accessibility
12.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e069371, 2023 05 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237451

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Digital healthcare in the UK was adopted out of necessity rather than choice during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as we move forward, UK governments and healthcare services have acknowledged its evident benefits for patients, staff and the National Health Service (NHS), and are keen to sustain its improvements in the long term. OBJECTIVE: To understand the benefits, challenges and sustainability of a future-proof digital healthcare. DESIGN: A semi-structured interview study was conducted. SETTING: In NHS services in Wales, UK. PARTICIPANTS: With clinical and non-clinical staff across a mix of clinical specialties. OUTCOME MEASURES: Semi-structured interviews were conducted to address benefits, challenges and sustainability of a national video consulting (VC) service, and thematically coded using a quantification method of qualitative work. RESULTS: A total of 203 interviews were conducted and 3 dominant domains emerged, with 7 themes and 26 categories. LIMITATIONS: It is important to acknowledge that these findings were captured during a pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: NHS Wales has demonstrated that currently there are an equal measure of benefits and challenges to a national digital healthcare. However, with ongoing government and service support, improvement and evaluation, it has potential for a sustainable digital future, in which the benefits can outweigh the challenges.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , State Medicine , Humans , Wales , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Delivery of Health Care , Qualitative Research
13.
BMJ Open ; 13(5): e065068, 2023 05 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233699

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Respiratory protective equipment is critical to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19 infection, which includes filtering facepiece respirators (FFP3). There are reports of fitting issues within healthcare workers, although the factors affecting fitting outcomes are largely unknown. This study aimed to evaluate factors affecting respirator fitting outcomes. DESIGN: This is a retrospective evaluation study. We conducted a secondary analysis of a national database of fit testing outcomes in England between July and August 2020. SETTINGS: The study involves National Health Service (NHS) hospitals in England. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 9592 observations regarding fit test outcomes from 5604 healthcare workers were included in the analysis. INTERVENTION: Fit testing of FFP3 on a cohort of healthcare workers in England, working in the NHS. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES: Primary outcome measure was the fit testing result, that is, pass or fail with a specific respirator. Key demographics, including age, gender, ethnicity and face measurements of 5604 healthcare workers, were used to compare fitting outcomes. RESULTS: A total of 9592 observations from 5604 healthcare workers were included in the analysis. A mixed-effects logistic regression model was used to determine the factors which affected fit testing outcome. Results showed that males experienced a significantly (p<0.05) higher fit test success than females (OR 1.51; 95% CI 1.27 to 1.81). Those with non-white ethnicities demonstrated significantly lower odds of successful respirator fitting; black (OR 0.65; 95% CI 0.51 to 0.83), Asian (OR 0.62; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.74) and mixed (OR 0.60; 95% CI 0.45 to 0.79. CONCLUSION: During the early phase of COVID-19, females and non-white ethnicities were less likely to have a successful respirator fitting. Further research is needed to design new respirators which provide equal opportunity for comfortable, effective fitting of these devices.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Occupational Exposure , Respiratory Protective Devices , Male , Female , Humans , Retrospective Studies , State Medicine , COVID-19/prevention & control , Equipment Design
14.
BMJ ; 381: 1232, 2023 05 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232056
15.
BMJ Open ; 13(6): e071973, 2023 06 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235334

