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To determine the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on referrals to mental health and physical health services.
We analysed referral data from three psychiatric services in the boroughs of Camden and Islington across 2018-2020: Early Intervention Services (for patients with a 1st episode of psychosis), Crisis Resolution Teams and inpatient admissions. We also analysed GP referral data to Cancer Services (two-week wait referrals) to Whittington Hospital, Royal Free Hospital and University College Hospital (all of North Central London). We examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these referrals and compared the findings between physical and mental health. We chose to use EIS and Cancer services as comparable services since they both operate with the two-week target of achieving diagnosis of psychosis and cancer respectively.
The number of referrals to EIS and CRT both decreased to 61% in April 2020 with respect to their baseline; EIS referrals continued to decrease to 48% in May before starting to recover. Inpatient admissions saw a smaller reduction to 87% in April 2020. The number of cancer two-week wait referrals similarly decreased and reached a trough of 37% in April 2020. The rate of recovery back to the baseline number of referrals and admissions relative to previous years differed between services, with acute care recovering faster. Referrals to CRT and inpatient admissions recovered by 98% and 115% respectively by June 2020; comparatively, referrals to EIS recovered to 102% by December 2020. In contrast, cancer two-week wait referrals returned to 106% by September 2020, a rate faster than EIS, but slower than CRT and inpatient admissions.
The reduction in the number of referrals across all examined services correlated with the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of decrease was similar across all services, coinciding with the peak of COVID-19 infections. However, the ultimate degree of decrease and following rate of recovery in numbers differed across both psychiatric and non-psychiatric services. These differences likely have multifactorial origins. The authors discuss contributing factors, such as changes in health seeking behaviours observed during the pandemic, potential impact of reduction in face to face consultations in primary care, as well as temporary changes in the population demographic of Camden and Islington resulting in absent target groups (i.e. students who make up a large proportion of referrals to EIS opting to return home). It remains important to not neglect mental health and face a hidden epidemic once COVID-19 pandemic settles.
Hyperprolific sows rear more piglets than they have teats, and to accommodate this, milk replacers are often offered as a supplement. Milk replacers are based on bovine milk, yet components of vegetable origin are often added. This may reduce growth, but could also accelerate maturational changes. Therefore, we investigated the effect of feeding piglets a milk replacer with gradually increasing levels of wheat flour on growth, gut enzyme activity and immune function compared with a diet based entirely on bovine milk. The hypothesis tested was that adding a starch component (wheat flour) induces maturation of the mucosa as measured by higher digestive activity and improved integrity and immunity of the small intestines (SI). To test this hypothesis, piglets were removed from the sow at day 3 and fed either a pure milk replacer diet (MILK) or from day 11 a milk replacer diet with increasing levels of wheat (WHEAT). The WHEAT piglets had an increased enzyme activity of maltase and sucrase in the proximal part of the SI compared with the MILK group. There were no differences in gut morphology, histopathology and gene expression between the groups. In conclusion, the pigs given a milk replacer with added wheat displayed immunological and gut mucosal enzyme maturational changes, indicatory of adaptation towards a vegetable-based diet. This was not associated with any clinical complications, and future studies are needed to show whether this could improve responses in the subsequent weaning process.
Public health strategies have focused largely on physical health. However, there is increasing recognition that raising mental health awareness and tackling stigma is crucial to reduce disease burden. National campaigns have had some success but tackling issues locally is particularly important.
To assess the public's awareness and perception of the monthly BBC Cornwall mental health phone-in programmes that have run for 8.5 years in Cornwall, UK (population 530 000).
A consultation, review and feedback process involving a multiagency forum of mental and public health professionals, people with lived experience and local National Health Service trust's media team was used to develop a brief questionnaire. This was offered to all attendees at two local pharmacies covering populations of 27 000 over a 2-week period.
In total, 14% (95% CI 11.9–16.5) were aware of the radio show, 11% (95% CI 9.0–13.1) have listened and the majority (76%) of those who listened did so more than once. The estimated reach is 70 000 people in the local population, of whom approximately 60 000 listen regularly. The show is highly valued among respondents with modal and median scores of 4 out of 5.
Local radio is a successful, cost-effective and impactful way to reach a significant proportion of the population and likely to raise awareness, reduce stigma and be well received. The format has been adopted in other regions thus demonstrating easy transferability. It could form an essential part of a public health strategy to improve a population's mental well-being.
Declaration of interest
W.H. received support from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) for the South West Peninsula UK. The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health. L.R. and D.S. were involved in delivering the programmes but had no role in their evaluation.
Resource use measurement is known to be a challenging and time-consuming, but essential step in economic evaluations of health care interventions. Measuring true quantities of resources utilized is of major importance for generating valid costing estimates. As consequence of the absence of a gold standard and of acknowledged guidelines, the choice of a measurement method is often based on practicality instead of methodological evidence. An overview of resource use measurement issues is currently lacking. Such overview could enhance clearance in the quality of resource use measurement methods in economic evaluations and may facilitate to opt for evidence based measurement methods in the future. This study aims to provide an overview of methodological evidence regarding resource use measurement issues in economic evaluations.
