Data and Modelling of COVID

How Modelling is Contributing to the Merseyside COVID Response

LHP members have been supporting COVID-19 planning and response in Merseyside through the Merseyside Resilience Forum (MRF; the statutory coordinating body) to respond to increased demand for medical and social care, and to coordinate other local public services to minimise the impacts of COVID-19 on our residents.

The Health Intelligence Cell (HIC) is a collaborative group formed as part of the MRF. Membership of the HIC is drawn from health, social, civic, academic and voluntary sectors, working in partnership with a shared remit to provide actionable intelligence, data and recommendations for system demand and capacity around the COVID19 pandemic. HIC programmes focus on the impact of COVID19 and strategies implemented to respond to COVID-19, over both the short and longer term, to inform MRF strategic system response and recovery.

The role of modelling in pandemic intelligence

An important part of planning to control COVID-19 is for epidemiologists to understand how it spreads. For epidemiologists to be able to estimate infection rates (the speed at which infectious individuals infect others), they need data from large numbers of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, and information about what happens to them afterwards. This enables us to understand how the virus progresses through the body, from initial infection to when individuals become infectious, as well as the expected duration of symptoms and outcome. This information is critical to how public health agencies, the NHS and other partner organisations plan for supporting communities and individuals.

The Lancaster-Liverpool COVID-19 Demand Model

Initial modelling has focused on estimating the potential impact of COVID-19 on health and care services within Merseyside (5 Local Authority Districts (LADs): City of Liverpool; Sefton; Knowsley; St Helens; Wirral) to aid stakeholders in capacity planning. The model also supports planning in the wider Cheshire and Merseyside (C&M) NHS geographical planning area.

HIC modelling is supported by a team of modellers based at the Universities of Liverpool, Lancaster, and Manchester. The Lancaster-Liverpool COVID-19 Demand Model has been developed, following iteration of an earlier developed Lancaster COVID-19 epidemic model using national data on infection rates, hospital pathways/ usage (admission, ICU, discharge, mortality) and further modelling parameters obtained from published evidence and systems intelligence. These evidence-based modelling assumptions have been refined with clinical, public health and system wide input to create the model

The model predicts pandemic progression at a C&M and Local Authority level, including: –

  • anticipated timing and size of the epidemic peak
  • the number of people likely to fall sick each day
  • consequent ICU / non-ICU bed demand
  • predicted daily mortality
  • number of patients anticipated to be discharged each day

READ MORE about the technical details of the model



Alex Alexiou, Matt Ashton, Ben Barr, Iain Buchan, Martin O’Flaherty, Chris Jewell, Rachel Joynes, Chris Kypridemos, Roberta Piroddi, Jonathan Read and Sally Sheard on behalf of MRF Health Intelligence Cell.

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