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COVID-19: The recovery

What the future holds


How can this information help?

To help us and you understand more about the virus, its impact and the future then we have collated, and will continue to, a range of data sources, literature and information that helps us all to respond in the most appropriate way possible.

We will endeavour to keep the information up to date and adding new and relevant content. If you are aware of additional information or feel we could develop the page then please get in touch wirralintelligenceservice@wirral.gov.uk

COVID-19 Data      COVID-19 Impacts

 

The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy (July 2020)

  • Our local outbreak plan gives an overview of how we will work to Keep Wirral well.

  • It  describes what action will be taken and how resources will be used. 

  • The Plan is based on our three key principles to prevent, control and manage outbreaks of COVID-19.

  • It will continue to develop, reflecting the changing nature of the virus, its progression and other local factors.

How should the world pay for a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • This Office for Health Economics (OHE) paper (which accompanied the 2020 OHE annual lecture presented on 25 June 2020) reviews the challenges that vaccine development and scaling of manufacture will face and argues that there are two requirements to mobilise investment to get the vaccines we need.

Determining the optimal strategy for reopening schools, the impact of test and trace interventions, and the risk of occurrence of a second COVID-19 epidemic wave in the UK: a modelling study (August 2020)

  • In this Lancet study, they aimed to use an individual-based model to predict the impact of two possible strategies for reopening schools to all students in the UK from September, 2020, in combination with different assumptions about relaxation of physical distancing measures and the scale-up of testing.

Resuming health services during the COVID-19 pandemic: what can the NHS learn from other countries?

  • This briefing looks at the approaches other countries around the world have taken in dealing with the pandemic. It considers what might be learnt from the approaches used internationally, and how long it might take to fully recover.

NHS test and trace: how it works


Efficacy of contact tracing for the containment of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • Contact tracing is a central public health response to infectious disease outbreaks, especially in the early stages of an outbreak when specific treatments are limited. 

  • Importation of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) from China and elsewhere into the UK highlights the need to understand the impact of contact tracing as a control measure. 

  • This research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that the current contact tracing strategy within the UK (as at July 2020) is likely to identify a sufficient proportion of infected individuals such that subsequent spread could be prevented, although the ultimate success will depend on the rapid detection of cases and isolation of contacts.

  • The paper goes on to say that given the burden of tracing a large number of contacts to find new cases, there is the potential the system could be overwhelmed if imports of infection occur at a rapid rate.

Working together for a healthier post-Covid future (November 2020)

Elective care in England: assessing the impact of Covid-19 and where next (November 2020)

  • This Health Foundation analysis shows there were 4.7 million fewer people referred for routine hospital care – such as hip, knee and cataract surgery – between January and August 2020 than during the same period in 2019

  • This represents a potential hidden backlog of unmet care needs.

A critical juncture for public services: lessons from Covid-19 (November 2020)

  • This Public Services Committee report discusses lessons to be learnt from the pandemic and recommends a number of principles to transform public service delivery.

  • It finds that decisions were made much more quickly and concludes that many public service providers and councils developed 'remarkable innovations' to meet the Covid-19 challenge.

  • However, the Committee raises concerns about public service provision during the pandemic for black, Asian and minority ethnic people and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people, homeless people, and people with complex needs.

GP premises survey: post Covid-19 (October 2020)

  • With the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic disrupting many patients’ access to GP services, this Patients Association survey investigated what patients felt about their GP’s premises, and whether they would be confident to return to them.

  • It found ongoing high levels of confidence about visiting GP premises, and a strong expectation among patients that they would feel welcome, confident, and safe on future visits.

  • The survey responses also shed further light on patients’ access to GP services during the pandemic, with many being offered phone consultations, and relatively few getting online video calls. For a substantial minority of patients, online contact was not sufficient to resolve their issue, and they needed to make an in-person visit.

Covid-19 insights: impact on workforce skills

  • This Skills for Health report confirms that the pandemic has had wider than expected consequences on the NHS and health and care workforce that will continue to significantly influence service delivery for some time to come.

  • The findings show that following three months of extreme change in the sector, organisations suffered severe skills loss.

