In this blog series, you’ll read more about the healthcare sector and our expert analysis of this branch. The insights from this blog series come from our latest Healthcare Sector Report, in which you can find more in depth information and useful advice regarding the healthcare sector. You can download it for free on our website. 

In this first blog you’ll learn more about the latest sector developments and the related impact of Covid.

Turbulent times

The impact of Covid on society is very widespread, with turbulent and unstable times as a result. With the first wave came bad news for smaller practices, like children daycares and dental practices, that could not comply with new regulations and shut down due to the first lockdown. With the second wave closely following the first, healthcare businesses had little time to react or rebound and had to remain closed for the second wave as well. Similarly, the NHS and Irish healthcare services could not recover and reinstate elective surgeries before the second wave came and locked the sector down once again.

Sector development

2020

Much of the healthcare sector has seen a slow yet steady decrease in the year-to-year growth rate. This would be expected to remain the same or slightly increase over the past few years. 2020 was a year like no other for the healthcare sector as multiple challenges, including COVID-19 and Brexit, impacted the way the sector performed.

The first three months of 2020 were very similar to how 2019 ended, with slight decreases in profit from what was expected due to external influences. This continued until the end of March 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic began to have a widespread impact on both the public, and many industries. 

Beginning in April 2020, large numbers of patients began to request treatment from the NHS, and with little time to prepare, the NHS had to respond with shortages in team members, personal protective equipment, and funding. The NHS’s fast reaction time helped reduce or, at least, aid in reducing the number of COVID cases in the UK during the first wave. 

Impact of Covid

Expected future impact of Covid

Since the COVID 19 pandemic began in mid-March 2020, it has become clear that it is unlikely anything in the professional world will remain constant until the vaccine can be widely distributed and the final aftershocks have passed. The healthcare sector will have to remain vigilant as the Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant and direct impact on the productivity, efficiency and stability of previous healthcare practices. 

The high number of COVID-19 cases in the past year has required the healthcare field to heavily specialise in the processing and care of these patients, which has created ripples for other parts of the sector. As beds filled up, all but the most critical and urgent surgeries were cancelled to allow for the treatment of COVID patients. Before March 2020, the National Health Service (NHS) already had relatively high volumes of patients, and with the sudden spike of COVID-19 cases in April 2020, they quickly became overwhelmed. 

The NHS was able to react quickly and reformat its processes to allow the mass-treatment of patients. Even with shortages in personnel and personal protective equipment, wards were repurposed, and the healthcare field came together to respond, managing to keep the ICUs (intensive care units) from becoming overwhelmed. National reverence for the NHS developed as every Thursday night patients, their families and even those with no interaction with the virus would show their respect for healthcare workers and promised to “protect the NHS”. 

The healthcare field came together to respond, managing to keep the ICUs from becoming overwhelmed.

Be prepared to adapt and embrace change

Following the vaccines, healthcare workers should not expect everything to go back to how it was before the pandemic but should be prepared to adapt to a new normal as the aftershocks of the virus ripple through the sector. New sanitation measures, as well as new social distancing and prevention precautions, are very likely to develop over the course of 2021 as the number of cases decreases steadily with the incorporation of the vaccine.

There are potential worries about the vaccine’s effectiveness, especially on mutations of COVID-19 like the one which developed in England in the second half of December 2020. Still, it has shown to be effective 95% of the time, even on mutations. With an effective vaccine, the healthcare sector and the NHS can slowly return to a new normal by reinstating elective surgeries and performing surgeries that were postponed and cancelled during the two waves of the pandemic, which accumulated a cost of almost £5 Billion.

Blog #2

In our next blog, you’ll learn more about our healthcare sector analysis. We’ll share with you what our analysis of the healthcare sector means for you. Moreover, we’ll share with you some practical tips, useful advice and most important: our full Healthcare Sector Report. In the upcoming blogs, we’ll talk about Brexit, legislation, environmental tax, skill shortage, cash flow and we’ll share with you a useful checklist for improving your healthcare practice and how best to prepare for the future.. 

Xeinadin supports businesses in the healthcare sector. Visit our healthcare page for more info and an overview of the services we offer, or contact us directly if you need advice from one of our local business advisors.

Do you want to read our full Healthcare Sector Report? You can download it for free!

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