The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.
- Today’s renewal of vows: Neighbour trusts to extend ‘closer working’
- Today’s broadside: The NHS response to BME staff’s deaths was late and lopsided
As some children return to school and workers to their offices and factories there is a sense of the country making the first faltering steps back toward normality.
However, even putting aside concerns that the relaxation has come too early, there is a growing awareness that life in the time of covid will look and feel very different for months to come.
For the NHS too there will be no quick return to business as usual. The need to reserve capacity in case of a second wave, the importance of stringent infection control, the rapid growth in new care models, the changed nature of demand and other factors means the service faces a period like no other.
After speaking to many of the most senior figures in the service, HSJ editor Alastair McLellan made a series of predictions in an extended editorial.
Among his suggestions were that “it is over for CCGs”, with NHS England likely to give the powers it centralised early in the emergency to newly emergent regional leadership groups.
You can read all the editor’s conclusions here.
Credit where it’s not due
Testing as many people with covid-19 symptoms as possible is the key aim of the government’s track and trace scheme. It allows them to self-isolate, contacts to be traced and should halt outbreaks.
So you would think it would be made as easy as possible for anyone to order a test, delivered and picked up from their door – especially if they are in groups who may be at greater risk of contracting the virus and having poorer outcomes if they do.
That, sadly, does not seem to be the case. As HSJ reveals, applicants who use the online system to order a home test have their identify verified using a database belonging to a credit check company. If they refuse to have this check made or the database does not verify who they are, they are told to apply for a drive-through test instead. Which would be fine except that many from these groups won’t have access to a car.
HSJ has asked the Department of Health and Social Care for a copy of the equalities impact assessment carried out on this policy but has been told it will be published “in due course”. Hopefully, it will shed some light on why this rather strange approach has been adopted.