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5.
Epilepsia ; 62(11): 2732-2740, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379573

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Health systems make a sizeable contribution to national emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change. The UK National Health Service is committed to being a net zero emitter by 2040, and a potential contribution to this target could come from reductions in patient travel. Achieving this will require actions at many levels. We sought to determine potential savings and risks over the short term from telemedicine through virtual clinics. METHODS: During the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-2-CoV) pandemic, scheduled face-to-face epilepsy clinics at a specialist site were replaced by remote teleclinics. We used a standard methodology applying conversion factors to calculate emissions based on the total saved travel distance. A further conversion factor was used to derive emissions associated with electricity consumption to deliver remote clinics from which net savings could be calculated. Patients' records and clinicians were interrogated to identify any adverse clinical outcomes. RESULTS: We found that enforced telemedicine delivery for over 1200 patients resulted in the saving of ~224 000 km of travel with likely avoided emissions in the range of 35 000-40 000 kg carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 e) over a six and half month period. Emissions arising directly from remote delivery were calculated to be <200 kg CO2 e (~0.5% of those for travel), representing a significant net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Only one direct adverse outcome was identified, with some additional benefits identified anecdotally. SIGNIFICANCE: The use of telemedicine can make a contribution toward reduced emissions in the health care sector and, in the delivery of specialized epilepsy services, had minimal adverse clinical outcomes over the short term. However, these outcomes will likely vary with clinic locations, medical specialties and conditions.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Carbon Dioxide/analysis , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Epilepsy/epidemiology , State Medicine/trends , Telemedicine/trends , COVID-19/prevention & control , Epilepsy/therapy , Humans , Travel/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
6.
Br J Anaesth ; 127(2): 196-204, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272317

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: A significant proportion of healthcare resource has been diverted to the care of those with COVID-19. This study reports the volume of surgical activity and the number of cancelled surgical procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: We used hospital episode statistics for all adult patients undergoing surgery between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 in England and Wales. We identified surgical procedures using a previously published list of procedure codes. Procedures were stratified by urgency of surgery as defined by NHS England. We calculated the deficit of surgical activity by comparing the expected number of procedures from 2016 to 2019 with the actual number of procedures in 2020. Using a linear regression model, we calculated the expected cumulative number of cancelled procedures by December 31, 2021. RESULTS: The total number of surgical procedures carried out in England and Wales in 2020 was 3 102 674 compared with the predicted number of 4 671 338 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 4 218 740-5 123 932). This represents a 33.6% reduction in the national volume of surgical activity. There were 763 730 emergency surgical procedures (13.4% reduction) compared with 2 338 944 elective surgical procedures (38.6% reduction). The cumulative number of cancelled or postponed procedures was 1 568 664 (95% CI: 1 116 066-2 021 258). We estimate that this will increase to 2 358 420 (95% CI: 1 667 587-3 100 808) up to December 31, 2021. CONCLUSIONS: The volume of surgical activity in England and Wales was reduced by 33.6% in 2020, resulting in more than 1.5 million cancelled operations. This deficit will continue to grow in 2021.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Elective Surgical Procedures/trends , Hospitalization/trends , State Medicine/trends , Adult , Aged , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cohort Studies , England/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Wales/epidemiology
9.
Lancet ; 397(10288): 1979-1991, 2021 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219658

ABSTRACT

The demographics of the UK population are changing and so is the need for health care. In this Health Policy, we explore the current health of the population, the changing health needs, and future threats to health. Relative to other high-income countries, the UK is lagging on many health outcomes, such as life expectancy and infant mortality, and there is a growing burden of mental illness. Successes exist, such as the striking improvements in oral health, but inequalities in health persist as well. The growth of the ageing population relative to the working-age population, the rise of multimorbidity, and persistent health inequalities, particularly for preventable illness, are all issues that the National Health Service (NHS) will face in the years to come. Meeting the challenges of the future will require an increased focus on health promotion and disease prevention, involving a more concerted effort to understand and tackle the multiple social, environmental, and economic factors that lie at the heart of health inequalities. The immediate priority of the NHS will be to mitigate the wider and long-term health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it must also strengthen its resilience to reduce the impact of other threats to health, such as the UK leaving the EU, climate change, and antimicrobial resistance.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/trends , Demography/trends , State Medicine/organization & administration , Aging , COVID-19 , Cost of Illness , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Humans , Life Expectancy , Maternal-Child Health Services , Mental Health , Multimorbidity/trends , Oral Health/trends , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
10.
Indian J Med Ethics ; VI(2): 1-6, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1206579

