NICOR’s Cardiovascular Specialty Strategic Group publishes report on the impact of COVID-19


NICOR has today (10 September 2020) published a report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the care of people with cardiovascular disease.

NICOR came together with NHS England and NHS Digital to enable senior clinical academics at the Universities of Leeds and Keele to rapidly analyse data collected from hospitals. Analyses have been performed by Professor Chris Gale and his team at the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics, University of Leeds and by Professor Mamas Mamas and the Keele Cardiovascular Research Group, Centre for Prognosis Research, Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences, University of Keele.

As a result of this unprecedented endeavour, NICOR has identified major changes in the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic – which will without doubt have lasting impact on patients.

Professor John Deanfield, NICOR Director, said “There has been a magnificent response from the clinical profession and its partners in national bodies, with inclusive, integrated and rapid action, underpinned by fully collaborative decision-making. This has been all the more important because not only is CVD a key determinant of the health outcomes for an individual with COVID-19 infection, but the pandemic has had a significant impact on CVD care amongst the general population.”

At a national level, the UK cardiovascular community has collected data on CVD presentations and outcomes over many years, which NICOR maintains in the form of approximately 6 million records. Funded by NHS England, the Welsh Government and partially by NHS Scotland, these datasets are used to achieve a wide range of quality assurance (QA) and quality improvement (QI) goals across the whole of the UK. Over a few weeks from mid-March 2020, work was carried out to enable linkages between this centralised resource and coding data from hospitals held by NHS Digital and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This has facilitated a swift response to the needs of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and NHS leadership to assist with national policy on COVID-19 and has tackled critical questions under three headings:

1. The impact of the pandemic on background CVD presentation, care delivery and outcomes;
2. The effect of different CVD risk profiles on the acute consequences of COVID-19 infection; and
3. The long-term consequences of COVID-19 on CVD service provision and outcomes.

NICOR is now in a position to provide this data intelligence to the Government through NHS England and SAGE, which we hope will influence decisions to improve the care and outcomes for patients with heart attack in the UK and wider afield.

Read the report – Rapid cardiovascular data: we need it now (and in the future)

Read the patient and public summary – NICOR’s role during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond