COVID-19 Rapid Evaluation overview of findings
Sharing our findings
It's hard to convey the significance of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. For the NHS the changes were rapid, substantial and continual. Some services were paused, some continued with significant changes and new services were created; all of these changes happened almost overnight. At it’s core the changes that were made were about people; the wards set up overnight, the extra hours worked by teams, the people suddenly faced with working alone from home, those who carried on caring whilst facing the unknown and of course, to the people we do it for - those within our care.
Our COVID-19 Rapid Evaluation was about capturing and learning from those changes by understanding the experience of those living through it.
As the repercussions of the pandemic continue to be felt across the NHS and its people, we hope that we’ve been able to capture and tell the Solent story so far. We also hope that these stories can inform how we adapt and change, how we work and how we deliver our care as we go forward.
Background to our evaluation
On 11th March 2020 The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. New self-isolation measures were announced by the Prime Minister (PM) as well as a stark message that "many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time". Images from an overwhelmed Italy filled the media, a country already in a nationwide lockdown and forewarning the dangers of a beleaguered healthcare system.
Following in Italy’s footsteps, on the 16th March the UK PM announced that there would be a nationwide lockdown in order to reduce the spread and transmission of COVID-19. In the PM’s first daily briefing it was announced that people should stop all non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel.
Solent had been preparing for a response to COVID-19 since January, when the virus first entered the UK, and the announcement on the 16th March 2020 marked a sudden and drastic change. For Solent, alongside every other health and social care provider in the UK, the announcement instigated the beginning of a rapid response in order to adapt to the changing needs of people within our care.
The importance of capturing the story of our response and of learning from it was clear; we set about planning a rapid evaluation, and started this in early April. The level of take up and engagement with the evaluation was a testament to the learning organisation that Solent has become. The summary of our findings are wide reaching, and come in many forms.
In summary, what have we learnt?
Our evaluation suggested that people need a ‘Community of Support’ that comes from both leadership and team peers, and is based on four key principles; safety, autonomy, trust and compassion. With these well established, front-line teams and individuals felt empowered to adapt and find innovative and positive solutions to the many challenges they faced. This will apply well beyond the pandemic.