We need to understand whether the improvements and transformations made in response to Covid-19 are providing the quality of care required and improving the health and well-being of our population

Dr Nigel Wells, Clinical Lead, Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership

If you’ve been following the Partnership’s blog series recently you’ll have seen several references to the great work and ingenuity colleagues from across all sectors have shown in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the height of the pandemic, it became clear there were a large number of rapid changes and service improvements taking place to ensure our staff could continue to deliver quality health and care services in a safe manner during these difficult times.

As we started to look to the future more, it was important that we took the opportunity to capture, evaluate and learn from these changes and improvements to understand the impact they have had.

Through the Partnership’s Clinical and Professional Group that I chair, we established a piece of work to reach out to colleagues across our area (including in primary care, secondary care, mental health, community and voluntary services), inviting them to tell us about the changes or innovations they had implemented in response to Covid-19.

We were overwhelmed by the response, with more than 330 examples of changes and transformations across Humber, Coast and Vale put forward. It’s likely that this is only the tip of the iceberg and there will be many more initiatives of this kind which have been introduced since.

There were recurring themes within the submissions and in many cases a number of primary and secondary clinical and non-clinical reasons for why the changes had been introduced. We established that there were seven broad themes across the changes and service improvements, which were:

  • Advice and guidance/triage
  • Discharge processes
  • Direct pandemic response
  • Patient care
  • Use of technology
  • Workforce
  • Other

Working closely with our Yorkshire & Humber Academic Health Science Network (YHAHSN) colleagues we have started to evaluate the service improvements and changes to provide greater detail on the difference they have made. These include the following areas:

  • Respiratory
  • Outpatients
  • Digital – primary care
  • Maternity

It’s also vital to promote this great work across Humber, Coast and Vale so we are developing six of the service improvements into case studies that can be share with health and social care colleagues across our region.

Once this rapid insight and evaluation work is completed there will be a report which we anticipate will be available at end of July. But we also need to consider how we continue to learn from the improvements we make and measure the impact of our changes so we understand whether they are providing the quality of care required and improving the health and well-being of our population.

Leo Stevens

Author Leo Stevens

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