Researchers in the Institute of Population Health Sciences are working at local, national and global levels to support an urgent response to the Covid-19 pandemic. All five of our Research Centres have been active in this area since the onset of the pandemic.
For publications and opinion pieces see our Covid-19 Outputs.
- Clinical Effectiveness Group
- Clinical Trials and Methodology
- Global Public Health
- Primary Care and Mental Health
- Women's Health
The Clinical Effectiveness Group (CEG) has responded to the COVID-19 emergency by using its established clinically-facing real-time data systems to support direct patient care in general practice. They have been working in close collaboration with local health care teams across North East London supporting an urgent response to the pandemic. This has included provision of suite of tools to local General Practice such as clinical templates for Covid-19 assessment, clinical system alerts and Covid-19 risk stratification reports. Members of the local health community can contact our dedicated Covid-19 email cegCovid@qmul.ac.uk
The Discovery Data Service has been chosen by the NHS in North East, North West, and South East London to provide the data layer for health and social care in London as part of the Local Health Care Record Exemplar (LHCRE) programme. CEG provides essential clinical leadership to this programme. By bringing together GP, NHS 111 and hospital data on a patient identifiable layer, and a de-identified layer, they have provided COVID dashboards online to contribute to the NHS London response to COVID. This has provided situation reports from general practice on a daily basis, which contribute to mapping the outbreak both temporally and geographically, and will provide early warning signals of any second wave. These dashboards will also contribute to local community based contract tracing to supplement national initiatives.
The Centre for Clinical Trials and Methodology has been involved in both supporting and carrying out Covid-19 related research. The Pragmatic Trials Unit (PTCU) has implemented accelerated procedures for support of Covid-19 trials. Furthermore, Professor Jo Martin, supported by the PCTU, is leading the CICERO clinical trial of a new rapid Covid-19 testing system that delivers results in under an hour. Working with the East London Health and Care Partnership, up to 2,000 staff and residents in 50 care homes are being recruited to see how effective rapid daily COVID-19 testing is at reducing rates of infection, hospitalisation and deaths.
Adrian Martineau from the Centre for Global Public Health leads the national COVIDENCE UK cohort study which launched in May. The data collected in this study will be analysed in order to (i) advance understanding of risk factors for coronavirus disease among UK adults; (ii) find out how quickly people recover from coronavirus disease and whether there are any long-term complications of this illness; (iii) evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease on the physical, mental and economic wellbeing of the UK population; and (iv) establish a platform for future research on coronavirus disease in the UK.
David McCoy has been involved in policy research related to lockdown measures in response to Covid-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa. The research identifies signs of lockdown harming health by affecting the functioning of the health system and causing social and economic harms, and highlights the need for rigorous and holistic assessment of the harms and benefits of lockdown. Further research in this area is being pursued.
Adrian Martineau from the Centre for Primary Care and Mental Health (PCMH) leads the national COVIDENCE UK cohort study which launched in May. The data collected in this study will be analysed in order to (i) advance understanding of risk factors for coronavirus disease among UK adults; (ii) find out how quickly people recover from coronavirus disease and whether there are any long-term complications of this illness; (iii) evaluate the impact of coronavirus disease on the physical, mental and economic wellbeing of the UK population; and (iv) establish a platform for future research on coronavirus disease in the UK. Anna Dowrick, also working in primary care, has been involved in the RREAL collaboration led by UCL with the aim to capture clinical staff perceptions and experiences with Covid-19, as part of a set of 'mirror studies' among UK; Australia; Pakistan; Mexico; and Argentina.
Trevor Sheldon (PCMH) is a member of the Bradford COVID-19 Scientific Advisory Group (C-SAG), which provides expert input and advice to the local response. He presented this work recently to the NIHR Senior investigators annual conference. He is involved in several Covid-19-related studies in Bradford. The Born in Bradford team at the Bradford Institute for Health Research, is funded by the UKRI to find out how the changes in healthcare and social distancing in the pandemic have impacted the health and wellbeing of women and their partners during pregnancy, at birth and in the first year after having a baby. Another study, funded by the Health Foundation, uses adaptive mixed methods research to gather actionable intelligence on the impact of COVID-19 on health inequalities amongst families living in Bradford. Trevor has also investigated ethnic variations in hospital mortality in patients testing positive for Covid-19 in Bradford and Airedale hospitals.
The Centre for Women’s Health’s Matina Iliodromiti has has been awarded a prestigious THIS Institute Fellowship for two years proposing work on creating learning maternity systems from the lessons learnt from COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way that maternity care is delivered but also created opportunities for electronic information to be accessed faster. The aim of this project is to develop a system to assess how the pandemic affected maternity services, learn from the lessons and ultimately sustain the tool to monitor and innovate maternity care long term. The project will create a "traffic light system" that will alert when a unit performs worse than others. This way inequalities within maternity units will become smaller and childbirth will be safe across all units in the UK. This work has the support of RCOG, RCM and CQC, and as one of the priorities for NHS England provides a great opportunity to further strengthen the reputation of IPHS within population health.