The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant operational impact upon England’s health and care system, leading to unprecedented rapid innovation and transformation across a wide range of services. This innovation and transformation has, in the main, been brought about by a necessity to change at pace: flexing and shifting the system to focus on the care of COVID-19 patients, ensuring the system is able to continue delivering as much routine care as possible, and ensuring vulnerable patient groups continue to receive the essential care they require. Much of this rapid change presents a valuable opportunity to learn and inform the future.

Not all of the rapid innovation and transformation we have observed should endure following the pandemic, but it’s vitally important we take the opportunity to pause, think, and use the changes and progress made during the height of the pandemic to chart the way towards a more modern, responsive and flexible model of service delivery in the future. A robust yet rapid technique of identifying, evaluating – and where appropriate – adopting this learning and innovation across the country needs to be employed, ensuring we capitalise on the recent progress and opportunity we have been represented with.

Since the onset of the pandemic there have been many phrases used to describe the process of restarting health and care services following the peak of the crisis: Recovery, Restoration, Renewal and Reset to name but a few. However, within the AHSN Network we’re clear that our focus should be on Reset: not simply seeking to rapidly return to how things were in the past, but rather to look back at the rapid progress made in the short term and using that to inform the future in the longer term.

Find out more about how the AHSNs are supporting Reset

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