Ingenuity in a crisis: how Covid forced NHS trusts to innovate

From creating their own PPE factories to makeshift ventilators, a new report shows how local health services got creative during the pandemic

Julian Hartley calls it “ingenuity in a crisis”. The chief executive of Leeds Teaching hospitals NHS trust is referring to the creative thinking that many parts of the health service displayed in spring, as it coped with the huge disruption and risk – for staff, patients and the provision of care – from Covid-19.

These include the creation of the seven Nightingale hospitals to GPs’ and hospitals’ almost overnight switch to routine telephone and video appointments, to the expansion of critical care to help the most seriously ill and the repurposing of thousands of staff to work there. But Hartley is also talking about less well-publicised innovation that occurred on a more local level in the NHS in England.

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