Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a socially deprived UK coastal town : a preliminary exploratory analysis of health and socioeconomic data

French, Maddy and Spencer, Mark and Walker, Mike and Patel, Afzal and Clarke, Neil and Hughes, Ross and Taylor, Collette and Orwin, Margaret and Elliott, Alicia and Worsley, Karl and Casson, Julie and Milan, Stephen and Bowen, Mark and Sedda, Luigi (2021) Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on a socially deprived UK coastal town : a preliminary exploratory analysis of health and socioeconomic data. medRxiv. 2021.12.22.21268232.

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Introduction In addition to the direct impact of COVID-19 infections on health and mortality, a growing body of literature indicates there are wide-ranging indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health measures on population health and wellbeing. Exploring these indirect impacts in the context of a socially deprived UK coastal town will help identify priority areas to focus COVID-19 recovery efforts on. Methods Data on primary care diagnosis, hospital admissions, and several socioeconomic outcomes between 2016 and Spring 2021 in the UK town of Fleetwood were collected and analysed in an exploratory analysis looking at pre- and post- COVID-19 patterns in health and social outcomes. Weekly and monthly trends were plotted by time and differences between periods examined using Chi-squared and t-tests. Results Initial falls in hospital admissions and diagnoses of conditions in primary care in March 2020 were followed by sustained changes to health service activity for specific diagnostic and demographic groups, including for chronic kidney disease and young people. Increases in the number of people receiving Universal Credit and children eligible for free school meals appear to be greater for those in the least deprived areas of the town. Discussion These exploratory findings provide initial evidence of the sustained impact of the pandemic across several health and social outcomes. Examining these trends in multivariate analyses will further test these associations and establish the strength of the medium term impact of the pandemic on the population of this coastal town. Advanced modelling of this data is ongoing and will be published shortly.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Funding StatementThis work was funded by the NHS, Wyre Council, Healthier Fleetwood and Lancaster University EPSRC Impact Accelerator Account.Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:Lancaster University Faculty of Health and Medicine's Research Ethics Committee gave ethical approval for this work.I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.YesAccess to data produced in the present study can be requested from the authors. Access will only be granted subject to approval by authors and data providers.

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05 Jan 2022 09:20
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28 Nov 2023 11:38