• York Rotary

NHS Care in York - how COVID may shape our future

Mike Wilson reports...

Prof. Mike Holmes, who heads up the Nimbuscare group, spoke to us some time ago addressing the inequalities of health care and outcomes in York and the surrounding areas. On the 1st October his theme was how Covid might shape our future and how the pandemic had already made significant changes locally and globally in the way in which we have met the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Covid is a disease which discriminates on the basis of age, poverty, and ethnicity. In general practice, technology has been harnessed to enable doctors to continue providing a service without spreading the disease and without having to deploy the heroic use of personal protection equipment to the extent used in the hospital setting. The use of telephone, video, zoom, etc., in place of traditional face to face consultations, has been widely used and encouraged when deemed politic to do so but criticised when an increase in attendances at A & E departments has occurred. Staff throughout the NHS have been under intense pressure and the pandemic has highlighted that pressure and the need for additional staff.

Mike illustrated the three waves of the disease as they have waxed and waned with the introduction of lockdowns, the vaccination programmes, and improvement in treatment methods. There has been much better co-operation from the community than expected with volunteers helping in many ways, individuals complying with the restrictions on their personal life. A true community spirit.

In the midst of all this the Government has embarked on another reorganisation of the health and social services and despite all the problems of the last two years Mike greeted the reorganisation with enthusiasm and optimism. He explained his vision for the future, with care for the patient starting at a personal level with care which can be provided at a different level without necessarily the same personal involvement. In proposing the vote of thanks to Mike on behalf of the Club I felt the future of health care was in good hands and welcomed his optimism for the future.

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