A new interactive map that can identify potential future coronavirus ‘hotspots’ has revealed how badly Nottinghamshire could be impacted by a second wave.
Developed by scientists at Oxford University, the tool outlines at-risk regions based on the number of vulnerable people and available hospital resources to handle outbreaks.
Researchers have estimated specific “pressure points” where demand for health services is likely to outstrip baseline local supply.
It also takes into account data on population age, ethnicity, density and social deprivation.
And it suggests Nottinghamshire is among the lower risk areas across the East Midlands, with the county expected to get fewer hospitalisations in both general and acute care and less demand than neighbouring Lincolnshire and Derbyshire.
The tool can break down the results by various categories.
People can then choose between various measurements, including baseline hospital bed capacity (general care), baseline hospital bed capacity (acute care), excess expected hospital demand relative to baseline capacity (general care) and excess expected hospital demand relative to baseline capacity (acute care).
By most measurements, the tool suggests Bassetlaw and Newark & Sherwood regions could be the worst affected by a second wave. Just shy of nine per cent (8.8) of every 1,000 people could be taken to hospital.
But other areas of the county won’t escape, with south Nottinghamshire – mainly Rushcliffe and surrounding areas – following closely behind. Around 8.5 percent of every 1,000 people may need to go to hospital.
Those who live in Nottingham North and the Mansfield and Ashfield areas are at less risk, with 8.3 percent of every 1,000 people in Nottingham North and 8.1 percent in Mansfield and Ashfield potentially having to make the trip to their nearby hospital.
According to the data, Nottingham will fair the best with around 5.7 per cent of people potentially needing hospital attention.
You can try the map here.
Rural areas in Wales and the north-east and south-west of England are considered areas of concern.
Expected hospitalisation rates are high, bed capacity is relatively low and alternative hospital services are harder to reach.
Meanwhile, London and other inner-city areas — including Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester — are highlighted as areas with both deprivation and a high population density, so are at potentially higher risk levels for additional outbreaks.
“Thinking not only regionally but at much smaller scale at the neighbourhood level will be the most effective approach to stifle and contain outbreaks,” paper author and Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science director Melinda Mills told the Mail Online.
She said this is needed “when a lack of track and trace is in place.”
Demonstrating its potential, the researchers used the tool to show that the town of Harrow, London, was one local area with an exceptionally high age-related risk of hospital admissions due to Covid-19.
“By using our online tool, policymakers would immediately have identified Harrow as a potential hotspot of hospital demand,’ said paper author and sociologist Mark Verhagen, also of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science.
“Ensuring that local decision-makers have this type of fine-grained information available was a key goal of this study.”