  • The report highlights the critical issues that contributed to this, with the aim of supporting the sector to rebuild and reset for a sustainable future, both now and in the long term.

Beyond COVID: New thinking on the future of adult social care

How fit were public services for coronavirus? 

Resilient health and care: learning the lessons of COVID-19 in the English NHS

NHS Reset Report - Planning for the next Phase of COVID-19

  • As part of NHS Confederations NHS Reset campaignthis report outlines the key challenges that local organisations will face over the coming months.

  • It also suggests some changes in policy and practice that will be required as the NHS prepares to restart a wide range of services either paused or stopped when the pandemic struck.

Preparing for a challenging winter 2020/21 (July 2020)

  • This report by the Academy of Medical Sciences states that the UK must prepare now for a potential new wave of coronavirus infections this winter that could be more serious than the first.

  • It stresses that ‘intense preparation’ is urgently needed throughout the rest of July and August to reduce the risk of the health service being overwhelmed and to save lives this winter.

  • The accompanying People's perspective report calls for these actions to be developed through engagement with patients, carers and the public to ensure services, guidelines and communications work for people, rather than focusing plans on individual medical conditions.

Rebuilding the NHS: resetting outpatient services for the 21st century in the context of COVID-19 (July 2020)

  • In this document the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), together with the Royal College of General Practitioners, set out principles and recommendations for the reset of outpatient services.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated that the NHS can adapt quickly and presents an opportunity to reset outpatient services.

Beneficial innovations from COVID-19 (July 2020)

  • This report is a response to a request from NHS England and NHS Improvement for examples of beneficial innovations across the NHS that have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and should be retained as the NHS starts to resume business as usual.

  • British Geriatrics Society members contributed examples of innovations that have been implemented in their areas.

Surviving the Pandemic: New challenges for Adult Social Care and the Social Care Market 

  • For the past decade there has been a continuing appeal from the adult social care sector that it is underfunded and that it is on the brink of collapse.

  • This Institute of Public Care discussion paper looks at how councils have avoided the predicted collapse over the period of austerity and explores new problems that have emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • How can the care provider sector survive after the pandemic?

How to improve the health and wellbeing of the UK population: devolution and reform of health and social care

  • This report by ResPublica, which was largely completed before the COVID-19 outbreak, aims to provide comprehensive and actionable recommendations for the reform of health and social care.

  • It looks at the role of individual circumstances in determining health outcomes, the operational measures that can improve patient outcomes, and population health and the need to streamline responsibilities so it is clear who is accountable for performance.

The road to renewal: five priorities for health and care

  • This Kings Fund long read sets out five priorities to help guide the approach to renewal across health and care based upon the experiences of COVID-19.

What next for the NHS? NHS Providers (June 2020)

  • report by NHS Providers, based on the first full survey of NHS trust leaders since COVID-19 started, highlights the scale of the challenge ahead as the NHS recovers from the first peak of the virus. 

Capturing beneficial change from the Covid-19 pandemic: response from the British Geriatrics Society (July 2020)

  • This report is a response to a request from NHS England and NHS Improvement for examples of beneficial innovations across the NHS that have been implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and should be retained as the NHS starts to resume business as usual.

  • BGS members contributed examples of innovations that have been implemented in their areas.

General practice in the post COVID-19 world: challenges and opportunities for general practice (Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) July 2020)

  • This report calls on the four governments of the UK to each produce a comprehensive plan to support GPs in managing the longer-term effects of COVID-19 in the community.

  • The RCGP says the plans should contain:

    • costed proposals for additional funding for general practice;

    • solutions for how the current GP workforce capacity can manage new and pre-existing pressures;

    • commitments to continue the reduction in regulatory burdens and ‘red tape’, which has enabled GPs to spend more time on frontline patient care during the pandemic; a systematic approach for identifying those patients who are likely to require primary care support; and

    • proposals for how health inequalities will be minimised to ensure all patients have access to the necessary post-COVID-19 care.

Learning from lockdown: Priorities for the future (September 2020)

  • Latest research and insight from Ageing Better and its partners on the impact of COVID-19 on people approaching later life.

  • COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts on every age group in the UK.

  • But older adults have been most affected by the virus, with the vast majority of deaths among people aged 50 and over. And with nearly a third of key workers over 50.

