New ways of working and delivering care

The challenge of COVID-19 has compelled the NHS to make the best use of our people’s skills and experience, to provide the best possible patient care. People have risen to the challenge and have been flexible and adaptable – with many colleagues rapidly brought into services outside of their normal scope of practice, and new teams created around people’s experience and capabilities rather than traditional roles.

Successes in teams were made possible by good communication, high levels of trust, distributed leadership, and rapid decision making, as bureaucracy fell away and people felt empowered to do what was needed. Teams also blurred sector boundaries, with greater collaborative working with colleagues in social care. We must all now build on this momentum to transform the way our teams, organisations and systems work together, and how care is delivered for patients.

A remote ‘Ask the Medical Reg’ service was run by doctors unable to work in face-to-face contact for a number of reasons. This was a 24-hour service for GPs, surgical doctors and paramedics to call for help and support, follow-up of results of discharged patients, and so on, to ease the workload of the medical registrar on call, managing issues that require face-to-face contact. It worked really well.

Hospital doctor, South West