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Health Adviser is an industry publication, produced by DAC Beachcroft, providing insight, foresight and thought-provoking features and articles that provide practical solutions for the issues of the day, for health and social care professionals.
For going on two years, our sector has found itself at the epicentre of a pandemic that has dominated lives and news headlines the world over. In the process, it has thrown into question many of the norms and ‘rules’ of daily life which we had become accustomed to.
Thanks to the deft response of healthcare workers on the frontline, and the collaborative spirit which has endured throughout the crisis, we are now at a stage where people are able to enjoy the return of greater freedoms. The current prognosis, however, comes with a healthy dose of caution.
Efforts to combat new variants and develop our understanding of COVID’s long-term medical effects continue apace, while the global vaccination rollout has seen more than 5 billion doses administered worldwide. With one eye on sustaining these efforts, and one eye fixed on the future, we find ourselves at a crossroads for healthcare service provision.
With that in mind, this issue of Health Adviser is focused on the theme of ‘transformation’ in healthcare.
Transformation should always be the goal in the wake of a turbulent period. Many issues have taken deeper root, or been highlighted more prominently, and these must be dealt with accordingly. Inequalities have widened, and pre-existing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts must be redoubled to close those gaps. Mental health demand has soared due to social and economic uncertainty, and delivery of care must continue to adapt in order to meet that demand.
Across the sector, improvements have been made which must not be undone. From the discovery of new efficiencies in everyday working methods, to greater appreciation of the power of local autonomy to drive population health management, and a reassessment of what cross-border healthcare service looks like, progress abounds.
Part of this progress comes down to non-healthcare professionals, with expertise and innovation flooding into the sector to meet rising demand. Innovators and dealmakers have been kept busy as existing healthcare services and new healthtech solutions attract investor attention and in turn contribute to economic recovery.
On the governance side, a new era of regulation awaits. This new era is built not only on the fundamental principles of standard-setting, risk assessment and safety, but on regulators being a positive and complementary guiding force for transformation through culture change and achieving a sense of common cause.
As emergency frameworks continue to make way for more sustainable roadmaps for reset and recovery, committed action towards that common cause is what will bind us to ensure that healthcare emerges from disruption stronger than ever. At DACB we continue to work hard to support our clients to so that they do emerge stronger, and to help shape the future of health and social care. We must not forget, and should never underestimate that, our ability to transform delivery translates to an ability to transform lives.
Nigel Montgomery, Head of Health
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