Understanding COVID-19 at a community level ‘crucial’ to informing next steps, says RCGP

The College has responded to a new study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal ‘Risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 among patients in the Oxford Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre primary care network: a cross-sectional study’

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: “Understanding the COVID-19 virus and its spread at a community level will be crucial in helping the country take its next steps in managing the current pandemic, so this research, which uses data from the College’s Research and Surveillance Centre, is exceptionally important.

“The more we learn about the virus, the more accurate clinical guidance can be and the more personalised the care and advice GPs and our teams can give to patients. This will help them take the necessary precautions to keep well, based on their individual circumstances, including their age, ethnicity, medical history and social factors, and will potentially save lives.

“There are still lots of things we don’t know – specifically, why some people are more susceptible to COVID-19 than others – but having this data is an important starting point to further research that could help answer these questions.

“What the data does give is a stark indication that health inequalities in relation to socio-economic factors are very real where this virus is concerned. It’s imperative that the government acknowledges these and uses any forthcoming COVID-19 planning and proposed interventions to address them.

“RCGP now has an active network of over 1,100 practices ready and willing to share data to answer important research questions, their contribution underpins this study.”

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