Gig workers: unsung heroes and a strategic role in the UK national response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester

Abstract

Home-isolation and lockdown are necessary for preventing infectious disease transmission, with many of our basic needs provided by platform companies and delivery workers. This sector plays a vital role in reinforcing the infection control measures and reducing public anxiety by keeping logistics functioning and services and supplies available. Mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that gig workers are unsung heroes and deserve more attention and protection. We aim to understand how gig workers, with a focus on delivery workers, have contributed to suppressing transmission by increased delivery to households. In addition, we consider the possibility that they could become a route of transmission if adequate occupational health protection is not provided. We will conduct focus groups and interviews with industry participants and delivery workers to collect data on the volume and pattern of deliveries. We will then use mathematical models to determine how the delivery sector contributes to minimising the risk of spreading the disease and the impact of additional measures to protect the workers and reduce infection risk during the COVID-19 pandemic. The outcome will inform the UK’s policy making in social distancing and coordination of supply chains as a key component of national response.

Technical Summary

This COVID-19 Rapid Response award is jointly funded (50:50) between the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research. The figure displayed is the total award amount of the two funders combined, with each partner contributing equally towards the project.

With surging numbers of total confirmed cases and deaths, the UK has entered the most stringent social distancing stage in history. Of all the key worker groups, delivery workers is the one has most gig workers who are precariously employed. Huge spikes in demand have been reported by supermarkets, online grocers and food delivery services. The employers have responded by hiring more workers or requiring existing employees to work longer shifts. Certain epidemiological characteristics of the COVID-19, namely subclinical transmission, incubation period and varying viability on surfaces, present significant challenges to protect delivery workers. We aim to understand, based on different scenarios of risk mitigation measures and social distancing strategies, 1) how delivery workers contribute to the UK’s national response by delivering to households and hence reduce number of outgoing trips; and 2) how delivery workers could potentially contribute to transmission. We will collect data from key stakeholders of the sector to understand how the supply chains and delivery workers responded to the COVID19 outbreak and to build scenarios for mathematical modelling. Using these models we will assess the impact (positive and negative) of current delivery activities, as well as additional scenarios reflecting stricter lockdown conditions, taking into account effect of risk mitigation measures, by considering the number and nature of contacts they made in the communities (including vulnerable groups). Household transmission models will be used with external forcing into households and infection back to gig workers directly considered.
 
Description Co-Chair SAGE working group on Social Care
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Advice on testing strategy and care home vaccine coverage in care homes Advice on disease ingress rates
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronaviru...
 
Description Participant in SAGE Environmental Modelling Group (EMG)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact a number of SAGE papers
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies-sage-coronaviru...
 
Description Preliminary modelling results presented by Nina Day at the Parcel Carriers Safety Association
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Rapid review manuscript requested by Public Health Wales
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
 
Description SAGE participation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact SAGE outputs have been widely used to inform policy
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies
 
Description SPI-M
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Committee informs policy in response to influenza and respiratory virus disease outbreaks
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/spi-m-publish-updated-modelling-summary
 
Description SPIM-O
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Modelling advice from March 2020 led to first national lockdown, modelling advice on care home outbreaks led to creation of Social Care working group.
URL https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/scientific-advisory-group-for-emergencies
 
Description COVID-19 Modelling Consortium: quantitative epidemiological predictions in response to an evolving pandemic
Amount £3,082,136 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/V038613/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 05/2022
 
Description Healthy express couriers: Tackling stress at work in a digital era
Amount £83,978 (GBP)
Funding ID MR/T027215/1 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2020 
End 10/2021
 
Description Healthy, resilient and flexible: Co-developing a mental health intervention for and with frontline gig workers: a systems approach
Amount £149,788 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2022 
End 06/2023
 
Description National Core Study on transmission of SARS-CoV-2 -- Theme 3 Sector Specific Studies
Amount £815,210 (GBP)
Funding ID Contract No. 1.11.4.3941. 
Organisation Health and Safety Executive (HSE) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 03/2021 
End 04/2022
 
Description OPerational research for Emergency Response and strategic planning Analysis (OPERA)
Amount £373,826 (GBP)
Funding ID PR-R17-0916-21001 
Organisation National Institute for Health Research 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 03/2022
 
