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London Regional Response to Covid-19

Challenge

COVID-19 triggered a national level 4 incident, as part of the response NHS England/ Improvement commissioned NECS Consultancy to support the co-ordination of the London Regional response to the pandemic.


London Regional Response to Covid-19

Tasks

In order to effectively respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, NHSE/I established a command and control structure and developed a network of eleven cells (see Figure 1)

Whilst each cell operated as a separate entity with its own objectives and priorities, they all reported into the same central command structure. At the top of this command structure is Gold Command, which is chaired by the Regional Director for London. During the initial response three Gold Command meetings were held each day and these meetings could only run effectively if robust reporting cycles
were in place.

In addition, NECS Consultancy developed and managed a centralised risk and issue
register in partnership with the cells. This provided a London-wide view of critical
risks and issues, and their scale, impact and associated timeframes.

In order to ensure that this information flowed effectively between Gold Command and the eleven cells, NECS Consultancy further co-ordinated the
submission of a daily Silver report and aggregated risk and issue summary report. This ensured that Gold Command was continuously sighted on items for escalation and appropriate mitigations identified and communicated to the cells.

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During an unprecedented time for the NHS NECS Consultancy were able to work at pace to set up the PMO to support the incident response in London. Their flexibility to respond and adapt to the support we needed during the response was so valuable and done with professionalism at all times.

Martin Machray

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Results

As the London Region enters the next phase of the Covid-19 response, NECS Consultancy has been asked to continue their work by supporting the London Region in transitioning to recovery, whilst also ensuring that an appropriate level of response is maintained. As part of the recovery phase NECS Consultancy are working with the London Region and external partners to develop a Regional
Portfolio Management Office (RPMO) to support and align with the emerging recovery cell and governance structure. This will involve working with Recovery Directors to reflect on lessons learned and implement a simple and consistent approach to building cell recovery portfolios.

The success of the Covid-19 response PMO coordination can be attributed to many factors, however this case study focuses on the three most significant factors:

  • the ability of our NHS colleagues to be reactive and agile in order to
    adapt to the new and fast-paced environment
  • the ability of stakeholders from across the health and social care system to
    work collaboratively
  • colleagues and stakeholders have proactively adopted new ways of working and have acted as role models in being open to and championing change

As part of recovery it is important that we do not forget any of the lessons learned or the fantastic progress that has been made. We look forward to supporting the London Region moving forward into the recovery phase of this pandemic.

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