Should the NHS start planning for recovery now? 

9 April, 2020

Globally, very few businesses have not been impacted by Covid-19, whether it be positively or negatively, many are having to adapt.

Hats off to restaurants and traditional high street shops now offering takeaways and food care packages. Also, to business leaders now producing scrubs, PPE or hand sanitisers when that wasn’t core business (or business at all) previously.  Managing to keep employees safely employed whilst continuing to operate during a pandemic is just one example of great leadership. Another is being able to keep your head and look to the future during a crisis, while maintaining the current position.

Many organisations are in panic mode now and when the re-set button is pushed, they will panic again – but it might be too late. They will be playing catch up to the leaders in their field who are planning for recovery now.

Of the companies that have started to consider what recovery might look like, many cite increased overall costs, disruption to the supply chain and a deterioration in demand as key concerns.  These factors will affect many businesses however, a reduction in demand will not be a concern to the NHS.

We need to consider recovery in healthcare now.  How do we deal with the sheer volume of patients whose appointments or surgeries have been postponed or cancelled, or those with long term conditions who may have deteriorated during the lock down period?  We also need to consider the influx of new patients who avoided going to their GP during the crisis and who now need urgent care.

Fortunately, in the UK we have a healthcare system at the top of its game.  Despite an unprecedented set of circumstances and under a pressure that most of us will never have experienced, or will have to experience again, it continues to deliver.  Its leaders are already planning how to recover a position where they will be dealing with an overwhelming volume of patients, numbering millions across the UK, with an exhausted workforce.

Digital solutions need to take centre stage. The time for the NHS to embrace mass communications, digital triage and recovery support is now.

Written by: Concepta Wayment
VP of Transformation