An exploration of the wellbeing of prison governors and senior managers in England, Wales and Scotland.

In 2021, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Lincoln were commissionsed by the Prison Governors Association to evaluate the state of their members’ health and wellbeing, with this being particulary pertinent following the immense pressure experienced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Based on semi-structured interviews with 63 prison governors and senior managers, two members of the team will discuss our findings and talk about the next steps in terms of how we hope these will impact on policy and practice. Key themes of our research include not feeling valued, impact on mental and physical health, frustration over lack of autonomy and fears for the future. Our recommendations for a more
positive way forward will also be included.


Dr Lauren Smith, School of Psychology, University of Lincoln
Prof Karen Harrison, Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln
Dr Lauren Hall, School of Social and Policitical Sciences, University of Lincoln
Ms Rachael Mason, School of Health & Social Care, University of Lincoln
Dr Gary Saunders, School of Social and Political Studies, University of Lincoln
Dr Helen Nichols, School of Criminology, Sociology and Policing, University of Hull


LISTEN and learn: the long and short of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid realignment of research priorities towards the shortterm effects of Covid, the national response to the pandemic and long Covid. The Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU) has been working with collaborators at the University of Lincoln and other institutions on a number of pandemic studies including a major study of long Covid, the LISTEN (Long Covid Personalised Self-managemenT support- co-design and EvaluatioN) study with Kingston, Cardiff, Swansea Universities and Kings College London. The study aims to work in partnership with individuals living with long Covid to design and evaluate a package of self-management support personalised to their needs. The presentation will discuss the LISTEN study and also touch on other pandemic studies in progress or completed.


Prof Niro Siriwardena, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Prof Graham Law, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Ms Despina Laparidou, School of Health and Social Care, University of Lincoln
Members of the Community and Health Research Unit (CaHRU)


 

Ethnicity and risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection among the healthcare workforce: Results of a retrospective cohort study in rural United Kingdom

The reason why Black and South Asian healthcare workers are at a higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection remain unclear. We aimed to quantify the risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare staff who belong to the ethnic minority and elucidate pathways of infection.

A one-year follow-up retrospective cohort study has been conducted among National Health Service employees who were working at 123 facilities in Lincolnshire, UK.

Overall, 13,366 professionals were included. SARS-CoV-2 incidence per person-year was 5.2% (95% CI: 3.6–7.6%) during the first COVID-19 wave (January–August 2020) and 17.2% (13.5–22.0%) during the second wave (September 2020–February 2021). Compared with White staff, Black and South Asian employees were at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection during both the first wave (hazard ratio, HR 1.58 [0.91–2.75] and 1.69 [1.07–2.66], respectively) and the second wave (HR 2.09 [1.57–2.76] and 1.46 [1.24–1.71]). Higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection persisted even after controlling for age, sex, pay grade, residence environment, type of work, and time exposure at work. Higher adjusted risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection were also found among lower-paid health professionals.

Black and South Asian health workers continue to be at higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection than their White counterparts. Urgent interventions are required to reduce SARS-CoV-2 infection in these ethnic groups.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Maxime Inghels, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health
Ros Kane, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care
Priya Lall, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health
David Nelson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health
Agnes Nanyonjo, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health
Zahid Asghar, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care
Derek Ward, Lincolnshire County Council
Tracy McCranor, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Tony Kavanagh, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Todd Hogue, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology
Jaspreet Phull, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Frank Tanser, University of Lincoln, Lincoln International Institute for Rural Health


 

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public attitudes to cardiopulmonary resuscitation and publicly accessible defibrillator use in the UK

Members of the public have an essential role to play in the out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) chain of survival by acting to call Emergency Medical Services (EMS), start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) to help save lives.1.2.3.4.5. In recent years, there has been a rise in bystander CPR rates across many worldwide EMS systems (Denmark,6.7. United States,8 Japan,9 Canada,10 South Korea.11) In England, the percentage of people sustaining an OHCA that was either unwitnessed or witnessed by a bystander and who received bystander CPR has risen from 55.2% in 2014 to 69.8% in 2019.12.13. In Scotland, this increased from 39.4% in 2011–2012 to 64.0% in 2018–2019.14

In the UK, as in many other countries, there has been a parallel rise in the proportion of people reporting they have trained in resuscitation skills. In 2014, 47% of people reported formal CPR skills training and by 2019 it was 62.2%.15.16. National initiatives are associated with increases in the numbers of people trained, which in turn is associated with increased bystander CPR rates and improved survival outcomes.6.17.

