UK-REACH: United Kingdom Research Study into Ethnicity And COVID-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leicester
Department Name: Infection Immunity and Inflammation

Abstract

Globally many people, including healthcare workers (HCWs), are becoming ill and dying from COVID-19. We have evidence that people from ethnic minorities have a higher chance of going to intensive care and adying from COVID-19.This may also sbe the case for ethnic minorities working in the health system. We want to investigate this using existing data held by national healthcare organisations to understand what the risk of having, and dying from, COVID-19 is for ethnic minority HCWs. We will also follow a group of ethnic minority HCWs over 12 months to see what changes occur in their physical/mental health. In addition we will interview a smaller group of ethnic minority HCWs to understand how risky their jobs are, and how they have changed their professional/social behaviours in response to COVID-19. Using staff data and linking it to healthcare data may be sensitive and so we will explore how to do this in a way that is acceptable. Finally, we want the findings of this research to be useful for HCWs and so we have a stakeholder group of major national organisations to help us do the research, publicise the findings and make recommendations.

Technical Summary

Healthcare workers (HCWs) from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Collaborating with the General Medical Council (GMC), Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and Professional bodies/associations we will undertake a mixed-methods study with the aim of investigating if, how, and why, ethnicity affects COVID-19 clinical outcomes in HCWs.

We aim to provide rapid evidence through five interlinked work packages (WP).

WP1: Undertake an expedited linkage and analysis of anonymised GMC and NMC registration and NHS datasets, within a Trusted Research Environment (SAIL databank) to calculate the incidence of, and outcomes from, COVID-19 amongst HCWs.

WP2: Rapidly establish a longitudinal cohort study of BAME HCWs, nested within the GMC/NMC datasets. At baseline, survey information will be collected about demographics, HCW role, interaction with COVID-19 patients, social circumstances and physical/mental well-being; baseline biological samples will be collected for genomic and serological profiling. Follow-up surveys and samples will be collected over twelve months to capture changes in survey/serological responses to forthcoming COVID-19 pandemic waves.

WP3: Undertake research to understand and address legal, ethical and acceptability issues around data protection, privacy and information governance associated with the linkage of professionals' registration data and healthcare data.

WP4: Undertake qualitative interviews and focus groups of BAME HCWs to understand risk perceptions, support and coping mechanisms in relation to COVID-19.

WP5: Develop a multi-professional, national stakeholder group including the GMC/NMC, Royal Colleges, BAME Professionals' Associations, and BAME HCWs to facilitate rapid dissemination and translation of the research findings for HCWs/Employers/Policy-Makers.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description ECDC Scientific Advisory Group on COVID-19 in migrants and ethnic minorities
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Member of the scientific advisory group on COVID-19 and migrants which is being undertaken by ECDC
 
Description NHS England BAME Clinical Advisory Group
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Member of NHS England Clinical Advisory Group advising on health and well-being of ethnic minority healthcare workers.
 
Description DIRECT - Immunology sub-study of UK-REACH
Amount £500,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 11/2020 
End 03/2021
 
Title UK-REACH dataset 
Description Consented cohort of healthcare workers with data linkage 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2021 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The dataset is being developed and should be available in 2021. 
 
Description UK-REACH collaboration 
Organisation SAIL Databank
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution I am Chief Investigator for this programme which inclues academics from multiple organisations.
Collaborator Contribution Co-investigators are involved i neach of the work packages
Impact Papers are being written
Start Year 2020
 
Description UK-REACH collaboration 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am Chief Investigator for this programme which inclues academics from multiple organisations.
Collaborator Contribution Co-investigators are involved i neach of the work packages
Impact Papers are being written
Start Year 2020
 
Description UK-REACH collaboration 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am Chief Investigator for this programme which inclues academics from multiple organisations.
Collaborator Contribution Co-investigators are involved i neach of the work packages
Impact Papers are being written
Start Year 2020
 
Description UK-REACH collaboration 
Organisation University of Nottingham
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution I am Chief Investigator for this programme which inclues academics from multiple organisations.
Collaborator Contribution Co-investigators are involved i neach of the work packages
Impact Papers are being written
Start Year 2020
 
Description Multiple interviews fo TV, newpapers and radio relating to ethnicity and COVID - national and international 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Multiple interviews about ethnicity and COVID-19 as well as UK-REACH programme. Interviews for national media outlets as well as international news in Canada, India and Australia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020,2021