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Episode 075: Primary care contacts with children and young people in the first Covid lockdown

In this episode we talk to Dr Kimberley Foley who is a Research Associate at the Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London.

Paper: Impact of Covid-19 on primary care contacts with children and young people aged 0-24 years in England; longitudinal trends study 2015-2020

https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2021.0643

The Covid-19 pandemic response led to health system reorganisation globally, but its impact on children and young people’s access to primary care is largely unknown. Children and young people’s health contacts with general practitioners (GPs) fell by 41%, equivalent to 2.8 million fewer contacts in England, during the first Covid-19 pandemic lockdown from March to June 2020 compared with the previous 5 years.

Face-to-face contacts with GPs fell by 88% with a corresponding increase in remote contacts. The greatest falls in face-to-face contacts occurred among children aged 1-14 (> 90%). Remote contacts with infants and with young people aged 15-24 years more than doubled, mitigating some of the total falls in these age groups.

GP contacts for respiratory illnesses fell 74% during lockdown compared with previous years, while contacts for common non-transmissible conditions (urinary tract infections, appendicitis, diabetes, and epilepsy) had a lesser fall at 31%.

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