Improving healthcare delivery for COVID-19 patients in Dublin’s north inner city

Lead Researchers: Dr John Lambert, Professor Walter Cullen. Funded by: Health Research Board and Irish Research Council. Funding amount: €199,098.

Dr John Lambert
Dr John Lambert

In summary

Dublin’s north inner city is an area of high social deprivation and a high incidence of COVID-19. Led by University College Dublin School of Medicine, the North Dublin COVID-19 Cohort Study was established in April 2020, and researches the health of people living in this region of the city who have been effected by COVID-19.

By analysing healthcare information about patients attending the Mater Hospital and general practices with COVID-19, and by involving consenting patients in follow-up studies, it will capture important insights into the health experience of people living in Dublin’s north inner city during the pandemic and will provide reports to the HSE and other health agencies. In this way, it will help to plan health services according to the needs of this at-risk population and reduce the negative effect of the pandemic on local communities.

The problem

Local communities in north inner-city Dublin are at high risk of infection and illness from COVID-19.

The project

Established during the aftermath of the outbreak, the North Dublin COVID-19 Cohort Study is led by University College Dublin to gather important information on COVID-19 in north inner-city Dublin. It will examine hundreds of anonymised patient records from people attending the Mater Hospital for COVID-19, and will follow the progress of patients who consent to be part of the project.

The outcomes

  • The project will issue technical reports about COVID-19 in north inner-city Dublin to the HSE, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre and European agencies for infectious disease monitoring.
  • As a result of this project, we will know more about how to ensure our health services can reduce the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local population.

Professor Walter Cullen, co-Principal Investigator of the North Dublin COVID-19 Cohort Study says:

'While COVID-19 has impacted on all areas of Irish society its impact on the communities living in this area are especially severe. In this project, people who require hospital treatment for COVID-19 infection will be monitored after discharge to see what problems they experience and to see how these can be best prevented and treated. Strong links between primary and secondary care are a key part of the response to COVID-19 and this project will inform how this can best address the healthcare needs of the many people in Ireland and worldwide affected by COVID-19'.

Prof John Lambert, university College Dublin and  co-principal on the project emphasises,

‘We do not know if survivors of covid-19 will have long-term complications both in terms of quality of life and possible long-standing damage to the heart, lungs, and brain, which is targeted by this virus.  Our longitudinal follow up study with these patients will ensure that they are carefully monitored and provided with appropriate treatment if necessary'.

Dr John Lambert speaks about the project on the HRB You Tube channel.

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