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To quantify differences in number and timing of first primary cleft lip and palate (CLP) repair procedures during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021; 2020/2021) compared with the preceding year (1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020; 2019/2021). DESIGN: National observational study of administrative hospital data. SETTING: National Health Service hospitals in England. STUDY POPULATION: Children <5 years undergoing primary repair for an orofacial cleft Population Consensus and Surveys Classification of Interventions and Procedures-fourth revisions (OPCS-4) codes F031, F291). MAIN EXPOSURE: Procedure date (2020/2021 vs 2019/2020). MAIN OUTCOMES: Numbers and timing (age in months) of first primary CLP procedures. RESULTS: 1716 CLP primary repair procedures were included in the analysis. In 2020/2021, 774 CLP procedures were carried out compared with 942 in 2019/2020, a reduction of 17.8% (95% CI 9.5% to 25.4%). The reduction varied over time in 2020/2021, with no surgeries at all during the first 2 months (April and May 2020). Compared with 2019/2020, first primary lip repair procedures performed in 2020/2021 were delayed by 1.6 months on average (95% CI 0.9 to 2.2 months). Delays in primary palate repairs were smaller on average but varied across the nine geographical regions. CONCLUSION: There were significant reductions in the number and delays in timing of first primary CLP repair procedures in England during the first year of the pandemic, which may affect long-term outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cleft Lip , Cleft Palate , Child , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Electronic Health Records , Cleft Lip/epidemiology , Cleft Lip/surgery , Cleft Palate/epidemiology , Cleft Palate/surgery , Pandemics , State Medicine , England/epidemiology
16.
Addict Sci Clin Pract ; 18(1): 39, 2023 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235217

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Breaking Free Online (BFO), a computer-assisted therapy (CAT) program for substance use disorders (SUD), has been available across UK treatment services for the past decade and has demonstrated efficacy. The Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to digital and 'telehealth' approaches to healthcare delivery becoming more common and accepted, and has in parallel, increased numbers of referrals to SUD services because of the impact pandemic-related stress has had on substance using habits in the general population. Digital and telehealth approaches, such as BFO, have the potential to support the treatment system to meet this increased demand for SUD services. METHODS: Parallel-group randomized controlled trial of eight-week BFO as an adjunct to standard treatment for SUD, in comparison to standard treatment only, at a National Health Service (NHS) Mental Health Trust in North-West England. Participants will be service users aged 18 years and over with demonstrable SUD for at least 12-months. Interventional and control groups will be compared on multiple measures from baseline to post-treatment assessment at eight-weeks, and then three and six-months follow-up. Primary outcome will be self-reported substance use, with secondary outcomes being standardized assessments of substance dependence, mental health, biopsychosocial functioning and quality of life. DISCUSSION: This study will examine whether BFO and telehealth support, when delivered as an adjunct to standard SUD interventions, improves outcomes for services users receiving NHS SUD treatment. Findings from the study will be used to inform both developments to the BFO program and guidance around augmenting the delivery of CAT programs via telehealth. Trial registration registered with ISRCTN on 25th May 2021-registration number: 13694016. PROTOCOL VERSION: 3.0 05th April 2022. TRIAL STATUS: This trial is currently open to recruitment-estimated to be completed in May 2023.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Substance-Related Disorders , Therapy, Computer-Assisted , Humans , Pandemics , Quality of Life , State Medicine , Therapy, Computer-Assisted/methods , Substance-Related Disorders/therapy , Substance-Related Disorders/psychology , Treatment Outcome , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
17.
PLoS One ; 18(5): e0285899, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2323353

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In 2020, Portugal had high levels of unmet health care needs. Primary Care was reported as the main source of unmet needs. OBJECTIVES: To describe face-to-face and remote access to GPs in Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic. To discover patient experiences and attitudes to access to care. To identify determinants of access to care. METHODS: A survey of a random sample of 4,286 adults registered in a group of Family Practices was conducted in 2021. Paper questionnaires were sent by post to patients who had no e-mail address registered with the practice. Patients with an e-mail address were sent a link to an online questionnaire. Outcomes were reported waiting times for face-to-face and remote contacts with GPs, dichotomized to ascertain compliance with standards. Associations between participant characteristics and outcome variables were tested using logistic regression. RESULTS: Waiting times for face-to-face consultations with GPs during the pandemic often exceeded the maximum waiting times (MWT) set by the National Health Service. Remote contacts were mostly conducted within acceptable standards. Waiting times for speaking with the GP over the phone were rated as 'poor' by 40% and 27% reported requests for these calls as unmet. The odds of getting care over MWT increased for participants who reported poorer digital skills. Participants were less likely to get non-urgent consultations over MWT if they found it easy to use the online patient portal to book appointments (odds ratio 0.24; 99% confidence intervals 0.09-0.61), request prescriptions (0.18; 0.04-0.74) or insert personal data (0.18; 0.04-0.95). CONCLUSION: Patient reported access to GPs during the pandemic was uneven in Portugal. Obtaining non-urgent consultations and remote contacts over MWT affected mainly those patients with poor digital skills. Telephone access to GPs received the worse ratings. Access through traditional pathways must remain available, to prevent the widening of inequities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , General Practitioners , Adult , Humans , Portugal , Pandemics , State Medicine , Patient Outcome Assessment
18.
PLoS Med ; 20(4): e1004210, 2023 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2322955

