Preliminary findings on quality of Covid-19 hospital care

PRELIMINARY findings from a recent study show that approximately 97 per cent of hospital care for patients with Covid-19 has been acceptable, good or excellent, according to the Royal College of Physicians London.

Eleven of the 40 NHS Trusts taking part in the RCP study have already returned their data, representing a catchment population of 4.5 million, 11,200 COVID-19 cases and 3,380 COVID-19 deaths.

The study highlights the quality and timing of interventions, along with the timely use of pre-emptive medication. However, the researchers report that the pandemic looks to have exaggerated the variability of care delivery and advance care planning.

Among other findings is that survivors of COVID-19 are 10-15 years younger than those who die.

Researchers conducting the study have employed structured judgement review (SJR) methodology, routinely used throughout the NHS in relation to patient deaths but modified so that the care of patients who survived COVID-19 could also be included to examine hospital data together with anonymised patient stories.

The study is expected to be completed early in 2021 and will eventually lead to recommendations for the NHS. The RCP says NHS Trusts not already participating are still welcome to do so.

Dr John Dean, the RCP’s clinical director for quality improvement and patient safety, said: "My colleagues in the NHS have been faced with unprecedented challenges during the pandemic but the RCP COVID-19 Study shows how almost all care provided has been of the right standard. We can, however, learn from excellent care, and variations in care, just as we can learn from poor care. I am looking forward to the completion of this review and providing practical recommendations to help patients, staff and the health service."