The must-read stories and debate in health policy and leadership.

Coronavirus update

The coronavirus crisis has sparked a rapid rollout of new tech across both primary and secondary care. 

In recent weeks, there has been a spike in the uptake of technology that allows NHS staff to draw down a proportion of their wages immediately after a shift.

Wagestream and Earnd are among the providers that have offered their services to the NHS for free since the covid-19 outbreak, to help ease financial anxiety among the workforce.

The technology is being used with NHS staff on lower paygrades in mind. Former chief executive of the Northern Care Alliance NHS group Sir David Dalton has endorsed the technology, saying it would reduce trusts’ reliance on agency staff, while “bolstering” staff morale.

Meanwhile, local NHS systems deserve huge credit for the agility they have displayed in speedily reconfiguring services in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The new Nightingale hospitals are good examples of this. But, as our bureau chiefs James Illman and Lawrence Dunhill argue here, is there a case to reconfigure the care model being used in London?

The model in the capital is focused largely on providing intensive care beds. But, as capacity shortage concerns shift from ICU to community care beds, there are growing calls for the Excel centre to expand focus more on step-down care, like its Birmingham and Manchester counterparts.