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Impact of Multiple COVID-19 Waves on Gynaecological Cancer Services in the UK

Oxley, Samuel; Kalra, Ashwin; Sideris, Michail; Itzkowitz, Nicole; Evans, Olivia; Atakpa, Emma Christine; Brentnall, Adam R; ... Manchanda, Ranjit; + view all (2023) Impact of Multiple COVID-19 Waves on Gynaecological Cancer Services in the UK. Cancers , 15 (4) , Article 1273. 10.3390/cancers15041273. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: This study aimed to assess the impact of multiple COVID-19 waves on UK gynaecological-oncology services. Methods: An online survey was distributed to all UK-British-Gynaecological-Cancer-Society members during three COVID-19 waves from 2020 to2022. Results: In total, 51 hospitals (including 32 cancer centres) responded to Survey 1, 42 hospitals (29 centres) to Survey 2, and 39 hospitals (30 centres) to Survey 3. During the first wave, urgent referrals reportedly fell by a median of 50% (IQR = 25–70%). In total, 49% hospitals reported reduced staffing, and the greatest was noted for trainee doctors, by a median of 40%. Theatre capacity was reduced by a median of 40%. A median of 30% of planned operations was postponed. Multidisciplinary meetings were completely virtual in 39% and mixed in 65% of the total. A median of 75% of outpatient consultations were remote. By the second wave, fewer hospitals reported staffing reductions, and there was a return to pre-pandemic urgent referrals and multidisciplinary workloads. Theatre capacity was reduced by a median of 10%, with 5% of operations postponed. The third wave demonstrated worsening staff reductions similar to Wave 1, primarily from sickness. Pre-pandemic levels of urgent referrals/workload continued, with little reduction in surgical capacity. Conclusion: COVID-19 led to a significant disruption of gynaecological-cancer care across the UK, including reduced staffing, urgent referrals, theatre capacity, and working practice changes. Whilst disruption eased and referrals/workloads returned to normal, significant staff shortages remained in 2022, highlighting persistent capacity constraints.

Type: Article
Title: Impact of Multiple COVID-19 Waves on Gynaecological Cancer Services in the UK
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3390/cancers15041273
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers15041273
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third-party material in this article are included in the Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Science & Technology, Life Sciences & Biomedicine, Oncology, COVID-19, multidisciplinary team, gynaecological cancer, SARS-COV-2, BURNOUT
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Inst of Clinical Trials and Methodology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Cancer Institute > Research Department of Oncology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166879
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