Aviva invests £225,000 in Liverpool COVID projects

30th January 2023

Source: Liverpool Business News 

Eight research projects looking at the long-term impacts of COVID-19 have secured funding of £225,000 from insurance giant Aviva.

Pandemic Institute – The Spine in Liverpool is now home to the HQ of a global collaboration to prepare for the next pandemic

Funding from Aviva will be allocated via The Pandemic Institute (TPI) in Liverpool. TPI was first announced in September 2021 in the midst of the COVID pandemic. It is a £10m initiative based at The Spine in the city’s Knowledge Quarter.

Partners in the institute are the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, LSTM, Liverpool University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Liverpool City Council, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and KQ Liverpool.

Its aim is to help the world build resilience and be better prepared for future pandemics. In September 2022 it invited proposals for research projects from its founding partners.

Two projects are based around the impact of COVID-19 in the city are:

  • Right to health: Tackling health inequalities and promoting resilience among migrant, refugee and asylum seeker communities affected by COVID-19 in Liverpool. Principal Lead: Professor Marie Claire Van Hout, Liverpool John Moores University.
  • Healthcare Communications and Information Distortion in Crisis Situations: The Case of COVID-19 in Merseyside. Principal lead is Prof Kay O’Halloran at the University of Liverpool.

Aviva’s funding will also enable six other research projects to take place, which are:

  • Hierarchical forecasting models for COVID-19 bed occupancy and admissions for individual NHS Trusts.
  • What are the long-term impacts and implications of the pandemic on accessing and using health and social care for dementia?
  • Estimating excess mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic in Cheshire and Merseyside.
  • Exploring the role of social and community trust in responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Supply chain risk management during a pandemic: a public / private-partnership insurance solution.
  • Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 response on the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people in Merseyside.

TPI has a strategic focus on emerging infections and future pandemic threats including influenza and Mpox, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever to Ebola and Japanese encephalitis. 

COVID-19 research however, still has a prominent role in as the pandemic and its effects continue to evolve both in the UK and also globally. 

Professor Tom Solomon, director TPI, said: “This will help us take further steps forward in continuing to tackle COVID-19 and also to be better prepared for the future.

“The work we do from Liverpool has national and international impact. Being able to further expand our research through these eight submissions will help keep us at the forefront of the challenges around and solutions to COVID-19 and how best to recover from a pandemic.”

David Schofield, group sustainability director at Aviva, added: “Part of Aviva’s sustainability ambition is to make 10m people more resilient by 2025.

“As part of this we’re committed to help build health and wellbeing resilience by investing in the big challenges our customers and communities face.”

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30th January 2023