Literature was searched by three different methods. First, a search strategy was used in six different databases. Second, the Database of Instruments for Resource Use Measurement (DIRUM) was hand-searched. Third, experts from six different European Union countries within the field of health economics were asked to provide relevant studies. Data was analyzed according to the Resource Use Measurement Issues (RUMI-) framework, which was developed for this study.
Of the 3,478 articles provided in the initial search, 77 were fully analyzed. An overview with evidence is provided for every resource use measurement issue. Most research focused around the issue ‘how to measure’, in particular the effect of self-reported data versus administrative data. In contrast, little to no research has been done on issues ‘what to measure’ and ‘for which purpose to measure’.
Results of this study provide insight in the effect of a chosen measurement method. The results stress the importance of measuring the true quantities of resources utilized for generating valid costing estimates. Furthermore, this article highlights the lack of evidence in appropriate resource use measurement methods.
Energy intake (EI) and energy expenditure (EE) should not be considered independent entities, but more an inter-connected system. With increased physical activity and reduced snacking initiatives as prevalent Public Health measures, any changes to subsequent EI from these recommendations should be monitored. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in acute EI and appetite over four conditions: (1) a control condition with no snack and no exercise (CON); (2) a snack condition (+1 MJ; SK); (3) a moderate-intensity cycling exercise condition (−1 MJ; EX); and finally (4) both snack and exercise condition (+1 MJ, −1 MJ; EXSK). Acute changes in appetite (visual analogue scale) and lunchtime EI (ad libitum pizza meal) were recorded in twenty boys and eighteen girls (12–13 years). Lunch EI was not significantly different between conditions or sexes (P>0·05). Relative EI was calculated, where the energy manipulation (+1 MJ from the snack or −1 MJ from the exercise) was added to lunchtime EI. Relative EI indicated no significant differences between the sexes (P>0·05); however, in the EX condition, relative EI was significantly lower (P<0·001) compared with all other conditions. Appetite increased significantly over time (P<0·001) and was significantly higher in the CON and EX conditions compared with the SK and EXSK conditions. No significant sex differences were found between conditions. When aiming to evoke an acute energy deficit, increasing EE created a significantly larger relative energy deficit than the removal of the mid-morning snack. Sex was not a confounder to influence EI or appetite between any of the conditions.
The reputation of the Normans is rooted in warfare, faith and mobility. They were simultaneously famed as warriors, noted for their religious devotion, and celebrated as fearless travellers. In the Middle Ages few activities offered a better conduit to combine warfare, religiosity, and movement than crusading and pilgrimage. However, while scholarship is abundant on many facets of the Norman world, it is a surprise that the Norman relationship with crusading and pilgrimage, so central in many ways to Norman identity, has hitherto not received extensive treatment. The collection here seeks to fill this gap. It aims to identify what was unique or different about the Normans and their relationship with crusading and pilgrimage, as well as how and why crusade and pilgrimage were important to the Normans. Particular focus is given to Norman participation in the First Crusade, to Norman interaction in later crusading initiatives, to the significance of pilgrimage in diverse parts of the Norman world, and finally to the ways in which crusading and pilgrimage were recorded in Norman narrative. Ultimately, this volume aims to assess, in some cases to confirm, and in others to revise the established paradigm of the Normans as crusaders par excellence and as opportunists who used religion to serve other agendas.
Dr Kathryn Hurlock is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at Manchester Metropolitan University; Dr Paul Oldfield is Lecturer in Medieval History at the University of Manchester.
Contributors: Andrew Abram, William M. Aird, Emily Albu, Joanna Drell, Leonie Hicks, Natasha Hodgson, Kathryn Hurlock, Alan V. Murray, Paul Oldfield, David S. Spear, Lucas Villegas-Aristizábal.
Fama, or fame, is a central concern of late medieval literature. Where fame came from, who deserved it, whether it was desirable, how it was acquired and kept were significant inquiries for a culture that relied extensively on personal credit and reputation. An interest in fame was not new, being inherited from the classical world, but was renewed and rethought within the vernacular revolutions of the later Middle Ages. The work of Geoffrey Chaucer shows a preoccupation with ideas on the subject of fama, not only those received from the classical world but also those of his near contemporaries; via an engagement with their texts, he aimed to negotiate a place for his own work in the literary canon, establishing fame as the subject-site at which literary theory was contested and writerly reputation won. Chaucer's place in these negotiations was readily recognized in his aftermath, as later writers adopted and reworked postures which Chaucer had struck, in their own bids for literary place. This volume considers the debates on fama which were past, present and future to Chaucer, using his work as a centre point to investigate canon formation in European literature from the late Middle Ages and into the Early Modern period. Isabel Davis is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Birkbeck, University of London; Catherine Nall is Senior Lecturer in Medieval Literature at Royal Holloway, University of London. Contributors: Joanna Bellis, Alcuin Blamires, Julia Boffey, Isabel Davis, Stephanie Downes, A.S.G. Edwards, Jamie C. Fumo, Andrew Galloway, Nick Havely, Thomas A. Prendergast, Mike Rodman Jones, William T. Rossiter, Elizaveta Strakhov.