ABSTRACT

The Covid-19 pandemic has not only highlighted societal inequalities but also shown how a resilient health service is essential for protecting citizens. The NHS was founded in 1948 to provide universal healthcare but has been under sustained attack for the past thirty years. As a seven-year-old patient with osteomyelitis, the NHS almost certainly saved my life. Seventy years later I reflect on the humanising and civilising aspects of the NHS, the need for doctors to be advocates and custodians, as well as clinicians working in the best interests of their individual patients; and the requirement for the medical profession to understand the social determinants of ill health and how these can be ameliorated. The reward for engaging in this struggle: a healthier world in the widest sense and greater satisfaction for all those working in the prevention and treatment of ill health.

.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care/statistics & numerical data , Delivery of Health Care/trends , Health Personnel/trends , Pandemics , State Medicine/statistics & numerical data , State Medicine/trends , Adult , Female , Forecasting , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom
11.
Lancet Gastroenterol Hepatol ; 6(5): 381-390, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1202043

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a substantial reduction in gastrointestinal endoscopies, creating a backlog of procedures. We aimed to quantify this backlog nationally for England and assess how various interventions might mitigate the backlog. METHODS: We did a national analysis of data for colonoscopies, flexible sigmoidoscopies, and gastroscopies from National Health Service (NHS) trusts in NHS England's Monthly Diagnostic Waiting Times and Activity dataset. Trusts were excluded if monthly data were incomplete. To estimate the potential backlog, we used linear logistic regression to project the cumulative deficit between actual procedures performed and expected procedures, based on historical pre-pandemic trends. We then made further estimations of the change to the backlog under three scenarios: recovery to a set level of capacity, ranging from 90% to 130%; further disruption to activity (eg, second pandemic wave); or introduction of faecal immunochemical testing (FIT) triaging. FINDINGS: We included data from Jan 1, 2018, to Oct 31, 2020, from 125 NHS trusts. 10 476 endoscopy procedures were done in April, 2020, representing 9·5% of those done in April, 2019 (n=110 584), before recovering to 105 716 by October, 2020 (84·5% of those done in October, 2019 [n=125 072]). Recovering to 100% capacity on the current trajectory would lead to a projected backlog of 162 735 (95% CI 143 775-181 695) colonoscopies, 119 025 (107 398-130 651) flexible sigmoidoscopies, and 194 087 (172 564-215 611) gastroscopies in January, 2021, attributable to the pandemic. Increasing capacity to 130% would still take up to June, 2022, to eliminate the backlog. A further 2-month interruption would add an extra 15·4%, a 4-month interruption would add an extra 43·8%, and a 6-month interruption would add an extra 82·5% to the potential backlog. FIT triaging of cases that are found to have greater than 10 µg haemoglobin per g would reduce colonoscopy referrals to around 75% of usual levels, with the backlog cleared in early 2022. INTERPRETATION: Our work highlights the impact of the pandemic on endoscopy services nationally. Even with mitigation measures, it could take much longer than a year to eliminate the pandemic-related backlog. Urgent action is required by key stakeholders (ie, individual NHS trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, British Society of Gastroenterology, and NHS England) to tackle the backlog and prevent delays to patient management. FUNDING: Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) at University College London, National Institute for Health Research University College London Hospitals Biomedical Research Centre, and DATA-CAN, Health Data Research UK.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Capacity Building , Endoscopy, Digestive System , Gastrointestinal Diseases , Procedures and Techniques Utilization , Triage , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Capacity Building/methods , Capacity Building/organization & administration , Change Management , Endoscopy, Digestive System/methods , Endoscopy, Digestive System/statistics & numerical data , Gastrointestinal Diseases/epidemiology , Gastrointestinal Diseases/therapy , Humans , Immunochemistry , Infection Control , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Procedures and Techniques Utilization/trends , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/organization & administration , State Medicine/trends , Triage/methods , Triage/statistics & numerical data , United Kingdom/epidemiology , Waiting Lists
13.
Med Leg J ; 89(2): 93-98, 2021 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1133454

ABSTRACT

National Health Service employers are subject to legal duties to protect the health and safety of their employees and third parties who come into contact with their staff. In order to discharge these duties, National Health Service employers must implement a range of protective measures to mitigate risk. One such measure is to require staff to wear personal protective equipment, including respiratory protective equipment, in certain circumstances. This is of particular importance during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the presence of facial hair has a negative impact on the effectiveness of respiratory protective equipment. This article discusses whether a requirement to be clean shaven could amount to discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.


