Economic and social recovery

Social and economic recovery

The COVID-19 health emergency is anticipated to leave a social and economic downturn in its wake. Health services have a vital role to play in the wider recovery and rebuilding of local economies and communities – driving up prosperity, population health and wellbeing. 

This theme will support, promote and facilitate better understanding of the health service’s crucial role in economic and social recovery. 

The impact of COVID-19 will reverberate through communities on a previously unimaginable scale, requiring sustained action from national and local leaders across every sector. The typical impacts of a deep recession on health and wellbeing are relatively well known, with significant implications for the tax-based financing of the NHS, increases in demand for a range of services and a general decline in the mental health and wellbeing of the population. 

The anticipated COVID-19 recession will be untypical given the rapid speed of unemployment, unprecedented extent of UK and devolved government intervention and scale of industrial damage. With the UK already one of the most regionally imbalanced countries in the OECD, our ability to narrow existing inequalities will be severely stretched.
An important part of the NHS Reset campaign is recognising that the health service across the UK will have an important role to play in the wider recovery and rebuilding of local economies and communities. 

In particular, this will involve transforming public service planning and delivery throughout a time of unprecedented economic and social disruption – pushing the service to understand its impact and value as local anchor organisations well beyond traditional sectoral boundaries. And using the greater system approach now emerging to drive up population health and wellbeing. 

While this will certainly bring challenges for leaders, there are opportunities for a more focused ‘health and wellbeing in all policies’ approach to future decision making nationally. And new and innovative local partnerships focused on issues such as workforce and supply chain development, community working and population health. 

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