Title Model of SARS-CoV-2 transmission and the effect of non-pharmaceutical interventions in a workplace setting 
Description The model consists of two components. First, a model of SARS-CoV-2 viral load, infectivity and test-positivity generically (https://github.com/CarlWhitfield/Viral_load_testing_COV19_model). Second, a model of workplace transmission of SARS-CoV-2 based on the first model, this was developed in particular to model workplaces in the home-delivery sector (https://github.com/CarlWhitfield/Workplace_delivery_transmission). 
Type Of Material Computer model/algorithm 
Year Produced 2022 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The underlying model for testing was developed by this project has subsequently been used by the SAGE group's modelling team as the basis to model outbreaks in care homes and prisons and estimate the impact of interventions. The modelling was used to inform policy changes (moving from 2LFD + 1 concurrent PCR to 3LFD+ 1 concurrent PCR or daily LFD testing) in response to Omicron and was a key annex to the SCWG chairs summary for SAGE 100 considering challenge of shielding care homes. This also advised on decisions around cessation of confirmatory PCR for positive LFD in high risk settings. The modelling has been a secondary source for current advice on duration of isolation of known cases and exposed residents. The model for workplace transmission has been used to inform several of the main project outcomes, in particular the preprint "Modelling the impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions on workplace transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the home-delivery sector". 
URL https://github.com/CarlWhitfield/Workplace_delivery_transmission
 
Description Clinical Data Science Unit senior analyst 
Organisation Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Support to model development to predict hospital bed demand Advice on nosocomial transmission model
Collaborator Contribution data access and model validation
Impact EpiBeds modelling tools Bed surge forecasting methods.
Start Year 2020
 
Description Lancaster University CoCoNet social contact research 
Organisation Lancaster University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We contributed to the development of the questionnaires used in the second and third round of surveys. For the second round, we suggested questions in relation to occupations and social circumstance. The third round is a bespoke survey for delivery workers for the purpose of understanding the contacts and interactions they made during work. We also contribute to the promotion of the surveys using social media and press release.
Collaborator Contribution Prof. Jobathan Read and Jessica Bridgen contributed to this collaboration by working with us to develop the questionnaires and release them using the CoCoNet survey portal. We also work together to promote the survey by developing the narratives of social media campaign and press release and organizing prize draw.
Impact This is a multi-disciplinary collaboration across the disciplines of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Occupational and Environmental Health and Mathematics.
Start Year 2020
 
Description National Core Studies -- Theme 2 
Organisation Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 2 is focused on modes of transmission and modelling. Ian Hall is a Co-Invesitigator on both this project and the NCS Theme 2. Through my work on this MRC grant, I have presented my progress to the NCS Theme 2 team, and myself and Ian have contributed to writing a "modelling primer", which was the primary objective of the first work-package in the project. I have also had several collaborative discussions with Nick Warren (HSE), as we have developed similar agent-based models of SARS-COV-2 transmission in workplaces. In the process of this I have shared results and methods informally.
Collaborator Contribution NCS theme 2 partners have disseminated findings from their research at fortnightly group meetings which has helped to shape my research in this project. Furthermore, I received feedback on my modelling approach which has altered the modelling work I have produced.
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Studies -- Theme 2 
Organisation Imperial College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 2 is focused on modes of transmission and modelling. Ian Hall is a Co-Invesitigator on both this project and the NCS Theme 2. Through my work on this MRC grant, I have presented my progress to the NCS Theme 2 team, and myself and Ian have contributed to writing a "modelling primer", which was the primary objective of the first work-package in the project. I have also had several collaborative discussions with Nick Warren (HSE), as we have developed similar agent-based models of SARS-COV-2 transmission in workplaces. In the process of this I have shared results and methods informally.
Collaborator Contribution NCS theme 2 partners have disseminated findings from their research at fortnightly group meetings which has helped to shape my research in this project. Furthermore, I received feedback on my modelling approach which has altered the modelling work I have produced.
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Studies -- Theme 2 
Organisation University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 2 is focused on modes of transmission and modelling. Ian Hall is a Co-Invesitigator on both this project and the NCS Theme 2. Through my work on this MRC grant, I have presented my progress to the NCS Theme 2 team, and myself and Ian have contributed to writing a "modelling primer", which was the primary objective of the first work-package in the project. I have also had several collaborative discussions with Nick Warren (HSE), as we have developed similar agent-based models of SARS-COV-2 transmission in workplaces. In the process of this I have shared results and methods informally.
Collaborator Contribution NCS theme 2 partners have disseminated findings from their research at fortnightly group meetings which has helped to shape my research in this project. Furthermore, I received feedback on my modelling approach which has altered the modelling work I have produced.
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Study (PROTECT) theme 2 
Organisation Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am a work package leader developing within host models of COVID and considering dose response.
Collaborator Contribution research is by design multidisciplinary.
Impact Presentation to PROTECT main meeting (Feb 2022).
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Study -- Theme 3 
Organisation Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Martie van Tongeren is the lead of Theme 3.
Collaborator Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 3 focuses on environmental transmission in work settings. Martie van Tongeren is the Theme lead.
Impact The research is by design multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Study -- Theme 3 
Organisation Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Martie van Tongeren is the lead of Theme 3.
Collaborator Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 3 focuses on environmental transmission in work settings. Martie van Tongeren is the Theme lead.
Impact The research is by design multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2021
 
