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Bucks council discuss health and wellbeing after coronavirus

The focus of recovery was discussed at a meeting yesterday

Published by Scarlett Bawden-Gaul at 12:00pm 8th July 2020. 3-minute read.

Bucks council discuss health and wellbeing after coronavirus

Buckinghamshire council have outlined their recovery plan over health and wellbeing services. 

Yesterday Buckinghamshire council's Health and Wellbeing Board met, virtually, to outline the current plan for recovery to the sector following the outbreak.

The focus was on the stages and decisions being made as the county recovers from coronavirus. 

Cabinet Member Gareth Williams, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Committee, explains that is isn't all about the virus itself though, with other services hugely impacted during the pandemic:

"The waiting list is a concern that everyone has, so those who haven't been able to get treatment.  It is front and centre of some of the planning that the Bucks National Health Trust is doing.

"They've said the cancer waiting list is hoping to have cleared by August. They're now up to 90% of A&E attendances again, pre-covid attendances if you like. At one point we were only getting 40% of category 1 attendees, that is the highest. So people who really should've been turning up weren't turning up. There is some serious latency in the system that needs to be brought out.

"All patients have been reviewed, prioritised and contact - those that are needing and awaiting services. And I understand the private hospitals are being used to ease some of these pressures."

One area of the recovery plan involves catergorising the issue into on of 5 categories and labeling it's impact on the sector as short, medium or long term.

The five categories are; mental health, domestic abuse, financial insecurity food poverty, wider impacts and others. 

For example, referrals to bereavement services is catergorised as a mental health issue and is deemed to be short/medium term as figures for deaths are expected to return to pre-covid levels.

However, benefit claimants has all three labels applied as damage to the economy and predicted recession is predicted to the lead to more job losses.

Gareth Williams explains there are 3 overall stages to their recovery plan:

"There are 3 R's when it comes to us looking at recovery: Reset, resilience and restoration.

"Resetting, we understand this recovery is not going to be normal and it will take us to a new place. 

"Resilience, we have really got to learn to live with COVID as it is going to be with us for quite some time to we have to build community resilliance. 

"And then restoration, which is about rebuilding the future operating models within the system. We recognise recover isnt just about getting the health system in Buckinghamshire back to where it was before, it is going to have to go to a new place."

The committee is also looking at a multistage approach to supporting and protecting the BAME community, many of whom are at more risk of death from the disease than their white counterparts.

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