Public Health - Dr Jane Halpin, director, clinical lead, Deloitte UK
This week, Dr Jane Halpin focused her discussion on criteria the government previously cited as necessary for an emergence out of lockdown. She outlined measures used to assess progress against the five different criteria, and other factors that are likely to inform deliberation around an exit strategy.
The criteria for assessing this progress included ensuring the NHS has sufficient capacity for new cases, a sustained and consistent fall in mortality rates, manageable rates of new infections, sufficient access to tests and personal protective equipment, and confidence in avoiding a second peak.
She concluded by summarising the importance of testing in exiting from lockdown both to identify cases and, in time, survey population exposure to COVID-19. Testing will help reduce transmission levels due to the identification, tracking and tracing of cases. For those who have been in contact with cases, testing can reduce time spent in quarantine. Broader antigen testing will, once available, inform wider estimates of immunity. All of this will give greater public and political confidence in easing or reinstating suppression measures, if necessary, in the coming months.
The UK and the global economy - Ian Stewart, partner and chief economist, Deloitte UK
Ian Stewart discussed what growth might look like beyond the lockdown. He framed the discussion with historical context, analysing a chart from Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England. The graph tracked ten-year averages of growth from 1275 to the present day and Ian reflected on a point, made by Haldane, that the great achievement of the modern world has been to reduce the incidence of recessions and slowdowns compared to the pre-Industrial period. He stresses the importance of this, as recessions tend to cast a shadow on growth in ensuing years.
Ian noted there may be future debate around the extent to which this downturn risks the potential of slowing globalisation, and the accumulation of debt and caution on the part of consumers and corporates, which consequently, may weigh on future growth.
A majority (63.7%) of this week’s webinar audience predicted the ultimate economic impact of COVID-19 will be protracted and severe, the same as last week. The respondents were also more pessimistic this week on economic activity rebounding with 74% not expecting a rebound before 2021, compared to 65% last week.
The ‘next normal’ – what might the future look like post COVID-19 - Henry Nicholson, chief strategy officer and restructuring partner, Deloitte North South Europe.
Henry Nicholson outlined different macro scenarios for the future based on the interaction of health and the economy and the critical role of non-pharmaceutical interventions linking the two. He outlined six themes for society and businesses, ranging from enterprise resilience and supply chain, to technology and data.
He commented that many of themes were not new but in some cases their impact had been accelerated (technology shifts), in some they represented an alteration of course (regulation) and for others potentially delaying progress (political focus on sustainability measures).
Henry shared some insights on the current debate about the unlocking of the economy, about the sensitivity of COVID-19 modelling to the virus reproduction rate, the gaps in our knowledge around key assumptions and the variations around Europe.
Dr Jane Halpin
Jane leads Deloitte’s Clinical Team and is a qualified Public Health Medicine clinician. Prior to joining Deloitte in 2015, Jane had over 25 years’ experience in the NHS including roles as a Medical Director, PCT Chief Executive and NHS England Area Director. Since joining Deloitte, Jane has worked on numerous health care engagements for Trusts, health economies and others, spanning operational improvement, clinical strategy, service reconfiguration and health system integration. Jane has a proven track record in effecting strategic change, driving improvement and developing strong and effective teams, organisations and systems.
Ian Stewart is a Partner and Chief Economist at Deloitte where he advises Boards and companies on macroeconomics. Ian devised the Deloitte Survey of Chief Financial Officers and writes a popular weekly economics blog, the Monday Briefing. His previous roles include Chief Economist for Europe at Merrill Lynch, Head of Economics in the Conservative Research Department and Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Ian was educated at the London School of Economics.
Henry leads Deloitte’s Corporate Advisory Restructuring team in the UK and has over 20 years of strategic, operational and financial restructuring experience. He specialises in advising companies on amending and restructuring financial facilities and managing financial crisis, typically caused by covenant breaches, liquidity shortfalls or facility expiry. He has advised on many of the UK’s most high profile situations. Henry has an MBA from INSEAD and has worked for a leading strategy consultancy.