Description National Core Study -- Theme 3 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Martie van Tongeren is the lead of Theme 3.
Collaborator Contribution The National Core Studies are a series of large-scale collaborative projects funded directly by HSE to study aspects of COVID-19. Theme 3 focuses on environmental transmission in work settings. Martie van Tongeren is the Theme lead.
Impact The research is by design multidisciplinary.
Start Year 2021
 
Description 2021 International Festival of Public Health -- special session: COVID-19 Environmental transmission -- Transport and Logistics settings 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact We organized a special session entitled COVID-19 Environmental transmission -- Transport and Logistics settings at the 2021 International Festival of Public Health in July 2021. Findings from this project and National Core Study Theme 3 were presented and discussed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://rise.articulate.com/share/jzPAYIyHuGarhBnZLQQPNr5z2lM0Uh5D#/
 
Description Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis 2022 International Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Alternate year international conference (heald this time fully online) with 14 speakers, 91 scientific posters and ~350 participants from 54 countries. I chaired the meeting and gave an introduced talk.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
URL http://www.AAAM2022.org
 
Description Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucormycosis international conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Advances Against Aspergillosis and Mucromycosis (9th) has now clearly established itself as the premier forum for detailed and dedicated discussion of all aspects of Aspergillus and Mucorales infection and research, and previously published proceedings have been very well-received. Prior meetings have yielded 267 papers = published in 9 Supplements, comprising 2,026 pages of full papers, as well as the 1,429 abstracts from these meetings in the programs. The 9th meeting attracted 325 attendees from >35 countries and 165 abstracts.

The Aspergillus and Mucorales field continues in a state of rapid advancement, including the publication of numerous post-genomic papers and substantial advances in translational, immunologic, epidemiologic and diagnostic research. The launch of several antifungals in the last few years and anticipated clinical trials of newer compounds with novel mechanisms of action is an exciting time for mycology. Pan-azole, and echinocandin resistance has emerged and requires unique approaches, and combination therapy remains an important area of interest. Greatly increased awareness of allergic aspergillosis has opened new opportunities for both antifungal agents and immunotherapies. New molecular strategies for diagnosis continue to make progress, and recent guidelines offer increased diagnostic insight. There is a continuing high death toll from invasive aspergillosis and mucormycosis, including patient groups not usually associated with these opportunistic infections. This meeting is another chance to gather the world's aspergillosis and mucormycosis experts in one venue. A fundamental tenet of this colloquium, dedicated by the founding Co-Organizers before the first meeting, continues to be to engender collaborative relationships amongst clinicians, scientists, and industry to further advance the field.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://aaam2020.org/
 
Description Business engagament 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Between April and July 2020, the project team talked to a few delivery and logistics companies to promote participation from the industry. The activities were facilitated by UoM's FBMH Business Engagement team.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description CoCoNet delivery driver survey presentation at a research group meeting at Lancaster University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Jessica Bridgen the Postgraduate Researcher who is responsible for CoCoNet survey research is going to present findings from the delivery driver survey results at a research group meeting at the end of March at Lancaster University.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2022
 