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to have increased the incidence of OHCA cases.18.19.20.21. In some places bystander CPR rates also appear to be reduced.18.19. National and international organisations have developed revised guidelines for performing CPR as safely as possible on OHCA patients during the pandemic to reduce the risk of the rescuer catching COVID-19 during a resuscitation attempt (such as favouring compression-only CPR with a cloth over the patients mouth rather than CPR with rescue breaths).22.23. However, little is known about the public’s knowledge of this guidance, how their attitudes to performing different resuscitation actions may have changed and reasons for any reluctance to do so during the pandemic. Public health messaging on social distancing may have contributed to increased fear about helping OHCA patients.24

Research to understand whether concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have adversely affected gains in bystander CPR rates, including any changes in public attitudes to performing CPR is needed. It will inform stakeholders’ strategies to support recovery in the public’s confidence and likelihood of helping people who sustain an OHCA.

We conducted 4 short surveys of adults during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK (April – July 2020) and a longer survey in November 2020 to assess the UK public’s knowledge of revised resuscitation guidance and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their attitudes to CPR and defibrillator use.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Claire A. Hawkes, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

Inès Kander, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

Abraham Contreras, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

Chen Ji, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

Terry P. Brown, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

Scott Booth, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School

A. Niroshan Siriwardena, University of Lincoln, School of Health and Social Care

Rachael T. Fothergill, London Ambulance Service NHS Trust

Julia Williams, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Nigel Rees, Swansea University, Institute of Life Science

Estelle Stephenson, British Heart Foundation

Gavin D. Perkins, University of Warwick, Warwick Medical School and University Hospitals Birmingham, Heartlands Hospital

Internet memes related to the COVID-19 pandemic as a potential coping mechanism for anxiety

This study examined whether significantly anxious individuals differed from non-anxious individuals in their perceptual ratings of internet memes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst considering the mediating role of emotion regulation. Eighty individuals presenting clinically significant anxiety symptoms (indicating ≥ 15 on the GAD-7) and 80 non-anxious controls (indicating ≤ 4) rated the emotional valance, humour, relatability, shareability, and offensiveness of 45 Covid-19 internet memes. A measure of emotion regulation difficulties was also completed. The perception of humour, relatability, and shareability were all greater amongst anxious individuals relative to non-anxious controls. These differences were not mediated by emotion regulation deficits. Internet memes related to the current Covid-19 pandemic may tentatively serve as coping mechanism for individuals experiencing severe symptoms of anxiety.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Umair Akram, Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

Kamila Irvine, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Sarah Allen, Teeside University, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law

Jodie Stevenson, University of Lincoln, School of Psychology

Jason Ellis, Nothumbria University, Department of Psychology,

Jennifer Drabble, Sheffield Hallam University, Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics


Call volume, triage outcomes, and protocols during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom: Results of a national survey

Objectives

During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United Kingdom (UK), to describe volume and pattern of calls to emergency ambulance services, proportion of calls where an ambulance was dispatched, proportion conveyed to hospital, and features of triage used.

Methods

Semistructured electronic survey of all UK ambulance services (n = 13) and a request for routine service data on weekly call volumes for 22 weeks (February 1–July 3, 2020). Questionnaires and data request were emailed to chief executives and research leads followed by email and telephone reminders. The routine data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and questionnaire data using thematic analysis.

