As we move out of the acute phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit cautiously and amidst predictions of a second wave, many of us are taking time to reflect on what has changed and what comes next. From the BBC’s Rethink series to the Build Back Better hashtag on Twitter, there is growing recognition that the old normal no longer meets the needs of many and now is the time to do things differently.
Fellow think tank, the RSA, is exploring responses to the deficiencies laid bare by the pandemic. Speaking at one of their Bridges to the Future event, Mayor for Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, spoke about the “groundswell of public support” for reforms in social care and how central community-driven health and care could be in the post-Covid recovery.
Last week, Ruth Allen, who heads up the British Association of Social Workers wrote about how Covid-19 has changed social work. “Social workers have had to adapt at pace, yet paradoxically it may make positive change more likely”, said Allen.
Meanwhile, the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSN) have gathered perspectives on “gains to hold” and “gains to push for” based on experiences of the crisis. In a joint article, Guy Boersma (Chief Exec of Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN) and Richard Barker (Chair of Health Innovation Network), point out that “this period is a wakeup call that should cause us to change some beliefs in our healthcare system and the behaviours of staff and citizens”.
At FCC, we are seeking to understand and channel a growing desire to reshape our post-Covid world through our Care Labs programme. We have created Care Labs with support from the community organising and movement-build experts, Social Change Agency, with the aim of helping communities take more control over their care needs.
Policy-makers and practitioners have tough choices ahead of them. But as we rebuild, we do get to choose. We hope that Care Labs provide a glimpse of a more human-centred approach to care that could be a part of our new normal.