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Understanding the impacts of Covid-19 on the provision of NHS health care and patient outcomes

We will provide a detailed description of the extent to which non-Covid-19 NHS activity has been affected by Covid-19, who is most affected, and how patient outcomes have changed. Covid-19 has led to enormous changes in the provision of NHS care. All non-urgent operations have been cancelled and a third of hospital beds converted for use by Covid-19 patients. A&E attendances dropped by 50% in the past month. This will have major impacts on care received by non-Covid-19 patients and their outcomes during and after the outbreak. However, who is affected and how this is likely to impact future health outcomes is currently unknown. We will quantify the reduction in NHS care, and examine its distribution by age, sex, ethnicity, deprivation and geography. We will analyse the latest information from Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing to document disruptions to primary, hospital and community care across England, Scotland and Wales. This will complement analysis of real-time patient records from a large London hospital trust that builds a rich picture of disruptions to hospital care and changes in patient outcomes. This will provide detailed, timely and important evidence of the impacts of the pandemic on care provided to other patients. The research team has already engaged with key policymakers – including HM Treasury and DHSC – providing evidence on the impacts of Covid-19, and the related economic downturn, on patient health. This research will provide new empirical evidence to help allocate NHS resources to minimise risks to patient health.

Lead investigator:

Carol Propper


Imperial College

Primary topic:

Health, physical & mental

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

From private company

Unit of real-time data collection