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A new report published by the Integrated Care System (ICS) for Suffolk and north east Essex presents the first ever in-depth analysis of how health and social care professionals, the voluntary sector and the community have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Using the experiences of local people and health and care organisations the 154-page report, Reflections on System Learning from Covid-19, captures the achievements of the last seven months as well as highlighting the lessons to be learnt. These findings and outcomes will serve local people and the ICS well over the coming winter months and further in the future as the country grapples with recovery.

The report findings are organized around ten key themes, including revealing how health inequalities have deepened during this time, with some groups experiencing far greater consequences than others, in particular those from the BAME community. 

The positive advantages of working together are highlighted and the way that ramping up the use of technology has boosted the delivery of services. 
The response of the local community is also highlighted, discussing the overwhelming support from individuals and groups stepping up to volunteer for tasks such as shopping or collecting prescriptions. 

Susannah Howard, Programme Director for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, explained: “We are grateful to local leaders in health and care organizations who told us about the challenges they have faced during the pandemic, their achievements and regrets and their hopes and fears for the future”.  

Professor William Pope, Chairman of the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “This is an open and honest account of the local response to the pandemic, which has involved contributions from a wide range of people and organisations from across the patch, giving a really in-depth analysis of what has gone well and what could have done better.

“The resilience displayed by our communities has been immense, and it has been amazing to witness just how much people are prepared to go out of their way to help others. These last few months have undoubtedly been very difficult for us all, but the kindness and compassion that have been displayed by so many for others has been overwhelming.”

Dr Ed Garratt, Chief Executive, NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk, NHS West Suffolk and NHS North East Essex clinical commissioning groups and Executive Lead for the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System, said: “This report brings together the lessons from the first wave of the pandemic and will enable us to be stronger going into the second wave this winter. I would like to pay tribute to the public and staff for the amazing work they have done to keep people safe and to protect them from the virus. We have a truly compassionate community."

Read the full report 

Read the summary report