CovPall-Connect. Evaluation of how palliative and end of life care teams have responded to COVID-19: Connecting to boost impact and data assets
The successfully awarded research project through a rapid funding call by Health Data Research UK, Office for National Statistics and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is led by Irene Higginson and Mevhibe Hocaoglu (King’s College London). The research project is building on existing UKRI and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) work to use national data to answer this key COVID-19 research question.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is causing a huge strain on health care services. The national lockdowns, social distancing, and requirement for some vulnerable people to shield has meant more challenges for people with other advanced diseases and / or who need palliative care. Palliative care is the medical approach aimed at improving the wellbeing and pain management of people who are close to dying.
We are doing this research to look at the palliative care response to COVID-19. In a project called ‘CovPall’ we asked doctors, nurses and other medical staff about how they have managed and changed the way that they work during COVID-19. This allowed us to understand the effect of the pandemic on palliative care and how palliative care services adapted to treat COVID-19 patients and patients who dying from other health conditions. We also collected information on patients’ COVID-19 symptoms and how those symptoms are managed. We will also use national health and care data, including hospital admission data and palliative care data to increase the findings from CovPall.
We will look at how the response to COVID-19 has impacted:
Whether the number of people dying during COVID-19 was reported correctly, or if some deaths were missed
The number of cases of Covid-19 in the UK population
The number of people admitted to hospital with Covid-19 and the number of people discharged
Business, financial and social impacts of Covid-19 related to palliative care
How charities have supported health services and how we can capture this information
How we should collect palliative care information in the future, focusing on patients with more than one illness
We are hoping that this project will help to improve healthcare now and in the future.