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8 September 2022

Social care recovery and resilience: what can England learn from other countries?

Camille Oung , Nuffield Trust , United Kingdom

Natasha Curry, Nuffield Trust
Nina Hemmings, Nuffield Trust
Adelina Comas-Herrera, London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract

Objectives: This research was commissioned by NIHR, to investigate: "What can we learn from international evidence and experiences in order to support the recovery of the social care sector and to inform the development of policies to prevent and manage future outbreaks in social care settings in England?". In this session, we will explore what learning can be derived from four country case studies (France, Japan, Denmark and the Netherlands).

Methods:

A targeted document review in each country;

Ten semi-structured interviews with stakeholders in each country;

Thematic analysis of data within each case study, and analysis across the case studies to identify common points of learning.

Results: Using a framework which identified priorities for England, we will highlight where the experiences of other countries hold pertinent learning for England as it seeks to recovery from covid-19 and build a more resilient system for the future. Presentations on each country will focus on one or two pertinent themes and how we think they hold learning for England. For example, Japan's clear structure of governance enabled the local care systems to click seamlessly into emergency response mode without the need to create new communication channels or lines of accountability. In Denmark, we will reflect on the extent to which close integration between health and care staff was a strength in the response. France's care sector was affected similarly badly as England's but covid-19 has now accelerated far-reaching reform plans that seek to address a number of underlying issues, such as workforce challenges, within the system. Finally, the use of residents' committees in the Netherlands holds much valuable learning about mechanisms for enshrining and upholding human rights in social care at times of crises.

Conclusions: Other countries' experiences of covid-19 highlight where pre-existing structures were resilient or weak and enable us to identify lessons for England as it embarks upon reform. The covid-specific responses in other countries also hold learning in terms of effective infection prevention and control which will be valuable for subsequent covid waves and other types of future shocks (such as extreme weather events).


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