Coronavirus (COVID-19): Cross Party Covid Recovery Steering Group presentation - 9 September 2021

What sort of recovery do people want to see? - presentation from the Office of the Chief Social Policy Adviser.

What sort of recovery do people want to see?

Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience. What can health and care learn from other disaster? (The King’s Fund)

Figure 1: The path to recovery is not linear and people experience a range of emotional responses at different phases of a disaster

The path to recovery is not linear and people experience a range of emotional responses at different phases of a disaster

Figure 2: 3 Groups a year on

3 Groups a year on

The Scottish Government has collected a wide range of evidence on public priorities for recovery

  • Citizens Assembly of Scotland
  • Scottish technology ecosystem: review
  • Social Renewal Advisory Board
  • Advisory Group on Economic Recovery
  • Covid 19 impact on communities and priorities for recovery
  • UK Youth
  • Poverty Alliance
  • Glasgow Disability Alliance
  • Children’s Parliament
  • Engender
  • Edinburgh Poverty Commission
  • Amnesty UK
  • ACOSVO case studies
  • Citizens Advice Scotland
  • Carers UK
  • NUS Scotland
  • Child Poverty Action Group
  • Mental Health Foundation Scotland
  • Young Minds
  • Close the Gap

What sort of recovery do people want to see? The recovery should…..of recovery do people want to see?

Be ambitious and transformational.

The recovery should be supported by Scottish Government investment in social, economic and green renewal, driven by an ambitious vision of the type of country we want to be and focused on achieving sustainable and enduring change based on actions that ensure long term outcomes.

Achieve financial security for all.

Covid-19 has highlighted and worsened the debilitating experience of poverty. Scotland’s recovery should have job creation, skills development, Fair Work, debt resolution, more progressive taxation and housing security at its heart.

It’s a terrifying time for a lot of people. What’s the new normal going to be?...How the city responds on jobs and incomes. To back the normal person is key” (Edinburgh Poverty Truth Commission)

Support health and wellbeing.

The recovery should support actions that promote health and wellbeing. This includes support for improving mental health (particularly for younger people and people with pre-existing conditions), valuing the role of unpaid carers and increasing investment in the NHS and community health and care services.

Promote equality and strengthen rights.

The recovery should strengthen rights, particularly to food and a decent home. It should target actions to those groups most affected by the pandemic: disabled people, minority ethnic groups, young people and women.

“Cash given to families to support purchase of food while schools have been closed over summer means a lot to families. This gives them dignity and choice” (Social Renewal Advisory Board Report)

Support Economic Development.

The Scottish Government and the business community should work collaboratively to direct the economic recovery. There should be clear and targeted investment to support SMEs and the tech sector. In order to drive a green recovery, new jobs, industries and supply chains should be established.

The economy can only thrive if there are successful and supportive relationships between business and government(Advisory Group on Economic Recovery)

Address the harm caused by Covid-19.

There is a recognition that disruptions to service provision and the loss of preventative services, particularly in education, health and social care, raise significant challenges that will require more than just service restoration and may result in increased future demand on public services.

Recognise the value of time and social connections.

Covid-19 has led people to re-appraise what’s important to them. The recovery should improve wellbeing and support people to live better and more fulfilling lives. The recovery should support people to spend time doing the things they enjoy including providing care for friends, family and neighbours and volunteering.

 “…everyone should have access to volunteering, and opportunities that support their needs and goals, including those who have never previously participated or expressed an interest in doing so(Social Renewal Advisory Board– Deep Dive with Young People)

How do people want the recovery to be delivered? The recovery should….

Empower communities and places.

Evidence from public engagement tells a compelling story of community empowerment and people reaching out to help each other. There was hope amongst many local organisations that, moving forward, we could capture and maintain the community energy we saw during the pandemic to embed locally relevant solutions.

Start from the individual.

We should resist returning to ‘business as usual’, and focus on delivering flexible person-centred holistic approaches. The recovery should support services to work in partnership across organisational and policy boundaries. It should start by considering the diversity of individuals' experiences, wants and needs.

Involve people in decision making.

There is a renewed emphasis on public engagement, co-design and participation. People want to be meaningfully involved in making decisions about how local services are planned and run, how money is spent and to be able to volunteer to provide local services. Lived experience should be central to policy making.

“Throughout our Covid-19 engagement, disabled people have emphasised that participation and having their voices heard are vital to driving forwards all the other progress we need to see.”

Social Renewal Advisory Board - Deep Dive with Disabled People

Be evidence driven.

The pandemic has shown weaknesses in our data. The recovery should be driven by real time data on the economic and social impacts of the pandemic for all groups to ensure the right interventions are targeted at the right individuals, places and sectors.

Covid-19 has shone a light on and magnified inequalities in society

There are differences between groups in:

Exposure: occupation, living circs, behaviours

Vulnerability: physical and mental health, age, ethnicity

Adherence: understanding, financial and other factors

Vaccine uptake: cultural, beliefs, access, priorities

Impacts of (repeated) restrictions: on income, education; by area

Access to resources: digital, emotional, financial, space

All on top of existing inequalities – longstanding and pervasive These need to be addressed as part of recovery – both to mitigate current harm and prevent growing inequality in the future

The wider impacts of the pandemic have been borne unequally with the profound implications for recovery

Unequal outcomes between different groups already existed pre COVID, and the effects of the pandemic have worsened this.

The pandemic has produced disproportionate impacts across a range of outcomes. These include:

    • households on low incomes or in poverty,
    • women
    • low-paid workers,
    • children and young people,
    • older people,
    • disabled people,
    • minority ethnic groups

These groups also overlap, which may compound the impacts for some.

Stakeholder engagement over the summer

 “Lack of financial security has been a key factor in conferring more risk from Covid infection for families who live in poverty.”

Dr Carey Lunan, Deep End GP and former Chair RCGP

“Homeworking and the move to digital delivery of work ha​s benefited some disabled people while making life harder for others – one size fits all responses should be avoided as we rebuild public services.”

Heather Fisken, Interim Chair, Inclusion Scotland

Further themes recognised in these sessions include:

  • The need to address structural inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic.
  • The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, sole parents, children with complex needs, disabled people and those from ethic minority communities.
  • The need to talk about families not systems and the participation of people accessing services in the redesign of services to meet their needs was echoed throughout the research.
  • Recovery presents an opportunity to do things differently, to reshape and improve public services.

Recovery for those most adversely affected focused on four key priorities

Financial security for low income households:

  • Reducing of costs of living
  • Maximising income from social security/benefits in kind
  • Increading income from unemployment

Good, green jobs and fair work:

  • Job creation: New, high quality, green jobs
  • Employability support: Accessible jobs for all

Wellbeing of children and young people:

  • Family support
  • Conditions for good mental health and wellbeing a population level

Public services recovery, redesign and renewal:

  • Recovery plans for NHS, Education and Justice. Principle: Services should be person centred and targeted to those most in need.
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