Coronavirus (COVID-19) initial health and social care response: lessons identified

The report is intended as an illustrative, rather than comprehensive, examination of the response during March to September 2020. The report highlights examples of good practice and also cross cutting themes for further improvement.

2. Background and Context

Covid-19 is the most significant global healthcare crisis in a century. While the speed and scale of the pandemic, and the response to it, has been remarkable, the impacts and changes caused will be profound and long-lasting.

Health and care systems around the world have borne the full brunt of Covid-19 and Scotland is no different. The pandemic has upended normal operations, backlogging an estimated 28 million procedures globally, exposed system and supply chain limitations, tested the physical and mental limits of health and Social Care workers and caused rapid adoption of digital solutions. Despite these extraordinary challenges, there are also opportunities to drive positive change through these difficult times.

Until a vaccine is effectively deployed across populations, health and care systems will need new ways of working to respond to these pressures as they move from crisis reaction through resilience, recovery and into the post-pandemic new reality. Covid-19 also has the potential to accelerate existing transformational changes that were already under way in more mature health and care organisations, and move us towards a new reality for health and care at a much faster pace than previously anticipated.

Covid-19 has had, and is still proving to have, a profound impact on Scottish society in 2020 and 2021, lending particular strain on health and Social Care services. By virtue of the ever-changing challenge posed by Covid-19, it remains crucial to take the opportunity to reflect on the lessons which can be learned from Covid-19 planning and response to date. Without suitable reflection and adaptation of approach, there is a risk whereby mistakes are repeated and/or successful lessons are not shared at scale to the benefit of the whole population.



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