Results

Completed questionnaires were received from 12 services. Call volume varied widely between services, with a UK peak at week 7 at 13.1% above baseline (service range -0.5% to +31.4%). All services ended the study period with a lower call volume than at baseline (service range -3.7% to -25.5%). Suspected COVID-19 calls across the UK totaled 604,146 (13.5% of all calls), with wide variation between services (service range 3.7% to 25.7%), and in service peaks of 11.4% to 44.5%. Ambulances were dispatched to 478,638 (79.2%) of these calls (service range 59.0% to 100.0%), with 262,547 (43.5%) resulting in conveyance to hospital (service range 32.0% to 53.9%). Triage models varied between services and over time. Two primary call triage systems were in use across the UK. There were a large number of products and arrangements used for secondary triage, with services using paramedics, nurses, and doctors to support decision making in the call center and on scene. Frequent changes to triage processes took place.

Conclusions

Call volumes were highly variable. Case mix and workload changed significantly as COVID-19 calls displaced other calls. Triage models and prehospital outcomes varied between services. We urgently need to understand safety and effectiveness of triage models to inform care during further waves and pandemics.

 

COVID 19: Suggestions to Universities, Supervisors and Line Managers from Doctoral and Early Career Researchers.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the UK in March 2020, universities closed their doors with uncertainty over when they would reopen. In the early stages of lockdown, many doctoral and Early Career Researchers (collectively, ECRs) felt their institutions had forgotten them.

Vitae and the UKRI-funded Student Mental Health Research Network (SMaRteN) surveyed 5,900 ECRs across 128 UK universities at the end of April 2020, to establish the impact of lockdown on their work. While almost two thirds of respondents agreed that their supervisor/line manager had done all they could to support them, only 38% felt the same way about their institution. A quarter of respondents identified that their relationship with their university had worsened since the pandemic began. Right now, a key question is: what can universities do to support their ECRs?


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science Research

Nicola Byrom, King’s College London

Patricia Jackman, University of Lincoln, School of Sport and Exercise Science

Amy Zile, University of East Anglia

Elizabeth James, Teeside University

Katie Tyrrell, University of Suffolk

Cameron J. Williams, University of New South Wales

Tandy Haughey, Ulster University

Rebecca Sanderson, University of Lincoln, Lincoln Higher Education Research Institute

Michael Priestly, University of Durham

Nicola Cogan, University of Strathclyde


 

COVID-19: Psychological flexibility, coping, mental health, and wellbeing in the UK during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly altered the daily lives of many people across the globe, both through the direct interpersonal cost of the disease, and the governmental restrictions imposed to mitigate its spread and impact. The UK has been particularly affected and has one of the highest mortality rates in Europe. In this paper, we examine the impact of COVID-19 on psychological health and well-being in the UK during a period of ‘lockdown’ (15th–21st May 2020) and the specific role of Psychological Flexibility as a potential mitigating process.

We observed clinically high levels of distress in our sample (N = 555). However, psychological flexibility was significantly and positively associated with greater wellbeing, and inversely related to anxiety, depression, and COVID-19-related distress. Avoidant coping behaviour was positively associated with all indices of distress and negatively associated with wellbeing, while engagement in approach coping only demonstrated weaker associations with outcomes of interest. No relationship between adherence to government guidelines and psychological flexibility was found.

In planned regression models, psychological flexibility demonstrated incremental predictive validity for all distress and wellbeing outcomes (over and above both demographic characteristics and COVID-19-specific coping responses). Furthermore, psychological flexibility and COVID-19 outcomes were only part-mediated by coping responses to COVID-19, supporting the position that psychological flexibility can be understood as an overarching response style that is distinct from established conceptualisations of coping. We conclude that psychological flexibility represents a promising candidate process for understanding and predicting how an individual may be affected by, and cope with, both the acute and longer-term challenges of the pandemic.


University of Lincoln, College of Social Science research

Dave Dawson, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science

Nima Moghaddam, University of Lincoln, College of Social Science


 

Combining Our Virtual Isolation Discussions

In this presentation, Jamie, a PhD Student studying the pathways into teaching: exploring the preparation and retention of maths and science teachers, converses with his supervisor Rachael about their combined experiences of the virtual isolation over the past year. They discuss the challenges and benefits put upon them by the situation over the last year, such as research designs and data collection, and how together they have found innovative ways to overcome them. Finally, conclusions are drawn as to possible support for future researchers and supervisors to ensure that the journey whilst challenging is a successful and enjoyable one!


Dr Rachael Sharpe, School of Education
Mr Jamie Ainge, School of Education