LED by Dr Manish Pareek, a project UKREACH (UK Research Study into Ethnicity And Covid-19 outcomes in Healthcare workers) has been set up to calculate the risk for ethnic minority healthcare workers of contracting Covid-19.
The study, which has already begun with urgency, will follow a group of ethnic minority healthcare workers over 12 months to see what changes occur in their physical or mental health. Dr Pareek and his team will interview a smaller group of ethnic minority healthcare workers to understand how risky their jobs are, and how they have changed their professional or social behaviours in response to Covid-19.
“Using staff data and linking it to healthcare data may be sensitive,” he says, and adds “so we will explore how to do this in a way that is acceptable. We want the findings of this research to be useful for healthcare workers and so we have a stakeholder group of major national organisations to help us do the research, publicise the findings and make recommendations.”
He and his team are aware of the potential impact their research will have on governmental policy, so they are moving fast to answer the critical questions.
As the urgent study now continues, Pareek wants the research to answer two simple questions: a) If, how, and why, ethnicity affects Covid-19 clinical outcomes in healthcare workers, b) what is the impact of Covid-19 on the physical and mental health of ethnic minority healthcare workers.
“By undertaking this work,” he also says, “I want us to understand what the risk is and help inform the government on how we can reduce that risk so as to prevent healthcare workers, my colleagues, becoming unwell and dying.”
Pareek, based at the University of Leicester, is a clinical academic with international expertise in developing and delivering public