Description Conference abstract accepted by Occupational Health 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In June 2020, a conference abstract entitled "In response to the COVID-19 epidemic: gig workers and national strategic preparedness" was accepted as poster presentation by Occupational Health 2020 by Occupational Medicine - the official Journal of the SOM. The conference is rescheduled to July 2021 due to the pandemic.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://occupationalhealthconferences.com/index.html#Top
 
Description Conference abstract accepted by the MODERNET COVINAR 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In October 2020, a conference abstract on the rapid review conducted by the team was accepted by the MODERNET COVINAR, online webinar on COVID-19. Dr. Sarah Daniels presented at the conference,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.modernet.info/modernet-covinar/
 
Description Conference poster presentation -- Epidemics 8 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Carl Whitfield presented a poster entitled "Modelling the impact of regular mass asymptomatic testing for SARS-CoV-2 on infectious potential with applications to workplace outbreaks". This was a large international conference that took place in a hybrid format.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/international-conference-on-infectious-disease-dynamics
 
Description Facebook and Twitter promotion for the CoCoNet delivery workers survey 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Between December 2020 and January 2021, the digital marketing team of UoM launched a social media campaign for the delivery workers work contact survey that is a collaboration between this project and the CoCoNet study at Lancaster University.
https://www.facebook.com/1657120817951953/posts/2677366049260753; https://twitter.com/FBMH_UoM/status/1335973509152059395
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.facebook.com/1657120817951953/posts/2677366049260753
 
Description Inclusion of Aspergillus antibody testing on the WHO Essential Diagnostic List 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Application to the WHO for Aspergillus antibody to be included - and accepted as one of 175 test categories included in the 3rd EDL. Aspergillus antibody is critical for the diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis which both mimics and complicates TB of the lungs. About 10% of TB patients have aspergillosis, not TB. Many patients with fungal asthma and Aspergillus sinusitis have positive Aspergillus antibodies too. Aspergillus antibody is 80-92% sensitive depending on the test used, again much more sensitive than culture.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021
URL https://www.gaffi.org/3rd-essential-diagnostics-list-launch/
 
Description Interview by Hits Radio 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Prof. Martie van Tongeren was interviewed by Hits Radio in April 2020 about this project. Hits Radio is a network of 26 contemporary hit radio stations, reaching over 25 million adults with the UK's most influential brand network.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description LinkedIn blog 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In June 2020, Prof. Martie van Tongeren published a blog on LinkedIn to promote the project with industry and businesses.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6677221920410275841/
 
Description LinkedIn campaign to engage businesses in the logistics sectors 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In July, August and September 2020, digital marketing team of UoM launched a LinkedIn campaign for this project to facilitate the engagement of businesses. It targeted companies in the delivery and logistics sectors and generated a few useful leads.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Member of EPSRC healthcare technology SAT 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The EPSRC healthcare tech SAT supports EPSRC strategic vision
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://epsrc.ukri.org/about/governance/sats/
 
Description PROTECT -National Core Study technical seminar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We presented findings from the project, including the qualitative and modelling results, to the PROTECT research community. It sparked questions at the seminar and following-up discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Podcast by Alone Together 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In June 2020, Prof. Martie van Tongeren was interviewed by Alone Together to produce a Coronavirus podcast, during which Martie advised employers and workers on return to work as lockdown measures were easing. This podcast was subsequently picked by Manchester Evening News and The Edinburgh Evening News and the Scotsman.
https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/alone-together-podcast-staying-protected-18387707
https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/read-this/alone-together-podcast-series-two-coming-soon-how-you-can-get-involved-2899801
https://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/how-workplaces-will-have-change-protect-staff-alone-together-podcast-2875840
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/alone-together-podcast-staying-...
 
Description Presentation at Public Health Research and Science Conference 2021 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We presented at the PHE conference on research findings of the project: Gig workers: unsung heroes and a strategic role in the UK national response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.phe-events.org.uk/hpa/frontend/reg/thome.csp?pageID=410906&eventID=930
 
Description Presentation at the Aerosol Society 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In October 2020, Prof. Martie van Tongeren gave a presentation about the project at the Aerosol Society conference.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Press release by UoM 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact A press release of the award by the University of Manchester on 17 April 2020 under the title of "Study to research role of delivery workers in preventing COVID-19 transmission"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/study-to-research-role-of-delivery-workers-in-preventing-...
 
