Public services: impact of the Covid-19 pandemic

In March 2020, the House of Lords Public Services Committee set up an inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on public services which reported in November 2020. Among its findings, the committee identified five weaknesses highlighted by the pandemic that should be addressed to make public services resilient enough to withstand future crises. The committee’s recommendations also aimed to ‘lock-in’ innovations developed during the pandemic to reform public services over the longer-term.

Public services: impact of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • In Focus

    Promoting tourism in the UK

    The UK’s tourism industry has been particularly hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Ahead of a House of Lords debate on 24 June 2021 to take note of the need to promote tourism in the UK, this article looks at how the sector has been affected, and the Government’s response, including its recently published Tourism Recovery Plan.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: impact on child poverty and on young people’s education, health and wellbeing

    Concerns have been raised about the impact on young people of many of the measures taken to control the spread of coronavirus. This article explores the potential impact on education, health and poverty levels, and what the Government are doing to mitigate these concerns. It has been prepared in advance of a House of Lords debate scheduled for 17 June 2021.

  • In Focus

    Arts education in secondary schools

    Recent Department of Education statistics show reductions in the number of hours spent teaching some arts subjects in secondary schools. The situation has worsened with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, with much arts teaching reduced or stopped during lockdown. The 2019 Conservative manifesto included commitments to an “arts premium” for the funding of the arts, music and sports. The Government recently reiterated its commitment to arts subjects, saying they are “vital parts of children and young people’s education”.

  • In Focus

    Neurological conditions and Covid-19

    Health and care services for those with neurological conditions have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, with many of these patients also facing an increased risk from the virus. This briefing examines the diverse nature of these conditions and how the NHS has sought to adjust to the challenges caused by Covid-19.

  • In Focus

    To sign or not to sign? Sign language in law, parliament and Covid-19 briefings

    Following Deaf Awareness Week this month, this article looks at British sign language and a campaign for the Government to provide an on-set BSL interpreter at the live televised Covid-19 briefings. It also looks at the introduction of BSL interpretation to certain parliamentary proceedings, most notably for prime minister’s questions.

  • In Focus

    Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine: where are we now?

    Around one billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered around the world. In the UK, more than 35 million people have received at least one dose. The vaccine developed at the University of Oxford, in partnership with AstraZeneca, is one of the major vaccines currently in circulation. This article covers the debate over supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Europe, as well as the rare blood clotting side-effect reported after a small number of first doses.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech: economic affairs, business and Covid-19 recovery

    Coronavirus vaccine programmes are improving the economic outlook, but rising cases in some countries are affecting global activity. This article discusses the outlook for key economic variables. It then summarises the Government’s policies for the economy as it recovers from the pandemic. Finally, it lists a number of possible bills or areas for legislation, related to the economy and business, which might feature in the Queen’s speech.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: housing evictions

    The ban on housing evictions, introduced in March 2020, is due to end on 31 May 2021. A think tank has estimated that around 756,000 households are currently behind on their housing payments. They have called on the Government to provide financial help to clear rent arrears as well as reforms to the welfare system. The Government has said it has provided unprecedented financial support for renters during the pandemic.

  • In Focus

    Building an inclusive society in the post-pandemic world

    Attendees at a United Nations (UN) summit more than 25 years ago defined an inclusive society as a “society for all”. Policy responses have been introduced in the years since, though questions remain about how progress can be measured. The Covid-19 pandemic has represented a setback towards realising the goal in many areas, but some have identified an opportunity to redouble efforts towards achieving ambitions in the pandemic’s wake.

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