  • This report gives clear guidance for central government, local government and other private, public and voluntary sector organisations on how to significantly improve the prospects of those currently in their 50s and 60s, who make up around a quarter of the population in England – over 14 million people.

  • We need a combined focus on improving health resilience and maximising the potential of 50-70 year olds to support economic recovery and growth.

  • This group, as we will see, are at risk of financial insecurity and experiencing longer periods in poor health.

  • Actions taken for this group now will benefit society as a whole.

COVID-19: What do we know about “long covid”? (BMJ Feature July 2020)

  • “Long covid” is a term being used to describe illness in people who have either recovered from COVID-19 but are still report lasting effects of the infection or have had the usual symptoms for far longer than would be expected.

  • Many people, including doctors who have been infected, have shared their anecdotal experiences on social media, in the traditional media, and through patients’ groups.

  • The article suggests that aside from anecdotal evidence, there is as yet little research on this issue. However, it is being actively discussed within the research community.

    • Writing in JAMA, a team of researchers from Italy reported that nearly nine in 10 patients (87%) discharged from a Rome hospital after recovering from covid-19 were still experiencing at least one symptom 60 days after onset. 

    • Although none of the patients had fever or any signs or symptoms of acute illness, many still reported fatigue (53%), dyspnoea (43%), joint pain (27%), and chest pain (22%).

    • Two fifths of patients reported a worsened quality of life.

Mental health for all? The final report of the Commission for Equality in Mental Health (November 2020)

  • Inequalities in health, including mental health, have been highlighted in national reports for at least 40 years.
  • The Commission for Equality in Mental Health was set up to explore what causes mental health inequalities, what perpetuates them, and what might help to break the cycle.
  • Mental health for all?, the final report of the Commission, says that inequalities which have for too long been accepted or ignored can and should be reduced, through concerted action nationally and locally.

Next steps for funding mental healthcare in England: prevention (September 2020)

  • The RCPsych has identified four areas that must be fully and sustainably resourced if access to the quality of mental health services in England that has been promised by the government is to be realised.
  • These are:
    • infrastructure;
    • prevention;
    • people; and
    • technology.
  • This paper focuses on prevention and considers the next steps for funding mental health care in England, with a specific focus on public health and prevention, promoting resilience in social care, and budgeting for workforce growth, education and training.

NHS Reset: Mental health services and COVID-19: preparing for the rising tide

  • Mental health services have faced unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19. They quickly and effectively moved to different ways of working to protect service users and staff.

  • As we move to the next phase of the pandemic, NHS Confederation expect demand for mental health support to increase and to remain high for some time.

  • This will have serious implications on resourcing and staff wellbeing. This NHS Confederation report from the NHS Reset campaign considers what mental health services need to prepare for the expected surge in demand.

  • It also highlights how the health and care system can 'reset' the way care and support are planned and delivered in aftermath of COVID-19.

COVID-19 and the nation’s mental health Forecasting needs and risks in the UK: May 2020

  • This briefing seeks to use evidence from existing research about the likely impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the UK population.

  • It draws on published evidence to make projections about the potential impacts and which groups within the population face the highest risks to their mental health as a result of the crisis.

Mental health care in the time of COVID-19 (July 2020)

  • This Kings Fund opinion piece, reflects on the experiences of staff and people with mental health problems during the first months of COVID-19, and urges mental health services to learn from those experiences to plan for the future.

Childhood during coronavirus: protecting children from the effects of poverty (September 2020)

  • This report presents findings from an analysis of applications submitted to Action for Children's Emergency Fund.
  • It reflects on the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic for children and families and in doing so, the report also considers the recovery measures needed to ensure that children are supported to thrive – both now, and in the months and years ahead.

What Next? Priorities for Britain (September 2020)

Demos are reporting that a nationally representative poll of over 10,000 people from Renew Normal: the People’s Commission on Life After COVID-19 has looked at the impact the pandemic has had on people’s lives and how people’s attitudes have changed.

