B3720 - NCS Cohort Project ARQ3 COVID-19 and Healthcare Disruption - 18/02/2021

B number: 
Principal applicant name: 
Alex Kwong | IEU / PHS
Professor Nic Timpson, Dr Kate Northstone
Title of project: 
NCS Cohort Project ARQ3 COVID-19 and Healthcare Disruption
Proposal summary: 

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is having a profound effect on all aspects of society. To reduce the spread of the infection, the UK government imposed strong restrictive measures across England, Scotland, and Wales, including the lockdown announced on 23rd March 2020, as well as strict physical distancing rules. These infection control measures, as well as the diversion of resources towards COVID-19 services has resulted in substantial disruption to UK health care and delivery.

Recent reports from NHS digital indicate a 153-fold increase in those waiting 12 months or more for elective treatments, compared to 2020.1 Furthermore, despite a decrease in those attending A&E services, the number of patients waiting over 12 hours for admission was 34% higher in January 2021 than January 2020. Furthermore, disruption to pharmacological treatments has also been reported with delays to accessing medication.

Although restrictive measures were implemented universally to the UK population, it has become apparent that not all those are affected equally, with some individuals impacted more than others.

As a result of the health inequalities, which have been well documented for decades, exist based on sex, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, there is an increased concern that these groups will be disproportionately impacted in terms of healthcare disruption.

The aim of this project is to investigate sociodemographic predictors of healthcare disruption during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Impact of research: 
Policy change
Date proposal received: 
Wednesday, 17 February, 2021
Date proposal approved: 
Thursday, 18 February, 2021
Health Services Research/Health Systems Research