Subject(s)
Face/physiology , Hair/physiology , Health Personnel/legislation & jurisprudence , Personal Protective Equipment/standards , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , Health Personnel/psychology , Health Personnel/trends , Humans , State Medicine/organization & administration , State Medicine/trends
14.
BJOG ; 128(5): 880-889, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1119184

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore the modifications to maternity services across the UK, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in the context of the pandemic guidance issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and NHS England. DESIGN: National survey. SETTING: UK maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic. POPULATION OR SAMPLE: Healthcare professionals working within maternity services. METHODS: A national electronic survey was developed to investigate local modifications to general and specialist maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of the contemporaneous national pandemic guidance. After a pilot phase, the survey was distributed through professional networks by the RCOG and co-authors. The survey results were presented descriptively in tabular and graphic formats, with proportions compared using chi-square tests. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Service modifications made during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 81 respondent sites, 42% of the 194 obstetric units in the UK, were included. They reported substantial and heterogeneous maternity service modifications. Seventy percent of units reported a reduction in antenatal appointments and 56% reported a reduction in postnatal appointments; 89% reported using remote consultation methods. A change to screening pathways for gestational diabetes mellitus was reported by 70%, and 59% had temporarily removed the offer of births at home or in a midwife-led unit. A reduction in emergency antenatal presentations was experienced by 86% of units. CONCLUSIONS: This national survey documents the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity services in the UK. More research is needed to understand the impact on maternity outcomes and experience. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: A national survey showed that UK maternity services were modified extensively and heterogeneously in response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Organizational Innovation , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Workforce , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/standards , Maternal Health Services/trends , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
17.
J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg ; 74(3): 644-710, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912068

ABSTRACT

During the recovery restitution phase of the coronavirus pandemic, breast reconstruction teams have faced particular challenges to restarting this essential service. This is due to the length and complexity of the surgery, along with the demands on healthcare staff. The Royal College of Surgeons have classified immediate breast reconstruction as priority 2 and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence have provided a pre-operative pathway for resumption of elective procedures. We therefore describe our experience in restarting our service for providing a breast reconstruction service from the 29th June 2020.


Subject(s)
Breast Neoplasms , COVID-19 , Critical Pathways , Elective Surgical Procedures , Mammaplasty , Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology , Breast Neoplasms/surgery , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Critical Pathways/organization & administration , Critical Pathways/trends , Elective Surgical Procedures/methods , Elective Surgical Procedures/statistics & numerical data , Female , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Infection Control/organization & administration , Mammaplasty/methods , Mammaplasty/statistics & numerical data , Organizational Innovation , Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/organization & administration , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
18.
BJOG ; 128(5): 880-889, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-909881

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To explore the modifications to maternity services across the UK, in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, in the context of the pandemic guidance issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and NHS England. DESIGN: National survey. SETTING: UK maternity services during the COVID-19 pandemic. POPULATION OR SAMPLE: Healthcare professionals working within maternity services. METHODS: A national electronic survey was developed to investigate local modifications to general and specialist maternity care during the COVID-19 pandemic, in the context of the contemporaneous national pandemic guidance. After a pilot phase, the survey was distributed through professional networks by the RCOG and co-authors. The survey results were presented descriptively in tabular and graphic formats, with proportions compared using chi-square tests. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Service modifications made during the pandemic. RESULTS: A total of 81 respondent sites, 42% of the 194 obstetric units in the UK, were included. They reported substantial and heterogeneous maternity service modifications. Seventy percent of units reported a reduction in antenatal appointments and 56% reported a reduction in postnatal appointments; 89% reported using remote consultation methods. A change to screening pathways for gestational diabetes mellitus was reported by 70%, and 59% had temporarily removed the offer of births at home or in a midwife-led unit. A reduction in emergency antenatal presentations was experienced by 86% of units. CONCLUSIONS: This national survey documents the extensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on maternity services in the UK. More research is needed to understand the impact on maternity outcomes and experience. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: A national survey showed that UK maternity services were modified extensively and heterogeneously in response to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Organizational Innovation , Appointments and Schedules , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Workforce , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Maternal Health Services/organization & administration , Maternal Health Services/standards , Maternal Health Services/trends , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Pregnancy , Remote Consultation/statistics & numerical data , SARS-CoV-2 , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology
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