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ARQ3 Paper1: Trends in healthcare delivery during the UK COVID-19 pandemic: Analyses of UK administrative datasets

Overarching research question

Is the disruption in healthcare services the same across different population subgroups ?


The delivery of health care has been severely disrupted by the pandemic. This has been driven by supply-side factors (with reductions in capacity to manage the COVID-19 workload) and demand-side factors (patients being less willing to seek healthcare).

Reductions in health care may translate into poorer health, if effective treatments and preventive care are foregone.

Disruption could affect different population subgroups differently, thereby potentially exacerbating health inequalities.

Different countries of the UK have pursued different approaches to maintain healthcare.

Specific research questions

How has healthcare delivery changed during the pandemic, compared to historical patterns? Have trends in receipt of healthcare differed across population subgroups (age, sex, deprivation, ethnicity, rurality)? How do changes in delivery compare to reporting of difficulties in accessing healthcare?

How do measures of health system performance (amenable mortality, avoidable hospitalisations, length of hospital stays, unplanned readmissions) during the pandemic compare to pre-pandemic performance?

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