COVID-19: preparing for a sustainable future using lessons from tackling the mental health needs of NHS clinical staff

By Karen Taylor and Krissie Ferris, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions


This week, 18-24 May, is Mental Health Awareness week, aimed at encouraging people to talk about and take action to promote good mental health for all. The theme this year is ‘kindness’ to reflect the impact that acts of kindness can have on improving mental health.1 One area where acts of kindness have proliferated during the COVID-19 pandemic has been in the public’s acknowledgement and appreciation of the work of NHS staff. While this has undoubtedly helped boost morale, there is increasing evidence that the pandemic is taking its toll on the mental health of clinical staff. In recognition of these heightened risks, NHS employers at both national and local level, have used Mental Health Awareness week to raise the profile of, and signpost staff to, the numerous mental health initiatives that have been put in place to address their needs. This week’s blog explores the actions taken to protect and support the mental health of staff during the current pandemic, what more can be done to maintain staff resilience, and the lessons that can be built upon to ensure that the NHS has a sustainable future.

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Posted on 22/05/2020 | 0 Comments

Florence Nightingale’s enduring legacy

By Karen Taylor, Director, Centre for Health Solutions


Tuesday 12 May was International Nurses Day, celebrating the contribution nurses make to society. It was also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, best-known for her pioneering work in raising the standards of nursing and educating nurses on good hygiene practices.1 Today her influence has been recognised in the name given to the newly-created Nightingale Hospitals – established in major UK cities. However, my admiration of the Florence Nightingale legacy began in early 2000s when I began a series of investigations into hospital acquired infections (HAIs). This week’s blog explains how Florence Nightingale’s passion as a statistician and health reformer influenced my work and why this is still relevant today.

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Posted on 15/05/2020 | 0 Comments

Accelerating the race for a vaccine for COVID-19 –from a marathon to a sprint

By Karen Taylor, Director, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions


The London Marathon was meant to take place on Sunday, April 26, but was postponed until October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was a great disappointment to the 40,000 people intending to take part, as well as the thousands of charities that the runners were raising money for. In its place social media launched a 2.6 challenge campaign urging the public to run, walk, cycle or skip over 2.6 miles, 26 minutes or even 26 miles in the garden. The challenge went viral and within two days over £6.6 million had been raised. Feeling humbled by the efforts of so many people got us thinking about another important race that we are all invested in, the race to find an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Serendipitously, this past week was World Immunisation Week. Consequently, this blog provides a progress report on the race to develop a vaccine and why, despite the race being more of a sprint than a marathon, the prospect of a reliable vaccine for use in the general population is still some 18 months away.1

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Posted on 04/05/2020 | 0 Comments

COVID-19: How is your healthcare board coping?

By the Deloitte Board Advisory Practice


As a non-executive director on an NHS Trust Board I know first-hand the speed and effectiveness with which my Board has adopted new ways of working. I have personally been humbled and awed by how our executives have responded. However, it always helpful to understand what other Boards are doing so I’m pleased to be able to feature as our blog this week this article from my colleagues in our Deloitte Board Advisory practice.

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Posted on 30/04/2020 | 0 Comments

From evolution to revolution: COVID-19’s impact on the general practice consultation model

By Arvind Madan, Co-founder of eConsult, Practicing GP and Deloitte senior advisor and primary care lead


In February, we published our report ‘Realising digital-first primary care: Shaping the future of UK healthcare’, discussing the current state, challenges and potential of digital transformation in general practice. We also featured eight good practice case examples with evidence of how technology was helping clinicians manage their workloads more effectively, and improving access and support for patients. One such example is eConsult, co-founded by our colleague Dr Arvind Madan, who is a senior advisor and primary care lead for our Deloitte Public Sector Health practice, and who was also an advisor on our report. As part of our follow-up, we have been catching up on all of our case examples to understand the changes they have experienced in the weeks following the WHO’s declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic on 11 March. This week’s blog follows our previous blog, COVID-19: Accelerating digital transformation in healthcare1, and provides a first-hand account from Dr Madan on how the GP online evolution has become a revolution.

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Posted on 24/04/2020 | 0 Comments

The Indian pharmaceutical industry: a time of transition

By Pratik Avhad, Senior Analyst, Insight


From being nowhere on the global pharmaceutical (pharma) map in 1970 to playing key role in delivering high-quality and affordable generic drugs worldwide, the Indian pharma industry has come a long way. In the first blog of our series on the ‘pharmacy of the world’, we looked at the factors behind its evolution and highlighted some of the recent domestic and international challenges which have resulted in a period of more volatile and somewhat stagnant growth. This blog explores new initiatives that the industry has embarked on to tackle these challenges and kick-start growth.

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Posted on 17/04/2020 | 0 Comments

COVID-19 testing: how it works and why we need it urgently

By Karen Taylor, Director, and Maria João Cruz, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), rapid testing of patients who meet the suspected case definition for COVID-19 is a priority for determining the clinical management and policy response to control the outbreak.1 Diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is critical to track the spread of this novel virus, understand its epidemiology, inform health managers of each case, and suppress transmission.2 Currently, different countries have implemented different testing strategies, depending on the availability of diagnostics kits and reagents, and on the capacity and capability of the healthcare system. However, there has been a global call to increase the speed and capacity for testing to help isolate cases and flatten the peak. This week’s blog explores the importance of testing, what tests can be done and which are already available.

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Posted on 09/04/2020 | 0 Comments

Who will win the race to develop an effective treatment for COVID-19

By Karen Taylor, Director, Centre for Health Solutions


Our previous reports have highlighted the increasing number of innovations that have led to life-saving and life-enhancing clinical treatments and how, over the past 30 or so years, healthcare has moved from treating infectious or communicable diseases to managing a ‘tidal wave’ of complex age and behaviour related, non-communicable, diseases.1 This transition was made possible by the development and widespread use of vaccines and antibiotics which dramatically reduced the prevalence and improved outcomes for most infectious diseases. Today, this scenario has been turned on its head as people across the world face the unrelenting human and economic impact from a novel, infectious, coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (named COVID-19 disease). On 11th March the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and the biopharma industry is now in a race to develop both preventive and therapeutic interventions.

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Posted on 06/04/2020 | 0 Comments

COVID-19: Accelerating digital transformation in healthcare

By Karen Taylor and Krissie Ferris, Centre for Health Solutions


The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a human tragedy, affecting billions of citizens and millions of healthcare staff across the world. The UK Government’s healthcare response has largely been focussed on helping the NHS’s to manage, as far as possible, the predicted increase in hospital demand. This includes social distancing and lockdowns to minimise the spread of infections; building more hospital capacity; and procuring the diagnostic, personal protection equipment and treatments to deal with those who do become infected. Meanwhile, healthcare providers are having to re-consider how best to meet the needs of patients who fear they may have COVID-19, as well as the many others who require new and ongoing support, advice and treatments, while at the same time reducing the need for face to face consultations. As a result, many providers are rapidly embracing digital technologies to triage, support and, where possible, treat patients remotely and help clinicians work more effectively.

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Posted on 03/04/2020 | 0 Comments

The Indian pharmaceutical industry: The ‘pharmacy of the world’?

By Pratik Avhad, Senior Analyst, Insight


The Indian pharmaceutical (pharma) industry has an annual revenue of US$38 billion – globally it’s the third largest in the world by volume and 11th by value. It comprises over 3,000 pharma companies and 10,500 manufacturing facilities. It also produces drugs at around a third of the US costs and half of the European costs. Moreover, Indian pharma companies supply around 20 per cent of the worlds’ generics and 50 per cent of its vaccines.1,2 This is the first of three blogs exploring the past, present and future of the Indian pharma market. This first blog examines the evolution of the industry, with subsequent ones exploring the transformations now underway, and the likely future for the industry.

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Posted on 20/03/2020 | 0 Comments

Fem-Tech: where health and technology meet to transform the future of women's healthcare

By Krissie Ferris, Research Analyst, Centre for Health Solutions


As demonstrated in our recent report, ‘Realising digital-first primary care: Shaping the future of UK healthcare’, digital technology is transforming everyone’s relationship with healthcare. It is improving our access to health information and advice, helping us to connect more readily with healthcare professionals, and enabling us to track and manage our own health and wellbeing. However, to date, when it comes to women’s health, innovations have historically been underfunded and under supported. This is set to change with the rise of ‘FemTech’, an umbrella term for wearables, smartphone apps, diagnostics and other products designed to enhance women’s health and wellbeing. In recognition of last Sunday’s International Women’s Day, this week’s blog highlights why increasing investment in FemTech innovation is set to pay dividends!

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Posted on 13/03/2020 | 0 Comments