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How will COVID-19 change the NHS?

How will the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak impact on the long-term future of the NHS in England? Watch Sally Warren explain more.
The NHS in England is currently facing a challenge the like of which has not been seen in living memory. The challenge will change over time and eventually we will begin the process of returning to normality – even if that may well turn out to be a new normal and not the world we left in February 2020.
The pandemic will be felt differently across health and care, from the emergency services to elective care, from physical health to mental health and from public health, through primary care and all the way to social care. For many this challenge has been added to those from the past: staff shortages are not new and the COVID-19 outbreak and the response to it is likely to impact on them in ways it is currently hard to foresee. The NHS is also responding in ways which mean that progress on pre-existing policy ambitions may be met sooner. In this video Sally Warren, Director of Policy at The King’s Fund, provides an overview on how the COVID-19 will impact the NHS in the long-term.

Want to know more about how the NHS is responding to COVID-19?

As the situation with COVID-19 develops and changes, we will be updating this step with additional resources and further reading from The King’s Fund.
Critical care services in the NHS
Critical care capacity has been described as ‘the number to watch’ during the COVID-19 outbreak. This explainer looks at critical care capacity in England, how critical care units work and how they are staffed.
The NHS in a nutshell: the number of hospital beds
A shift in national policy towards providing care outside of hospital has seen a reduction in the number of hospital beds. However, more recently there has been growing concern that this has gone too far and we now don’t have enough hospital beds. How has the number of hospital beds in England changed over time and how does this compare to other countries?
How is general practice responding to the COVID-19 outbreak?
The pictures of the amazing transformation of the London ExCel Centre into NHS Nightingale exemplify some of the incredible large-scale changes happening across the health service to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This blog highlights some of the amazing, less easily photographed, innovations happening in general practice, which has transformed itself in the space of just a few weeks.
Integrating health and social care in the COVID-19 response
This blog explores how the response to the COVID-19 outbreak has shown examples of real community spirit and collaboration, as well as revealing some deep-rooted differences between the NHS and social care sector.
Capitalising on the offer of help – volunteering in the COVID-19 crisis
The number of people stepping up to volunteer during the COVID-19 outbreak has hit the headlines, but what role are they playing? This blog looks at how volunteers are currently supporting the COVID-19 response and what this might mean for volunteering in future.

Want some practical support and advice during this period?

The King’s Fund resources below were created to support NHS leaders but we also hope that they may be helpful for others too.
Managing anxiety about loss
This short article provides some practical advice on managing your anxiety around loss, not only of people but also routines, peace of mind and identity too.
Managing your energy
Taking time out for self-care is important for managing and maintaining your energy during times of crisis. This short article outlines four principles to bear in mind.
Leading virtual meetings
Leading virtually can seem challenging, but a few basic technical and human skills will help you to engage with colleagues and ensure your virtual meetings are productive.
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The NHS Explained: How the Health System in England Really Works

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