Responsive and resilient healthcare? ‘Moments of Resilience’ in post-hospitalisation services for COVID-19
COVID-19 caused disruption to healthcare services globally, resulting in high numbers of hospital admissions and with those discharged often requiring ongoing support. Within the UK, post-discharge services typically developed organically and were shaped over time by local need, funding, and government guidance. Drawing on the Moments of Resilience framework, we explore the development of follow-up services for hospitalised patients by considering the links between resilience at different system levels over time. This study contributes to the resilient healthcare literature by providing empirical evidence of how diverse stakeholders developed and adapted services for patients following hospitalisation with COVID-19 and how action taken at one system level influenced another.
Qualitative research comprising comparative case studies based on interviews. Across three purposively selected case studies (two in England, one in Wales) a total of 33 semi-structured interviews were conducted with clinical staff, managers and commissioners who had been involved in developing and/or implementing post-hospitalisation follow-up services. The interviews were audio-recorded and professionally transcribed. Analysis was conducted with the aid of NVivo 12.
Case studies demonstrated three distinct examples of how healthcare organisations developed and adapted their post-discharge care provision for patients, post-hospitalisation with COVID-19. Initially, the moral distress of witnessing the impact of COVID-19 on patients who were being discharged coupled with local demand gave clinical staff the impetus to take action. Clinical staff and managers worked closely to plan and deliver organisations’ responses. Funding availability and other contextual factors influenced situated and immediate responses and structural adaptations to the post-hospitalisation services. As the pandemic evolved, NHS England and the Welsh government provided funding and guidance for systemic adaptations to post-COVID assessment clinics. Over time, adaptations made at the situated, structural, and systemic levels influenced the resilience and sustainability of services.
This paper addresses understudied, yet inherently important, aspects of resilience in healthcare by exploring when and where resilience occurs across the healthcare system and how action taken at one system level influenced another. Comparison across the case studies showed that organisations responded in similar and different ways and on varying timescales to a disruption and national level strategies.
NIHR Policy Research Programme (PCR-03-C19) Stage 2 Recovery, Renewal, Reset: Research to inform policy responses to COVID-19
Author affiliationDepartment of Population Health Sciences, University of Leicester
- VoR (Version of Record)