Some key findings from this research include:

  • Middle class people were by far the most likely to report upsides from this crisis. For example, 22% of those on incomes of less than £20,000 felt their spending habits had improved, rising to 37% of those on incomes of more than £50,000. More than a third of those in social grade A said they felt happier, compared to just 18% of those in grade E

  • The pandemic is seen by parents as being a bad thing for their kids’ education (51%), whilst being a good thing for their relationship with their children (63%).

  • People want greater flexibility regarding their place of work, with a balance between working from home and from an office or elsewhere. The proportion who would like to always work from home (19%) is higher than the proportion who did so before the pandemic (11%), but lower than have been doing so during it (25%).

Ageing in place for minority ethnic communities: the importance of social infrastructure (September 2020)

  • This report explores the importance of social infrastructure, such as shops, community centres and green spaces, for older members of minority ethnic communities.

  • It finds that it is important for older people with a shared cultural identity to have places where they can meet to maintain their sense of identity and relationships with others who share some form of commonality.

  • The research also highlights the importance of local voluntary organisations working with minority ethnic groups.

  • Specialist funding and support is vital for these organisations to continue their work within communities.

  • Given the impact of Covid-19 on minority ethnic groups, these organisations need to be engaged in the rebuilding of communities

Sustaining and strengthening community resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

  • PHEs Communities team and colleagues have recently published a paper in Perspectives in Public Health - Sustaining and strengthening community resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Beyond Us and Them: Perception of COVID-19 and Social Cohesion (July 2020) 

  • This report presents first findings from our research project, “Beyond Us and Them” by the University of Kent with Belong – the Cohesion and Integration Network. The research is funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

  • It explores how social cohesion within and between different groups and parts of the UK is being affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Review of two metre social distancing guidance (Updated 26 June 2020)

Local delivery: protecting social infrastructure 

  • This Localis report recommends that ministers must fund and empower local people to run vital community businesses and service hubs that can help neighbourhoods thrive beyond the immediate Covid-19 pandemic.

  • It calls on central government to support grass roots community ventures – or there could be risks of hampering recovery by sapping the energy and enthusiasm of capable volunteers.

Life after lockdown: tackling loneliness among those left behind

  • The COVID-19 crisis has made loneliness worse, with some people more affected than others.

  • This British Red Cross report shows that although social distancing and lockdown measures will continue to be eased, loneliness will remain and for those most left behind, it may continue to grow. 

Loneliness, social isolation and COVID-19: practical advice (Local Government Association (LGA))

  • The LGA and Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) have jointly produced this practical advice for Directors of Public Health and others leading the response to the loneliness and social isolation issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tackling loneliness (House of Commons Library) (June 2020)

  • The Government's Loneliness Strategy was published in October 2018. It set out a wide variety of cross-departmental measures that the Government would take to provide 'national leadership' to tackle loneliness in England.

  • As well as explaining the Strategy and the steps taken so far by the Government, this briefing also looks at research into the causes and impact of loneliness and possible interventions.

  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on loneliness is also considered, alongside the measures introduced by the Government in response.

The cost of learning in lockdown: family experiences of school closures (Child Poverty Action Group) (June 2020) 

Children in lockdown: the consequences of the coronavirus for children living in poverty (The Childhood Trust) (June 2020) 

  • This report documents the impact of the Coronavirus crisis on disadvantaged and vulnerable children.

COVID-19 and changing attitudes: concerns for the future and trust

Caring behind closed doors: six months on (October 2020)

  • Carers UK carried out an online survey between 11–28 September 2020.

  • A total of 5,904 carers and former carers responded to the survey.

  • It finds that carers are desperately worried about how they will continue to care safely through the coming winter, and that they are already exhausted and close to burn-out.

  • Without urgent action from the government, many carers simply do not think they will be able to cope in the coming months.

Empty shelves and endless information: young carers and COVID-19

  • Thousands of vulnerable children who are already struggling are now having to face new challenges because of Coronavirus COVID-19. 

  • The Childrens Society see it as vital that young carers get adequate support to help them through these difficult times.

The impact of COVID-19 on Caring (July 2020)

  • This article explores who has been caring during the COVID-19 Pandemic and how caring responsibilities and accessibility to care has changed since lockdown.

  • Furthermore, the article discusses the impact of these changes on both the carer and those in receipt of care.

