Around the same time last year, the coronavirus pandemic appeared to have passed its peak in the UK. As challenges remained, there was optimism that we were moving in the right direction and that a new normal would develop.
Twelve months later and we’re at a lower point again after a peak. There is renewed optimism about the future as the roll-out of the immunization program continues at a steady pace.
This special feature looks back on GAD’s coronavirus response over the past year and anticipates what may follow.
Support the response
Throughout the pandemic, GAD staff worked with colleagues in the public sector to support the coronavirus response. Some of the many areas in which we have provided support:
provide modeling and actuarial expertise to help the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports develop a solution that enables the UK film and television production industry to function, supporting over 180,000 jobs across the country UK
second staff to the NHS Test and Trace analysis team, perform system-level modeling and analysis to assess future demand and support policy decisions
second staff to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs to support the completion of the COVID-19 population risk assessment by ensuring that people at high risk of COVID-19 are added to the list of protected patients and priority for vaccination
produce the annual report of the government actuary on the financial situation of the National Insurance Fund, taking into account the impact of the pandemic on the fund’s revenue and expenditure
work as a team to ensure community pharmacies have the clinical negligence compensation coverage necessary to deliver vaccines in key areas of England
GAD also supported the British Business Bank and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to forecast the costs of the various coronavirus loan programs that have supported businesses that were losing revenue due to the pandemic.
Throughout this time, we have sought to share our learnings and experiences with clients and colleagues in the public sector.
Our webinar series covered areas such as the potential implications for longevity and the impact of COVID-19 on commercial insurance.
We continue to develop new event content and welcome the views of our clients and colleagues in the public sector on areas of interest.
In addition to our series of events, we also produce a range of publications, some of which you can subscribe to, including:
Partnership with clients
Customers had to respond quickly to issues related to COVID-19 and at GAD we have also adapted our approach which is:
- flexible and iterative
- get involved earlier in the development stages of the project
- create innovative methods to analyze incomplete datasets available for fast-moving projects
GAD has delivered substantial work in the short term. We have worked with our clients to be an integral part of the political partnership.
In addition to providing direct support in pandemic responses and thought leadership, we have continued to support our clients with the other challenges they face.
New ways of working
Many customers have come under considerable pressure, with regular activity continuing in addition to the demands related to the pandemic response, while also managing new ways of working.
We were not able to work on site with clients as we had done in many cases before the start of the crisis. Instead, we used videoconferencing technologies to increase our chat opportunities.
This allowed us to participate in team meetings and project discussions in a much more flexible way and, as a result, to become a full member of the team.
Clients have recognized the value of this close collaboration and the added value we can bring when we better understand the context and other issues of a project.
Screen sharing made it possible to discuss the work as it progressed and to solve problems in a collaborative way, thus strengthening the partnership approach of the projects.
As the restrictions on our lives begin to loosen, we look to the future with hope, expectation, and no little uncertainty. The pandemic has affected us all in one way or another, and as we gradually ease the lockdowns we will try to keep the positives from last year:
our secondment program has helped us immerse ourselves in some of our clients’ challenges and provide the immediate support required
the use of technology to organize events and maintain regular contact with clients has enabled closer engagement with larger groups
the pandemic required rapid responses and we have improved our approach to redeploying support to meet new demands and build collaborative links across the public sector
technology has also allowed us to work remotely in a very efficient manner, offering greater flexibility to staff and the possibility of developing a more hybrid style of working
With these lessons learned, GAD is in a stronger position to support the government through any challenges that may arise in the future.