Is the NHS looking for a recovery or a restart?

Published: 29th April 2020
Is the NHS looking for a recovery or a restart? This week there can be no doubts: thoughts have turned to what the NHS does after this first wave of COVID. It’s going to be tough. But there’s an upside, too.

Is the NHS looking for a recovery or a restart?

Recovery: “a return to a normal state”

Restart: “a new start or beginning”

 
This week there can be no doubts: thoughts have turned to what the NHS does after this first wave of COVID. It’s going to be challenging, as COVID won’t be gone, it’s going to be with us for the foreseeable. On top of that, hospitals and GPs are going to be dealing with the backlog:
 
  • Demand for services will include the normal demand plus any backlog built up in the lockdown period
  • The increase in demand will not only be seen in elective care, but in urgent care too as delayed elective cases become more urgent
  • 2WW Referrals will return rapidly and will need to be prioritised
  • The impact of an increase in demand will be compounded by a backlog of leave as clinicians take holiday they cancelled during lockdown
 
 
So it’s going to be tough. But there’s an upside, too. In the past two months the NHS has modernised faster and more profoundly than at any time in its history. The technologies it has adopted are ready to be applied to the new challenges we face. A situation that would appear impossible using the old ways of working can be solved through new ways of working:
 
  • CLINICAL PRIORITISATION – technology allows referral assessment and triaging to manage demand
  • VIRTUAL BY DEFAULT – all clinics and follow ups to be done virtually if possible
  • FOLLOW-UP BY EXCEPTION – technology enables patient-initiated follow-up consultations
  • SAFE DISCHARGE EARLIER – communication and hand-over technology helps get patients safely discharged
  • ADVICE AND GUIDANCE BY DEFAULT – where care might be kept in the community
 
 
So we shouldn’t be talking about a recovery, it’s more profound than that. The NHS that will emerge after lockdown will be materially different. Instead, let’s recognise the leaps we have made these past few months and talk about 2020 being the year we restarted the NHS.


How Consultant Connect can help your area with the restart:

 
 

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