A comprehensive recovery package is needed to tackle rising tide of childhood vulnerability
caused by the Covid crisis

  • While for some children there were certain aspects of the pandemic that brought benefits such as spending more time with their families ,this Chlidrens Commissioner report sets out how for many of the most vulnerable children the disruption of the past six months has been damaging and compounded existing inequalities.
  • It calls for a comprehensive recovery package for children and provides a roadmap for what should be done to help children to recover from their experiences of the past six months
    and the ongoing crisis

IPPR | The 'new normal': The future of education after Covid–19 (October 2020)

This Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) study has identified three areas where the pandemic has the potential to open up new conversations about the future of schooling in England:

Conversation 1: preparing children for life, not just exams

  • We must take the opportunity provided by the pandemic to reassess the role of accountability and assessment in education

  • The government should urgently review the publication of school performance tables, moving to a multi-year model to avoid the high-stakes win/lose dynamic of the current system

  • The government should undertake a review of assessment and accountability mechanisms across our education system

Conversation 2: where and how learning takes place

  • The pandemic has completely changed where and how learning takes place, with digital technology being at the centre of teaching and learning for the first time. we have to ensure that every young person has access to digital technology; understand and spread best practice in using technology to improve learning; and provide teachers with support in utilising technology in schools.

  • The pandemic has also fundamentally shifted who is involved in education; with children having been at home and parents, on the whole, taking a much greater role in shaping what, when and how their children learned

  • The government should create a national transformation fund and support unit, with a focus on spreading best practice, supporting procurement and implementation, and training teachers to adapt to new ways of working

  • The government should work with schools and parents, drawing on Parentkind’s ‘Blueprint for Parent-Friendly Schools’

CONVERSATION 3: TACKLING INEQUALITIES BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

  • The pandemic has highlighted that schools will have to reach ‘beyond the classroom’ to narrow educational inequalities

  • The government should endorse ‘parity of esteem’ between academic and wellbeing outcomes in schools. This should involve supporting schools to adopt a ‘whole-school’ approach to wellbeing

Securing a place for young people in the nation’s economic recovery (September 2020)

  • Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, there were already 760,000 young people not in education or employment in the UK.
  • The Institute for Fiscal Studies has recently shown that young people are 2.5 times more likely to be working in the sectors most affected by the pandemic and there are fears that its economic impact will lead to an additional 640,000 unemployed 18 to 24-year-olds this year.
  • This Institute Employment Studies paper presents the final recommendations from the Youth Employment Group, for measures to support young people through the Covid-19 crisis, improve their employment prospects and prevent mass youth unemployment. The key points include:
    • Nobody aged 18-24 should spend more than six months unemployed before accessing a meaningful education or employment opportunity
    • The government should implement an ‘Opportunity Guarantee’ of a high-quality education, training or apprenticeship place by Autumn 2020 for all young people aged 16-24 who want one
    • The DWP should work with the DfE, the YEG, the National Careers Service (NCS) and Local Authorities / Mayoral Combined Authorities to continue to develop the ‘Youth Hubs’ initiative and expand its remit to provide a service to support youth transitions from education to employment
    • Reduce hiring costs for employers who take on young people
    • Launch a campaign to create quality pre-employment and employment opportunities for young people, underpinned by the ‘Good Youth Employment Charter
    • The government should design more accurate and robust measures for measuring the activity and progress of young people

Centre for Cities | Where in the UK is it hardest to find a job? (July 2020)

The Centre for Cities completed analysis of competition for jobs. Some of their key findings include:

  • Places where jobs are scarcer tend to have weaker economies. The 10 cities with the largest competition for jobs are on average 13% less productive and have 36% fewer people with high-level qualifications

  • While approximately four in 10 workers in Cambridge, London and Reading could work from home during the lockdown, fewer than two in 10 in Middlesbrough, Barnsley or Doncaster were able to do so.

  • Opportunities in low-paid occupations — where entry requirements tend to be lower — have been hit particularly hard. That means having the right skills makes a bigger difference than ever in getting hired.

  • Third, geographic inequalities appear to be widening significantly, which means levelling up has a crucial role to play in the post Covid-19 economic recovery. Analysis suggests that, to create equal opportunities for everyone in the UK, jobs must be created everywhere in the country. That should be a central focus of the Autumn Spending Review.

