The COVID-19 pandemic produced a host of new challenges for the research community. To help strengthen the response we set up a national network to connect operational research and researchers.
During the Covid-19 pandemic researchers met remotely to share research and collaborate with other operational researchers and healthcare professionals to help ensure access to the latest research, expertise and resources in a national initiave. The accumulated bank of knowledge and expertise helped researchers to share best practice, ideas and experience across the health operational research and analytical community and make the most effective use of skills and research to address the key issues.
As the Covid-19 recovery continues and the impact of the pandemic continues to impact waiting and treatment time in health and social care, we are building on the work, connection and resources developed during the pandemic and have expanded our scope to address the backlogs initiated by the pandemic in services.
During the pandemic we saw numerous positive impacts including:
- the forecasting of likely demand on frontline NHS services
- epidemiological modelling to understand the spread of Covid-19
- demand and capacity analysis for COVID-19 at NHS England
- modelling to inform End of Life care management
- computer simulation to support the organisation and delivery of the Covid-19 vaccination programme.
As well as forming a bank of expertise and contacts and providing access to up-to-the-minute research, the network has helped to identify areas where research is needed and direct relevant research towards the people and places it is most needed. Quality assurance has been provided through critical review as well as by increasing reach through dissemination to the wider national and international research and healthcare community.
We ware now focusing on the application of operational research methods to address the pressing issues caused by the backlog in elective appointments generated by the Covid-19 crisis. Professor Martin Pitt said of this work: “In this context the collaboration between healthcare and research communities is critical to making a real difference.”
To find out more, contact the PenCHORD team at email@example.com