For the second week of the new year, a record number of my clients (and their managers) have completed our automated weekly tracker (that's a weekly progress report).
Trending this week are:
Team absences due to a variety of Covid complications (testing positive, shielding, isolating, home schooling, family bereavement);
A minority of clinicians reluctant to do any more than that which is obliged by the NHS;
Patients cancelling and delaying treatment until "after my vaccination";
A continuing moral maze - some trying to balance the uplifted NHS targets with the delivery of private treatment. Others wondering how much elective treatment can be considered as "essential" during the current restrictions.
In the case of the patients, there is a real intersection between lockdown 3.0 and vaccine 1.0, leading increasing numbers to question their attendance, whether routine or elective.
Once more I find myself advising clients on the need for clear, simple and frequent messaging:
To patients - that you are open, safe and able to offer the treatments with which you are comfortable;
To team members - that as well as staying vigilant on SOPs, it is also important to observe safety precautions when away from the workplace;
To clinicians - that you are here to deliver the maximum (not the minimum) amount of healthcare possible.
Additionally, the agility required to change rotas quickly and adapt to a very fluid landscape has become once more a prerequisite of success.
The next three months will be about continuous adaptation.
Make sure that your messaging as leader is equally clear and consistent - we will get through this but we must be agile.