Lean, light and agile: governance and regulation in the aftermath of COVID-19

How the NHS can hold on to the lean, agile and transformative culture developed during the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of reduced bureaucracy.

26 August 2020

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The COVID-19 crisis has required the NHS to operate differently. In days and weeks, our members – commissioners and providers across the healthcare sector – have transformed clinical practice on a scale that would ordinarily take several months and years.

Change happened at an extraordinary pace in every part of the health and care system, built from the bottom up by leaders who united around the shared challenges presented by the pandemic. This was facilitated, in no small part, by the removal of various bureaucratic stumbling blocks that have previously hindered progress, including in improving patient care.

As we move into the next phase of the pandemic and prepare for winter, healthcare leaders are keen to reflect on and learn from their experiences and develop a new and different regulatory environment. This report reflects the discussions, roundtables and webinars held with front line health leaders and partners, including the Care Quality Commission, since the start of the crisis, exploring the learning and what it means for a fundamental reset of governance and regulation in the NHS.

It tackles some of the burning questions of this period: how do we hold on to the lean, agile and transformative culture the NHS has developed during the pandemic as a result of reduced bureaucracy? What should governance and regulation look like in the future? And what changes do healthcare leaders want to see within organisations and the wider health and care system?

Download the report and read our letter to the Secretary of State on next steps for NHS regulation.

About NHS Reset

NHS Reset is an NHS Confederation campaign to shape what the health and care system should look like in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognising the sacrifices and achievements of the COVID-19 period, it brings together NHS Confederation members and partners to look at how we rebuild local systems and reset the way we plan, commission and deliver health and care.

Find out more about the campaign.

NHS Reset is part funded through sponsorship by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.