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: While the United Kingdom National Health Service aimed to reduce social inequalities in the provision of joint replacement, it is unclear whether these gaps have reduced. We describe secular trends in the provision of primary hip and knee replacement surgery between social deprivation groups. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We used the National Joint Registry to identify all hip and knee replacements performed for osteoarthritis from 2007 to 2017 in England. The Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015 was used to identify the relative level of deprivation of the patient living area. Multilevel negative binomial regression models were used to model the differences in rates of joint replacement. Choropleth maps of hip and knee replacement provision were produced to identify the geographical variation in provision by Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). A total of 675,342 primary hip and 834,146 primary knee replacements were studied. The mean age was 70 years old (standard deviation: 9) with 60% and 56% of women undergoing hip and knee replacements, respectively. The overall rate of hip replacement increased from 27 to 36 per 10,000 person-years and knee replacement from 33 to 46. Inequalities of provision between the most (reference) and least affluent areas have remained constant for both joints (hip: rate ratio (RR) = 0.58, 95% confidence interval [0.56, 0.60] in 2007, RR = 0.59 [0.58, 0.61] in 2017; knee: RR = 0.82 [0.80, 0.85] in 2007, RR = 0.81 [0.80, 0.83] in 2017). For hip replacement, CCGs with the highest concentration of deprived areas had lower overall provision rates, and CCGs with very few deprived areas had higher provision rates. There was no clear pattern of provision inequalities between CCGs and deprivation concentration for knee replacement. Study limitations include the lack of publicly available information to explore these inequalities beyond age, sex, and geographical area. Information on clinical need for surgery or patient willingness to access care were unavailable. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we found that there were inequalities, which remained constant over time, especially in the provision of hip replacement, by degree of social deprivation. Providers of healthcare need to take action to reduce this unwarranted variation in provision of surgery.


Subject(s)
Osteoarthritis , State Medicine , Humans , Female , Aged , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Social Deprivation , Registries
20.
Br Med Bull ; 146(1): 19-26, 2023 Jun 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2317655

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We sought to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on lipid-lowering therapy prescribing as a potential cause of the excess cardiovascular mortality seen post-pandemic in England. We examined temporal changes over 3 years in the prescribing of high-intensity and non-high-intensity statin therapy and ezetimibe. SOURCES OF DATA: We utilized data available via the National Health Service (NHS) Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) Information Services Data Warehouse, extracting 3 monthly data from October 2018 to December 2021 on high- and low-intensity statin and ezetimibe prescribing, (commencement, cessation or continuation) through each time period of study and those before, and after, the period of interest. AREAS OF AGREEMENT: Optimizing lipid management is a key component of the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease, stroke and dementia. AREAS OF CONTROVERSY: The COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown have seen a significant reduction in prescribing of lipid-lowering therapies. If cardiovascular risk is not to worsen in the forthcoming years, urgent action is needed to ensure that the impact of the pandemic upon optimization of cholesterol and the historical undertreatment of cholesterol is reversed and improved. AREAS TIMELY FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH: Prescription data available via NHSBSA can support our understanding of the implications of policy and behaviour and highlight the impact of guidelines in practise. GROWING POINTS: Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic upon cholesterol management and the opportunities for newer lipid-lowering therapies delivered using a population health approach have the potential to enhance lipid-lowering and improve cardiovascular mortality and morbidity and reduce health inequalities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cardiovascular Diseases , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors , Humans , Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Cardiovascular Diseases/epidemiology , Cardiovascular Diseases/prevention & control , State Medicine , Pandemics , Risk Factors , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Ezetimibe , Cholesterol , Heart Disease Risk Factors
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