What can we do to help?
That’s the sort of question that comes to mind at 4.00am as we, together with everyone else, struggle to come to terms with the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is clearly a question that we at Verita have been thinking a lot about in recent weeks.
It’s a challenge for us. Verita is all about providing reflective insight based on careful examination of the evidence. What role does that have at a time of crisis?
The people best placed to answer the question, of course, are those in the NHS who are working to keep things going. We have spoken to a number of them in recent weeks. They are clear that their sole focus at the moment is – rightly – on patient care and keeping the show on the road. But we have identified areas where we can help trusts & healthcare organisations with vital business continuity and back-office functions like: supporting their clinical governance team by, for example, logging and keeping track of serious incidents; preparing critical performance information and, at the right moment, supporting the re-start of investigating. We already support trusts in reducing investigation backlogs, which you can read more about here, and we can continue to help with this while staff focus on the front line.
Looking forward, our contacts are also aware that at some point things will start going back to normal and the system will need to be rebuilt. Understanding what has happened and learning from it will be vitally important.
There is also an awareness that things will never be the same. That they can never just go back to how they were. Technology is the key factor here. We have all had to get used to Zooming, Skyping and Teamsing in recent weeks. Yet trusts we have worked with in the past have been unable to make use of what are now basic technologies as they struggle with outdated IT hardware and software.
The new NHS must be based on the lessons learnt from these months. That includes technological advances – whether it be Formula 1 inspired respiratory equipment or tele-working.
We only hope that the day when we can start to put all this behind us and look to the future is sooner, rather than later.
If Verita can help your organisation, please get in touch at [email protected]