  • Within the Liverpool City Region, Birkenhead stood out as being particularly hard to find a job, ranking 6th (out of 63) highest for number of CVs per job posting (1.7), and ranking 10th for biggest increase in competition for jobs.

Centre for Cities

Making work secure: unlocking poverty and building a stronger economy (Joseph Rowntree Foundation) (July 2020) 

  • This briefing in the JRF economic discussion series - Shaping a recovery that reduces poverty - explains why all workers should have stable, secure hours and pay. COVID-19 has highlighted the insecurity pulling many low-paid workers into poverty.

  • Some will argue we cannot tackle this until the economy has recovered. Instead, this briefing argues that delivering security can, and should, play a role in building a more productive economy beyond COVID-19 where work is a reliable route out of poverty. 

  • First JRF series briefing

Capitalising on the offer of help – volunteering in the COVID-19 crisis (April 2020) (Kings Fund Blog)

  • In the moment, the willingness of so many to step forward and volunteer has to be seen as a silver lining, but winning the race and turning this into a lasting legacy will require organisations to see volunteers as more than a resource.

  • Importantly they will need to consider the balance between people and services in need of volunteers and the needs of volunteers themselves, and to ensure that we invest in capacity, capability and flexibility to incorporate those needs in our communities as we seek to find our way forward post-COVID-19.

12 million people in Britain will struggle to pay bills (Financial Conduct Authority survey)

  • Some 12 million people in Britain are likely to struggle with bills and loan repayments as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc, a Financial Conduct Authority survey tracking consumer financial resilience showed.

  • The survey, conducted in July, found 12 million people in Britain had low financial resilience and also found that one-sixth of those people had become financially vulnerable since February, after lockdowns to control the virus slashed incomes and led to thousands of job cuts.

  • The survey, in which 7,000 people took part, showed that almost a third of adults have suffered a drop in income, while income for households has fallen by a quarter on average.

  • Black and Minority Ethnic respondents fared even worse, with 37% reporting a hit to their incomes

How will Brexit affect the UK’s response to coronavirus?

  • This Nuffield Trust briefing considers how leaving the single market might affect UK health and social care services in the short term as they try to deal with coronavirus while maintaining normal services.

  • It also looks at what difference a deal might make, and the options for the UK and the EU.

Building Back With: A Handbook For Involving Communities In The Covid-19 Response And Recovery (October 2020)

This handbook by Involve is intended to support local authorities to consider how they can build back with their local communities, involving them in the Covid-19 response and recovery. This guidebook covers the following:

  • Chapter 2: Why involve people now – the rationale for involving local communities in the Covid response and recovery;

  • Chapter 3: Before you start – tips on making the case and securing institutional buy-in;

  • Chapter 4: Where to start – some principles for planning high quality public engagement;

  • Chapter 5: Helpful resources – a range of handy handbooks, guides and toolkits to help plan and deliver community engagement;

  • Chapter 6: Where it’s happening – examples and case studies engaging people in taking decisions and action around Covid;

  • Chapter 7: What it could look like – illustrative processes to provide some inspiration for how communities could be engaged on different issues;

  • Chapter 8: Further reading – links to interesting further reading on Covid, public participation and democracy.

Blueprint for a 100% Digitally Included UK For a post-COVID-19 economy (September 2020)

This recent report from the Good Things Foundation (GTF) outlines their latest research and ideas about how to improve digital inclusion in the UK. Some of their recommendations include:

Calling on Government for:

  • A Digital Strategy for everyone. Government digital services should continue to lead the way: services designed with and for people with low or limited skills, and assisted digital support in communities.

  • A coalition led by financial services to bring digital inclusion and financial inclusion together. Everyone should be able to access and use the online financial services and products they need. As well as access to cash for vulnerable consumers, we need to continue to invest in online and local support to build digital financial literacy.

  • Leadership from the NHS in England, Wales, Scotland, and Health and Social Care Northern Ireland and the wider health sector to prevent digital exclusion from widening health inequalities, improve digital health literacy, and design inclusive digital health services. Digital health hubs in communities are a tested and scalable solution.

