COVID-19: Clusters, causes,triage and vulnerability (COVID-19: CCTV) [COVID-19]

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Identifying and explaining clusters of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the East Midlands of the UK by linking ambulance call condition data to hospital data: SatScan analysis and evaluation of factors that may explain contagion patterns to inform triage.



  • Contact name

    Frank Tanser

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Lincoln

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    0 years, 11 months, 30 days

  • Research summary

    The COVID-19 outbreak is characterised by a large proportion of patients with no symptoms, which is challenging for medical services and for policy makers. This means it is very difficult to control the spread of the virus. Further, the literature is still scarce regarding the main drivers of the COVID-19 evolution. Some factors that are likely to be related to severe cases of COVID-19 are population density, age, pre-existing medical conditions, and social inequalities. However, little is known about how these factors interact, or the relative importance of any one factor compared to others. \n\nWe will map and spatially analyse cases of suspected and confirmed COVID-19, using already available data from the East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust (suspected cases based on 999 calls), and hospital data (confirmed cases). This will be achieved by linking ambulance and hospital data together to identify suspected cases that were later confirmed. We will be able to identify the hotspots of the COVID-19 epidemic and its drivers, allowing prehospital and hospital services to tailor strategies at the local level. \n\nWe also aim to describe how single and multiple comorbidities (e.g. chronic heart, lung and kidney disease or diabetes) shape the distribution of calls for suspected COVID-19 cases. By characterising condition cluster locations, our goal is to develop new insights into the occurrence of single and multiple illnesses and COVID-19 cases that can inform the organization of health care systems. A pandemic outbreak leads to overcrowding problems at emergency departments. Emergency department triage (making decisions about prioritising patients and processes) is required to minimize unnecessary healthcare interactions. We aim to optimise the early triage of people with suspected respiratory infections during a pandemic such as COVID-19 using the emergency care system. [Study relying on COPI notice]

  • REC name

    East of England - Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    15 May 2020

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion