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Project #57:
OpenSAFELY NHS Service Restoration Observatory: describing trends and variation in key measures of general practice clinical activity.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the delivery of care within the NHS. We have developed the OpenSAFELY Service Restoration Observatory to describe this impact on primary care activity and monitor the restoration of service. We produced 11 measures reflective of clinical activity in general practice. A substantial drop in activity was observed in all measures at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. By April 2021, the median rate had recovered to within 15% of the median rate in April 2019. The remaining measures showed a sustained drop, ranging from a 18.5% reduction in medication reviews to a 42.0% reduction in blood pressure monitoring. Three measures continued to show a sustained drop by December 2021. Since December 2021 activity rates have recovered to (or in some cases above) the pre-pandemic baseline for measures involving blood tests including cholesterol, liver function, thyroid, full blood counts, HbA1c, and renal function testing as well as for medication review activity.