Professor Iain Buchan

I am Executive Dean of the Institute of Population Health, Chair in Public Health and Clinical Informatics and Director of Digital Strategy and Partnerships for Liverpool Health Partners.

My COVID-19 duties centre on mobilising data and analytics for urgent public health research, and for providing health and care systems with actionable information.

COVID-19 research areas

For Liverpool and the Cheshire and Merseyside Health and Care Partnership, I lead on COVID-19 data and intelligence. For the Northwest I convened the Combined Intelligence for Population Health Action (CIPHA) collaborative and a CIPHA project with NHSX to build a new kind of joint NHS, Local Authority and Public Health intelligence system.

I also lead the CAMPUS (COVID-19 Active Management Partnership by Universities for Society) Shield Project across Liverpool’s universities, supporting higher education to continue through the pandemic with a wide range of control measures managed in concert with the City’s Public Health Service. I am also supporting national COVID-19 intelligence efforts with the ISARIC-4C and NHS England and Improvement teams.

Why these areas are important

Timely linkage and analysis of data is essential for understanding how the virus is spreading, how to contain it, who is most vulnerable and how to protect/treat them, and for analysing the consequences of COVID-19 measures to plan for public health and economic recovery.

The resilience and recovery of health and care systems depends on whole-system intelligence. The profound worsening of inequalities already caused by COVID-19 and the consequences of control measures underlines the importance of taking a system-wide intelligence-led approach.

Why working towards tackling COVID-19 inspires me

The shared commitment of the University of Liverpool family to civic duty has inspired me each day of this pandemic.

As well as refactoring a vast array of teaching to be delivered online and in new COVID-safe face-to-face settings, staff are supporting front-line efforts. The Liverpool generosity of spirit has shone through. It humbles and inspires me.

What it means to be part of the University of Liverpool at this time

I feel a deep sense of responsibility to bring our international work in infectious diseases and public health research into the best possible public service response to COVID-19.

I also feel honoured to work in remarkable leadership teams in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, the Institute of Public Health and Cheshire and Merseyside’s COVID-19 key coordinating groups. A sense of belonging, shared commitment and effective teamwork.

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