COVID-19 impact studies set to help councils respond to pandemic

Nottinghamshire County Council is being encouraged to use a series of in-depth studies which assess the impact of COVID-19 on communities in a bid to boost recovery.

By Tim Cunningham
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 4:51 pm
Nottinghamshire County Council
Nottinghamshire County Council

The free reports from the Local Data Spaces (LDS) programme use public sector data, including information from the national Test and Trace scheme, to understand the spread of the pandemic in local areas and its impact on communities, between March 2020 and March 2021.

It is hoped that the reports will be used by councils and stakeholders to understand the impact of COVID-19 at a local level and to inform their pandemic responses.

They profile a variety of themes, from demographic and occupational inequalities, through excess mortality, to economic vulnerabilities.

The reports also cover topics such as changes to retail and recreation over time; and positive COVID-19 rates by work sector.

Local figures are presented alongside national figures to allow comparison to England as a whole, enabling a better understanding of local inequalities related to the pandemic.

Dr Emma Gordon, director of ADR UK, said: "The value of the reports for informing understanding of the local impacts of the pandemic cannot be underestimated, and I hope to see them widely used to the benefit of local communities across England.”

Dr Mark Green, lead researcher at the University of Liverpool, said: “The pandemic has showed the importance of getting the right data into the right hands.

"Local Data Spaces has helped to open up new sources of data to local authorities that they were previously unaware of.

"Reports have been used to support real-world policy decisions including the evaluation of lateral flow testing in Liverpool, impacts of the furlough scheme in Norfolk and providing urgent data to SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies).”

The series of ten reports for each local authority in the East Midlands are available on the CDRC website for any local stakeholder to download for free.

The programme was funded by Administrative Data Research UK (ADR UK) which is made up of three national partnerships (ADR Scotland, ADR Wales, and ADR NI) and the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which ensures data provided by UK government bodies is accessed by researchers in a safe and secure form with minimal risk to data holders or the public.

Visit adruk.org or follow @ADR_UK on Twitter.