Reset, recovery or restoration… How do we build back better than before?

Professor Stephen Eames CBE, Independent Chair for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

Over the past weeks and months, colleagues, partners and commentators from various perspectives and sectors have been talking about what comes next following the initial peak of Covid-19 cases and the rapid work that was undertaken to deal with the immediate pandemic response.

Within the Partnership team we have been musing over the most appropriate terminology to describe this next phase of our response to Covid-19, which has been variously described as recovery or restoration or as an opportunity to reset our health and care system, learning from our experiences of managing Covid-19.

Whatever we call this next phase of our response – incidentally in Humber, Coast and Vale we have plumped for “Next Steps Planning” – we do need to be mindful of how we can learn from what we have experienced over recent weeks and months and think about how we can build back better than before.

Across Humber, Coast and Vale we have been working hard to gather information about all the innovations and creative ways that individuals, teams, organisations and partners have been responding to Covid-19 and adapting services to ensure we continue to support our local populations as effectively as possible. We will be sharing these stories and asking for feedback and further ideas from clinicians, professionals, patients and citizens over the coming weeks and months as we continue our work to plan for the next stages of our response.

The truth is we are going to be living with Covid-19 for some time to come, though with so many moving parts it can be hard to know for sure what that will mean for individuals and organisations in practice. As a system, therefore, we need to be planning for every eventuality, ensuring we remain agile so that we can respond quickly to the changing circumstances and the needs of our population.

Our collective focus as a Partnership both in the short and longer term will not be on any of the R words mentioned above, but rather on three phrases that begin with the letter P: prevention, public health and population health/population health management.

Our work together will be centred on helping the people who live in Humber, Coast and Vale to stay healthy and live happy lives, working within all the constraints and challenges brought by Covid-19.

By working together we will build our collective knowledge and understanding of our populations and their needs so that whatever constraints we must work within, we can ensure we are seeking out and supporting those who need our help the most.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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