  • Commitment to address digital inclusion from government bodies, local authorities, housing associations, and third sector providers - wherever digital channels are used - starting with designing digital services to be accessible for people with low or limited digital skills or access, and providing assisted digital support

  • Improved metrics to track progress and monitor the links between digital inclusion and key areas of national social and economic wellbeing - such as health, education, poverty, and financial inclusion. We need a clear baseline - a Minimum Digital Living Standard

How the COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated the shift to online spending

ONS published a blog looking at the profound effect the pandemic has had on the retail sector.

  • Many stores were forced to close at the height of lockdown and during that time consumers switched their spending to online.
  • As described, since many shops have now reopened, the shift back to in store purchasing has begun but a far higher proportion remains online than before the crisis.

‘Recovery could take three years’, say North West firms

  • Almost half of firms across the North the West believe it could take them up to three years to get back to pre-COVID levels of trading.

  • In a poll from accountancy firm BDO, 48% of companies in the region believe it will take between one and three years to return to the same levels of revenue they enjoyed prior to the pandemic.

  • However, business across the North West are still looking for growth with 58% of SMEs intending to take on more apprentices as a result of the Government’s move to provide companies with £1,000 for each apprentice they take on. Liverpool Business News

Fundamental changes to high street use classes 

The financial risk and resilience of English local authorities in the coronavirus crisis

  • The government has provided an additional £3.2 billion of general-purpose funding to English councils to help support them through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

  • This will increase their budgets by just over 5 per cent on average.

  • But councils have warned a further £6 billion could be required.

  • This Institute of Fiscal Studies report examines how financial risks and resilience vary across councils, and which types of councils and regions are most exposed.

  • It is published alongside a spreadsheet dashboard that collates for each local authority in England a series of indicators of coronavirus-related risks

How might a COVID-19 recession affect the UK?

  • The coronavirus pandemic is expected to trigger a significantly deep recession. WHICH magazine explores how this could it affect our finances, and when might the economy recover?

Building a country that works for all children post COVID-19

  • The purpose of this short discussion paper is:

    • to put children, young people and their lived experiences of Covid-19 front and centre in national recovery planning;

    • to articulate what is needed to restore the public support services they rely on; and

    • to capture the positives and gains made during a very complex national, and indeed, global emergency.

  • It is clear that the pandemic, ensuing lockdown and enduring social distancing measures have simultaneously exposed and heightened the impact of stark disparities between disadvantaged children and their more affluent peers, from ill health and poor-quality housing to children’s access to technology and therefore opportunities to learn at home.

A new life for the high street (Social Market Foundation) 

  • This briefing paper released this week by the SMF examines how changing working and shopping patterns are set to drastically alter the nature of city and town centres as a result of COVID-19, with retail and office spaces become increasingly vacant.

  • This paper argues that policymakers should act now and deploy radical new measures to stimulate new life in urban centres.

Key Points:

  • Emerging evidence suggests that lockdown will change consumer and business behaviour on a long-lasting basis, with a permanent shift to homeworking and digital retail.

  • This change will impact urban spaces, risking widening income and wealth inequality. Reduced commuting costs will benefit white collar professionals, while those working in retail face widespread job losses.

Policy recommendations:

  • A nationwide program of repurposing city and town centres should be introduced. This would see vacant retail space converted into residential property. Replacing commercial space with residential property could, under conservative assumptions, create 800,000 additional homes.

  • A write off of the £80Billion in local government debt sitting on the Public Works Loan Board’s loan book, to stimulate new investment in community assets in town and city centres. This would essentially transfer local government debt into the hands of central government, which is better-placed to service the debt. A debt write-off would liberate local authorities to invest in urban renewal projects – including the creation of new schools, parks, and sports facilities.

  • Designating areas at risk of urban decline due to loss of retail and office space as Economic Growth Areas (EGAs). EGAs would offer tax incentives for firms moving into these areas, with tax incentives contingent on the hiring of local workers – particularly those that have lost work as a result of economic change accelerated by the coronavirus crisis.

Shopping may never be the same again: Office for National Statistics (June 2020) 

  • The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed many elements of our everyday lives, including how we shop.

