NHS leaders have sometimes been “shouting into the void” about their fears of the health service being overwhelmed by Covid because of the absence of a single national command centre for the pandemic response, a new report argues.
The Tony Blair Institute for Global Change has published a report which recommends short and long term actions for dealing with Covid and future health emergencies.
It says the government should have previously, and should now, set up “a national centre for response” to have overriding national responsibility for managing Covid and future crises.
The government should also shift away from traditional methods of communication, to instead listen to “communities… beliefs and fears” about Covid, and adjust messages to respond to these.
The report has been authored by the institute’s head of health Henry Dowlen, who was seconded to work on several pandemic projects such as a setting up a Nightingale Hospital and coordinating regional and national response work.
He said that if government did not change course then the NHS, along with other services and parts of society, would remain in a “vicious cycle” of operational problems.
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Source: HSJ, 20 July 2022