As the days pass we are seeing an increase in the amount of information and data being published in relation to COVID-19. This allows us to better understand the national picture as it develops.
Each day the government holds a daily press conference. The latest sets of government slides can be found here. The government presents data on the implementation of social distancing such as transport use, information on testing, the use of critical care beds and some international comparisons.
In each press conference the government also announces the daily number of tests undertaken to detect the virus, and of deaths. The figure relating to deaths includes all deaths up until 5pm that day that occur in acute hospitals across the UK. This real time data helps tracks the impact of the virus and pressure on hospitals. However, this data only provides part of the picture, as people will also die from COVID-19 at home or in community health and care settings such as hospices and care homes.
On 16 April the government announced that is was launching an inquiry to investigate why people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds appear to be disproportionately affected by coronavirus. The government said that early figures show 35% of almost 2,000 patients in intensive care units were BME.
The review will be led by NHS England and Improvement and Public Health England.
We know that locally, some trusts are carrying out research of their own, or collaborating with local research institutions to analyse patient data and seek to identify and support populations who may be at greater risk from COVID-19. One trust told us they are working with community development teams and community leaders to improve communication and support for their higher risk populations. Another trust is working with a local research centre to get an accurate picture of infections, hospitalisations and deaths stratified by ethnicity to understand whether there is any increased risk of infection, disease severity and mortality within BME populations.
The issue has shed light on how crucial it is to have a fuller understanding of how COVID-19 may differently impact people with certain characteristics including ethnicity, age, gender, and socio-economic status.
The Office of National Statistics is currently publishing death certificate data which includes data around age, gender and region. From this data we know:
There are clearly gaps in this information which the review and other research must fill for us to understand how COVID-19 may impact on health inequalities and health outcomes for different groups.
NHS Providers will continue to work with government, trusts, and stakeholders to ensure that the right data is captured and reported in a timely way. Once any data is available we will update our pages to ensure we are pulling together the key COVID-19 data.
The ONS is working with Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Public Health England to better understand deaths that are occurring in care homes. From 28 April, the ONS is publishing counts of deaths involving COVID-19 in care homes, based on reporting from care home operators to CQC, which we now include in our analysis.
Below are the key findings from the latest publication covering data up until 11 September 2020 (week 37) We will be updating this section of the website with the revised figures each week: