Healthcare in Thoughts from the Centre

Why COVID-19 risks undermining initiatives to reduce the global threat of antimicrobial resistance

By Samrina Bhatti, MRPharmS, PGDipGPP, Manager, Centre for Health Solutions


The growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is widely acknowledged as an urgent public health challenge, causing at least 700,000 deaths globally every year.1 AMR also presents serious financial threats in healthcare costs and productivity losses.2 Although COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, a growing body of international evidence shows that the global threat of AMR is worsening due to the fact that many patients with COVID-19 symptoms are being prescribed antibiotics partly due to uncertainty about the pathology of the infection; and as a precaution in preventing and treating secondary bacterial infections.3

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Posted on 10/07/2020 | 0 Comments

Why improving the immune health of vulnerable populations would help reduce the impact of COVID-19

By Francesca Properzi, PhD, Research Manager, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions


The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have serious and far reaching consequences for the health and wealth of our population. As countries begin to move into the recovery phase, there is an urgent need to learn the lessons from local, national and international responses. A critical feature of the past four months has been an explosion in the scientific data and literature exploring how and why the pandemic has evolved and what impact is it having. This data suggest the virus is highly discriminatory and that in addition to the underlying health and age of individuals, deprivation and population density are crucial causes of higher mortality rates. What is currently less evident are insights on what we could have done to be better prepared and how we can be better prepared next time? This week’s blog provides ‘my take’ on how improving the immune health of vulnerable populations has a pivotal role to play.

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Posted on 03/07/2020 | 0 Comments

Will COVID-19 bring us to the future of health sooner than we expected?

By Steve Burrill, vice chairman, US Health Care Leader, Deloitte LLP


This week we wanted to share with you one of the insightful blogs from our colleague in the US on the impact that COVID-19 is having on their healthcare system; and which first appeared as a US Center for Health Solutions ‘Health Forward’ blog on 28 May. While the image of empty hospitals, healthcare job losses and funding challenges aren’t things we expect to see in the UK, the description of the reality of the past three months for healthcare staff on the front-line, and how to address the growing backlog of deferred medical services, does resonate. Moreover the main thrust of the blog, on the four key areas of healthcare that COVID-19 is likely to change in the ‘future of health’, is something we do expect to see happening across the UK and Europe and, likewise, we expect this to happen much more quickly than we might previously have predicted.

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Posted on 19/06/2020 | 0 Comments

COVID-19: Catalysing digital transformation across pharmacy

By Samrina Bhatti, MRPharmS, PGDipGPP, Manager, Centre for Health Solutions


COVID-19 has been a powerful stimulus in catalysing the use of technology. This has led to digital technologies becoming embedded more than ever in our everyday lives and, importantly, within healthcare roles. As a result, the digitalisation of healthcare practices and the amount of data held within electronic health records is growing exponentially. However, we are still catching up on methods of optimising the use of all of this data and generating actionable insights. As a pharmacist who has worked both locally and nationally, I have seen the positive effects that increased digitalisation can have on prescribing and administration practices.

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Posted on 05/06/2020 | 0 Comments

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

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

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