It’s been 13 weeks since the country was placed into lockdown as the Government introduced measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the UK. On the one hand it seems like a lifetime ago, and on the other it feels like yesterday.
It feels like an eternity has passed since lockdown measures were introduced, mainly because a lot has changed across the Humber, Coast and Vale health and care system in this time.
In the early weeks of lockdown a lot of work was dedicated to shaping the immediate pandemic response across our region, including reconfiguring health and care services to make sure they were accessible, yet safe for staff and patients alike.
Once this work was undertaken, we started to look ahead, to what comes next following the initial peak of COVID-19 cases.
My last blog (a few weeks back now) mentioned that work had begun to determine what the next phase of our response to COVID-19 looked like and, with the UK on Monday recording its lowest number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases since the lockdown began and further easing of measures seemingly imminent, now seems a good time to update you on this work.
Several weeks ago we asked our partner organisations to submit examples of how they have implemented changes and services improvements in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, so lessons could be learned and shared across our health and care system.
You answered our call emphatically. I was blown away by not only the large number of examples put forward – more than 330 unique clinical and non-clinical initiatives across Humber, Coast and Vale – but also because they demonstrated the lengths to which you have gone to support people across Humber, Coast and Vale to stay well during these unprecedented times.
It has been clear to see in the submissions that, above all else, colleagues have prioritised the safety of patients and staff and there is a clear commitment amongst colleagues to provide the best possible service to patients and clients within the restrictions and challenges that COVID-19 has brought.
Thank you once again for all the hard work, enthusiasm and ingenuity that you and your colleagues and teams have shown over the last three months in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Keep going with the improvements that you have made. We want all colleagues to feel able to contribute to making a better health and care system by making improvements in their working practice. We will support you.
As part of our next steps planning, we are undertaking a “rapid insight” evaluation of these initiatives, supported by the Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network. We are also preparing a way to share all the submissions so that you can learn from others as well.
Many of the innovations will be included in the plans we are developing for the period August 2020 and March 2021. We will continue to support service improvements and innovation so the evaluation of the submissions will be a key part of our broader plans to rebuild and reset our health and care system.
We believe that our communities will benefit for many years to come if we can learn from the changes we’ve made during these difficult times. Thank you for making such an impressive start.