COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom

Darren Flynn, Eoin Moloney, Nawaraj Bhattarai, Jason Scott, Matthew Breckons, Leah Avery, Naomi Moy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives
To describe epidemiological data on cases of COVID-19 and the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 in the United Kingdom (UK), and the subsequent policy and technological response to the pandemic, including impact on healthcare, business and the economy.

Methods
Epidemiological, business and economic data were extracted from official government sources covering the period 31st January to 13th August 2020; healthcare system data up to end of June 2019.

Results
UK-wide COVID-19 cases and deaths were 313,798 and 46,706 respectively (472 cases and 70 deaths per 100,000 population) by 12th August. There were regional variations in England, with London and North West (756 and 666 cases per 100,000 population respectively) disproportionately affected compared with other regions. As of 11th August, 13,618,470 tests had been conducted in the UK. Increased risk of mortality was associated with age (≥60 years), gender (male) and BAME groups. Since onset of the pandemic, emergency department attendance, primary care utilisation and cancer referrals and inpatient/outpatient referrals have declined; emergency ambulance and NHS111 calls increased. Business sectors most impacted are the arts, entertainment and recreation, followed by accommodation and food services. Government interventions aimed at curtailing the business and economic impact have been implemented, but applications for state benefits have increased.

Conclusions
The impact of COVID-19 on the UK population, health system and economy has been profound. More data are needed to implement the optimal policy and technological responses to preventing further spikes in COVID-19 cases, and to inform strategic planning to manage future pandemics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-691
Number of pages19
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Volume9
Issue number4
Early online date27 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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