CRIS has been an integral part of our research into the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have wide and unforeseen consequences across health sectors. These include potentially profound effects on mental health and mental health services. CRIS has an important role to play in helping us understand these effects and improve care, but we need to act fast.
Since the lockdown began the CRIS team have worked to turn around research activity and focus this on the pandemic and its consequences for people using mental health services.
As well as setting up a number of studies now underway, they have prioritised a series of initiatives to improve the usefulness of CRIS data. These include seeking permission for regular updates from the Acute Trust partners on emergency or hospital care by SLaM service users over the pandemic period, as well as making good use of the CRIS data linkage already set up with local GP records.
Preprints publications are research papers that have not been peer-reviewed or accepted by traditional academic journals. The benefits of pre-prints are that study information and data can be made publically available in a shorter timeframe however findings and conclusions have not been reviewed by other independent scientists as they would in a post-print published journal paper.
14 July 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by excess all-cause mortality at a national level. CRIS researchers previously described a 2.4-fold excess mortality in past and present SLaM service users during the period of the pandemic from 16 March to 15 May 2020 to that for the same period in 2019. In this pre-print our researchers compared mortality within specific ethnic groups.
When examined by recorded ethnicity, the ratio of total deaths between the two years was highest at 3.33 in Black African/Caribbean patients and those from other ethnic groups at 2.63, compared to 2.47 in White British patients. Considering premature deaths (age at death below 70), 2020:2019 ratios were 3.07 for other ethnic groups and 2.74 for Black African/Caribbean patients compared to 1.96 for White British patients.
Professor Robert Stewart says "Unfortunately these figures speak for themselves and show the sizeable inequalities in mortality that have been described at a national level. I could say that the results are unsurprising, but then perhaps the problem is that we’ve stopped feeling surprised. Clearly this is as much a challenge for SLaM as for everywhere else."
30 June 2020
The CRIS team have estimated service use by those most likely to receive crisis care in the 12 months following UK COVID-19 policy on 16 March 2020.
Comparing data from 16 March 2015-19 the CRIS team found that over 80% of crisis days at SLaM were accounted for by inpatient care, 75% were used by patients who were current or recent Trust patients at the start of follow-up, and highest numbers were used by patients with a previously recorded schizophreniform disorder diagnosis.
For current/recent patients on 16 March there had been substantial reductions in use of inpatient care in the following 31 days in 2020 but no significant change in total non-inpatient contact numbers.
Professor Robert Stewart says "The wealth of information in the health record is allowing us to learn from previous years what we might expect in the year ahead. Taking advantage on the 24-hour updates from CRIS, we are putting in place monitoring processes to warn us early if demand on particular services moves beyond that previous experienced."
16 June 2020
Authors: Professor ,
This paper describes daily caseloads and contact numbers (face-to-face and virtual) for home treatment teams (HTTs) and working age adult community mental health teams (CMHTs) from 1 February to 15 May 2020 at SLaM.
The CMHTs sector showed relatively stable caseloads and total contact numbers, but a substantial shift from face-to-face to virtual contacts, while HTTs showed the same changeover but reductions in caseloads and total contacts (although potentially an activity rise again during May).
The number of deaths for the two months between 16 March and 15 May were 2.4-fold higher in 2020 than 2019, with 958 excess deaths.
Professor Robert Stewart says “While it is reassuring to see that the mortality in SLaM service users has fallen back to 2019 levels, the number of deaths from March to May are still clearly concerning.
We believe that the excess mortality is higher than would be expected in the general population, reflecting the vulnerability of mental healthcare service users to this and potential future outbreaks."