Public health – Dr Jane Halpin, Director, Clinical Lead, Deloitte UK
Dr Jane Halpin reflected on suppression measures that have been implemented in countries around the world. The measures initially aim to reduce the rate of new cases – usually evident two to three weeks after social distancing commences – and then of course, the number of deaths caused by the virus. It can take several more weeks to see if this has worked.
Many are asking the question of what is next, and how long will social distancing last? It is one of the real unknowns and without clarity of how effective public health measures will be, putting a timescale on how long suppression measures may last is a challenge.
What is clear is that we are getting used to a different way of working and living. We look forward to seeing the health impact of the social distancing measures, and this will hopefully give us more confidence regarding the direction of travel.
The UK and the global economy - Ian Stewart, Partner and Chief Economist at Deloitte UK
Ian Stewart examined how, over the last two weeks, we have observed extraordinary measures around the world to counter the virus. The main aims of these measures include meeting essential needs, preserving economic capacity and maintaining social cohesion.
Learnings from the global financial crisis are also being put into practice, particularly, acting with speed, on a substantial scale, and not letting ‘the perfect be the enemy of the good’. Ian also noted that to counter COVID-19, unlike the 2008 financial crisis, fiscal policy will play a greater role than monetary policy, although the latter will still be crucial to ensuring sufficient liquidity for companies and organisations.
In terms of recovery, it is challenging to make an accurate prediction with such tremendous uncertainty. The expectation amongst economists is for a large contraction in the second quarter, with some recovery in the third or fourth quarter of this year – which, in turn, will depend on virus-related restrictions to activity.
Webinar respondents are more pessimistic about when economic activity will recover, compared to last week. This is despite being more optimistic about policymakers having sufficient tools to cushion the economy from a shock. This week, rising numbers anticipated either a rebound in Q4 2020 or Q1 2021 and beyond.
Reshaping the world of work - Rupert Darbyshire, Director, Consulting, Deloitte UK
Rupert Darbyshire outlined how the crisis is re-shaping how we work; something 80% of attendees of the webinar could see having a lasting impact on their businesses. The emerging new normal requires leaders to dial up their level of connectivity with employees; focus on employee and their own wellbeing; look for opportunities to enable people to work differently and better and at the same time stay safe.
Rupert explained compassion, empathy, inclusion are non-negotiable. Also, that business leaders are wise to balance the enthusiasm for new ways of working with keeping employees, systems and data safe.
He finishes by offering thoughts on the steps we could all take to be successful enabling our employees to work in the current environment.
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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.