Thematic Panel 14: Negotiating and arranging care during the COVID-19 pandemic and shifting grounds: the effectiveness of policies in shaping a responsive and resilient care system

Shereen Hussein, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom

The COVID-19 pandemic and associated policy and practice responses have profoundly impacted care and time to care across the world. The policy measures taken to control the infection spread have further affected care disproportionately. Evidence is mounting of higher infection and death rates in care settings, and the workforce is at the forefront of negotiating a complex set of challenges. COVID19 pandemic, and measures taken to contain the disease, are having a profound impact on the individuals and health and care systems calling for a consorted recovery policy response. At the individual level, there are significant effects on care recipients, their family and the care workers’ physical, mental and social wellbeing. The care systems have experienced enormous pressures on the organisation and delivery of care, including the workforce. Furthermore, the pandemic has clearly shown the effect of profoundly rooted health inequalities with disproportionate mortality rates among ethnic and less socio-economically advantaged groups.

The response to the pandemic, especially at the early stages, illustrated the impact of the disparities between health and care systems where discharge, isolation and infection containment guidelines simply did not account for the spill-over across the two systems nor the specific dynamics of each. Furthermore, the UK and Europe are experiencing other forces of change at different policy levels, including Brexit and economic downturn exacerbated by the response to COVID-19, adding immense pressures to existing policy challenges. The full impact of Brexit on the care systems is yet to be realised. However, there are significant implications expected on the workforce, care regulation and supply and cross-border care arrangements, among others.

This session is calling for papers addressing some of the following questions, utilising appropriate policy, qualitative or qualitative research methods and analyses:

How do current policies consider and shape time for care in response to system shocks across the globe?
Comparative analyses of the policy response to COVID-19 and their implications on care arrangements and outcomes?
How Brexit and end of free labour mobility affect different care actors, care professionals, caregivers and care receivers across Europe?
What role, if any, of innovations and technology in responding to long-standing and emerging challenges in arranging and delivering care?
How care delivery and arrangements, especially in low and middle-income countries, have been impacted by the pandemic?

Posted in Conference 2021, Thematic Panels.