The UK economy is currently under pressure from two sources, namely Brexit and Covid-19. Recovery from both is possible although, paradoxically, recovery from the first will increase the chances of a repeat of the second albeit from a different threat.
Covid-19 has found us wanting in many areas, specifically:
1. Disaster leadership is hopelessly confused; organisational and ‚’Not-Invented-Here‚’ cultural barriers such as between Regional Public Health teams and Public Health England (PHE) are a symptom of this.
2. Catastrophe Plans and a Disaster Management Playbook seem to be completely missing. There doesn‚’t seem to be an effective ‚’war-time‚’ chain of command through which to lead our collective efforts.
3. Poor use was made of technology. The launch of an NHS app was handled clumsily leading to suspicions amongst the public about government motives and security of data
4. Poor resource planning when the provision of additional bed space turns out to be useful only when there is additional staff to go with it.
5. Poor procurement processes lead to a grossly inadequate supply of essential basic materials, notably PPE.
6. The Patient Care Pathway is optimised for the convenience of the resource providers and not for the convenience of the patient. Social Care, an area already under strain, suddenly became overflow capacity for hospitals to free up beds. Lack of PPE weighed particularly heavily here. If we are to thrive as a nation in the broad sunlit uplands of Brexit, we cannot afford to be blown off course by health issues and our Healthcare system must be improved and better integrated so that it works equally well in peacetime as it does in wartime.