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Mental Heath
December 12, 2020

Covid-19: The beginning of a mental health crisis?

A positive consequence of Covid-19 is that mental health now has a much higher national profile than it did pre-pandemic. The result of lockdown measures, damaging economic impacts, and a range of other negative consequences on people’s mental health, have been widely acknowledged. However, the mental health impacts of Covid-19 will, for many, continue long after mass vaccination has suppressed the virus. Also, inequalities in mental health are growing, as the virus and its economic impacts continue to adversely affect specific groups and communities disproportionately. Much of the demand for mental health support currently remains ‘deferred’, i.e. people have not yet sought help. The problem is storing up for the future. Before this buildup starts to be released, how should the mental health and broader care system prepare to respond, and will it be ready to cope with the surge in demand?Firstly, commissioners and providers should reset. Mental health care…
Covid Modelling
July 14, 2020

Covid-19: Democratise COVID policy with transparent modelling

There are still questions millions of people worldwide are asking themselves on the impact of the pandemic. What is happening around me, what is likely to happen next and what actions could alter the path to a better outcome?Strasys, in collaboration with modellers and developers, want to 'democratise' COVID policy by putting COVID modeling in the hands of millions of citizens, to help answer those questions. Most government communications have taken a high-level and generalised approach e.g. using top-down national numbers and simplistic remarks about the "R" factor. We are also seeing the rate of progression and tactical responses differ across not only nations but specific localities. In determining future impact, it is critical to understand the local dynamics of modelling COVID at the community level and making the process transparent.The Covid-19 localisation modelling group, is the brainchild of  Maurice Glucksman and Dr Kim Warren. The initiative brings together a…
Mental Health
May 20, 2020

Covid-19: Shifting ‘mindsets’ to address the impact on mental health

Covid-19 has left no life untouched, no family undivided, no daily routine unaltered. Each and every one of us is learning how to adapt, how to cope, or simply how to be, in these troubling times. The current focus of the government and the health service, quite rightly, is on the virus itself; on controlling its spread, and on taking care of those who have fallen ill with the disease. Each death is a tragedy. Whilst the response is focused on the short-term, we should not overlook the longer-term negative consequences of Covid-19 on people’s mental health.Before Covid-19, it is estimated 1 in 6 of people over the age of 16 had a reported common mental health problem. The number of individuals experiencing mental health problems is probably much larger. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 35-50% of people with severe mental health problems go unreported and receive no…
May 12, 2020

Covid-19: Lessons on governance of health and social care systems

Croydon Health Services is part of the One Croydon Alliance, one of the first integrated care partnerships in England, servicing a population of 400k. Croydon was one of the hardest hit London boroughs seeing over 200 COVID inpatients at the peak of the crisis. Although, still in the middle of responding to COVID, Michael Bell, Chair, shares some thoughts on governance and leadership to date. In conversation with Michael Bell, May 2020 Our staff and partners have been amazing in these difficult times. Initially, the leadership was focused on the surge planning. This involved repurposing the services across our local system to meet the covid demand. It was a huge amount of work. Critical to this was our work in building partnerships over the last few years. This paid dividend in responding to the crisis. We brought significant amount of changes with astonishing speed. For example, we 'digitised' 40% of…
May 4, 2020

Covid-19: Health and social care planning in the “new normal”

Covid-19 has once again highlighted why the NHS is so important to society. There have been many heroic stories of frontline staff and key workers.  Caring for those in most need and continuing to work, when against the odds, resource shortages and the politics. Having built the resolve and resilience to deal with the current crisis, what next? We suggest a few points to consider.In tackling the pandemic, there have been numerous examples of innovation from telehealth, virtual workplaces to digital solutions. This has been driven by an unprecedented level of cross-organisation collaboration. Decisions that in normal times could take years of deliberation have passed in a matter of hours. However, the pandemic has also magnified existing issues, from logistics, the lack of resources, personal protective equipment, doctors and nurses, to transparency in decision-making and the challenges faced by the social and care home sector responding to the crisis. The…
April 28, 2020

COVID-19: Comparison to the past five years

UPDATE 09/06/2020 to include data up to w/e May 29th. Last week I created three visualisations from the ONS data for England and Wales. Today, updated data has been released and as well as updating the previous graphs, I have created a visual to compare the weekly death rates in 2020 against the five year average of 2015 to 2019.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI5MCUyNSUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjU1MCUyMiUyMHNyYyUzRCUyMmh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGYXBwLnBvd2VyYmkuY29tJTJGdmlldyUzRnIlM0RleUpySWpvaU5Ua3dOemc0WWpVdE16RXlOUzAwT1dZd0xXRmxNall0WWpJMU5XUmxZMkl4TjJNNElpd2lkQ0k2SWpnNU5qWTRPV1UwTFRka05qUXROREZrTmkxaU9UVTJMVGcxTURSallUYzNaakV3WmlJc0ltTWlPamg5JTIyJTIwZnJhbWVib3JkZXIlM0QlMjIwJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dGdWxsU2NyZWVuJTNEJTIydHJ1ZSUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==As you can see there are a number of deaths above the expected average which are not directly associated with COVID-19.  We can be reasonably sure that the COVID-19 pandemic was the cause of these deaths, but are they direct deaths where COVID-19 was not noted on the death certificate or deaths indirectly associated with COVID-19, i.e. heart attacks where a patient has not gone to A&E.A few points to note: Some deaths that have been attributed to COVID-19 would have happened without the pandemic, i.e. natural causes. This data is…
April 21, 2020

COVID-19: Visualising the impact

UPDATE 09/06/2020 to include data up to w/e May 29th. Here, Strasys’ Carl Sheldrick provides three views on death rate patterns and the effect of COVID-19, allowing you to explore yourself.There is a lot of data and analysis in the media right now connected with COVID-19. Here I have built three simple visualisations from the ONS data on weekly registered deaths in England and Wales. Each shows a different perspective on the effect of COVID-19. For each I have made my own observations, but please explore yourself and let me know your thoughts.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI5MCUyNSUyMiUyMGhlaWdodCUzRCUyMjU1MCUyMiUyMHNyYyUzRCUyMmh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGYXBwLnBvd2VyYmkuY29tJTJGdmlldyUzRnIlM0RleUpySWpvaVpHTTNNelU0TVRjdE0ySmxaaTAwWkdZNExXSmxabUl0TVRaak9UVTVOak0wWVdNd0lpd2lkQ0k2SWpnNU5qWTRPV1UwTFRka05qUXROREZrTmkxaU9UVTJMVGcxTURSallUYzNaakV3WmlJc0ltTWlPamg5JTIyJTIwZnJhbWVib3JkZXIlM0QlMjIwJTIyJTIwYWxsb3dGdWxsU2NyZWVuJTNEJTIydHJ1ZSUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==Weekly death rates for the past five year, showing the annual pattern of registered deaths. It surprised me just how similar the pattern is every year. The dips and spikes are process driven and represent bank holidays (when registration offices are closed) The COVID-19 spike is big! Cumulative numbers of deaths registered in the first part of each…