Description REF output advisor - public health panel 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact About 400 research outputs assessed and scored for the REF Sub-panel 2: Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.ref.ac.uk/
 
Description The Aspergillus Website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The Aspergillus Website is the most comprehensive source of information about Aspergillus and the diseases it causes available on the internet. There are extensive sections for clinicians, scientists and laypeople (patients) including comprehensive collection of treatment protocols covering 43 distinct therapeutic areas and all approved antifungal drug SPC's & PIL/VIPIL's. The Aspergillus Website also provides information on evidence supporting (or otherwise) some herbal and alternative remedies. New sections introduced over the last 24 months include those on biodeterioration, prehistoric fungi, antifungal stewardship, and marijuana use and its medical consequences.

The Aspergillus Website provides simple, free access to >74,000 pages all indexed in Google, ready to be searched, over 13,300 scientific articles (including a unique collection of 831 historical articles) and ~15,900 conference abstracts from 1974 onwards.

The Aspergillus Website is listed at number 1, 1, 2 and 3 in Google.co.uk, number 1, 1, 2 and 3 in Google.com, number 1, 1, 4, 3 in Bing and Yahoo! for 'aspergillus', 'ABPA' 'aspergillosis' and 'aspergilloma'respectively. If 'aspergillus' is searched in Google, there are 11.5 million results. We intend to build a searchable section on resistance in Aspergillus with a good graphical display in 2020.

Current monthly figures show that 100,000 - 130,000 individual computers accessed The Aspergillus Website and Patients' website alone per month, 5,000 to 8,000 people daily. This equates to 8.5 million 'requests for content'. About 65% of visits are using smaller devices. Over 54% of users access the Aspergillus Website using iPhone of iPad, 10% use an Android phone and only 36% use a laptop or personal computer. Twitter posts are put out almost every day (@AspergillusWeb - 1,350 followers), Blogs twice a week.

Mapping of www.aspergillus.org.uk (see figure below for 2019 figures, darker shading = more users) shows that The Website reaches people in over 147 countries. USA is the country from which we get most visits with UK and India in the next 2 places, France and China in 4th & 5th place respectively. We would like to boost usage from other parts of the world.
The Patients Website (https://aspergillosis.org/) has had a complete refresh in 2019 which includes moving it to a new domain name - aspergillosis.org is more easily found via Google if a patient was to search for more information. This was important as our communities have expanded enormously since the old website was built in 2012.

Since the changeover the domain name does not register in the top page of Google searches so as yet is not being as intensively used as the old website. The old website had declined in use over the last 5 years as most activity switched to Facebook. Despite these limitations use is gradually increasing and in June 2019 attracted 1800 unique visitors who looked at 4300 pages. The top countries utilising the Patients' Website by origin are: 1. UK, 2. USA, 3. Australia, 4. India, 5. Russia. There are >400 active links to this website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018,2019,2020
URL http://www.aspergillus.org.uk
 
Description Webinar on COVID-19 by Prof. David Denning 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact In December 2020, Prof. David Denning provided a webinar on The COVID-19 story so far: infectivity, treatment, testing, transmission and vaccine. The recording was posted on Youtube within the Thomas Ashton Institute channel.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0qcqOM5NrpU&t=1237s
 
Description World Aspergillosis Day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Clinicians need better awareness to be able to 'think fungus' when repeated attempts to treat infections fail. Serious fungal infections are underdiagnosed worldwide
People with one of the multiple forms of aspergillosis need much better support and information as aspergillosis is a rare infection that isolates people.
People who live with and care for people with aspergillosis often need to better understand what the patient is going through and themselves need understanding & support
Last but certainly not least those who fund our health services need to be more aware and to better provide diagnostics and treatments worldwide.

Between each talk today you will see an impact statement from a person living with aspergillosis. These statements have come from people who use the online support group hosted by the National Aspergillosis Centre at Wythenshawe. We hope that these statements will bring the patient voice and their lived experiences to today. Please remember that behind the statistics are real people living with this debilitating condition. They are counting on us to deliver better diagnostics, better treatments and better understanding. Use the hashtag worldaspergillosisday and show your support.

Visit the website and download email signatures, social media header images, we have a twitter frame and a FaceBook frame. Links to all of this can be found on the aspergillosisday website. Please take a look and show your support.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://www.aspergillosisday.org