  • The introduction of movement restrictions meant the closure of most physical shops, so many consumers have been doing their shopping from home instead. 

  • In May 2020, over a third of retail spending was online – the highest ever share. 

  • In this ONS blog they take a closer look at the online retail sales data to understand this trend.

Coronavirus and the economic value of human life or ... Is the lockdown worth it? Institute of Economic Affairs (June 2020) 

  • This IEA briefing examines the ongoing argument about easing or ending the lockdown restrictions and considers numerous factors that will affect government decisions.

  • It emphasises the importance of putting a monetary value on life as a tool to make cost-benefit analyses about the effectiveness of lockdown and makes clear that while people may feel squeamish about looking at human life in financial terms, such calculations are necessary to make the most of limited resources in the fairest and most effective way.

Better Transport | Covid-19 Recovery Renewing the transport system (July 2020)
The Campaign for Better Transport released a report looking at how the transport system can be renewed in the face of slashed fares revenue, public health concerns and economic downturn.

  • The report argued that there is an opportunity to transform the transport system to facilitate economic growth, meet legal obligations around carbon emissions and air quality, and tackle social exclusion. The report recommends that Government should:
    • Require local transport authorities to produce plans to permanently reshape local transport networks based on active travel, shared and public transport.

    • Ensure local authorities and bus operators work together to replan bus provision, with better integrated, multi-modal networks. A new funding approach should be introduced to support bus services.

    • Not return to the previous franchises on the railway and place a greater focus on leisure as well as commuter travel and new industry structures with devolution of control to city regions.

    • Accelerate the shift to 100% zero emission road and rail travel through requiring all buses to be zero emission, supporting the growth of a hydrogen fuelled heavy fleet sector in the UK, incentivise the shift to electric vans for deliveries and fleet, and initiate a rolling programme of rail electrification.

    • Lock in the shift to active travel with permanent infrastructure changes and ensuring that it does not restrict public transport and bus services. E-scooters should be legalised for use on the road and cycle lanes.

    • Prioritise infrastructure to support sustainable transport, such as rail reopenings, bus priority and digital systems

    • Establish new sources of raising revenue to support the shift to sustainable transport should be put in place.

COVID-19: Impact on Travel & Hospitality (March 2020)

  • This document, by McKinsey and Company, (although Amserican focused does offer wider panemic impact views/data) is meant to help with a narrower goal: provide facts and insights on the current situation and its implications on travel.

  • In addition to the humanitarian challenge, there are implications for the wider economy, businesses, and employment.

  • Specifically, this document describes some of those challenges in travel so businesses can navigate through an uncertain situation

COVID-19: A global insight on travel and tourism impacts UNWTO & Data Partners

  • This report gathers a collation of data partners committed to support the sector in getting a better and more comprehensive understanding of the impacts of COVID 19 on travel and tourism at global level over the last three months

Towards resilience: redesigning our systems for a better future (September 2020)

Homes, health and COVID-19 (September 2020)
  • Cold and unsafe homes will put those most vulnerable to Covid-19, including older adults and people with pre-existing health conditions, at an increased risk of the virus this winter - particularly in the event of a second lockdown

  • The report,  Homes, health and COVID-19: How poor-quality homes have contributed to the pandemic , from the Centre for Ageing Better and the King’s Fund, highlights the additional health risks faced by an estimated 10 million people living in 4.3 million non-decent homes in England.

  • The report follows on from the recent analysis of ageing and non-decent homes in  Home and dry: The need for decent homes in later life , published earlier this year by Centre for Ageing Better and Care & Repair England , which set out a compelling case for action to improve existing homes even before the current pandemic.

Health Secretary warns of long-term effects of COVID-19 as new film released

  • A new study today from King’s College London, using data from the COVID Symptom Study App and ZOE, shows one in 20 people with COVID-19 are likely to have symptoms for 8 weeks or more.

  • The study suggests long COVID affects around 10% of 18 to 49-year olds who become unwell with COVID-19.

  • Public Health England have found that around 10% of COVID-19 cases who were not admitted to hospital have reported symptoms lasting more than four weeks and a number of hospitalised cases reported continuing symptoms for eight or more weeks after discharge.