Welcome to the first edition of new digital Innovate magazine. Continuing the distinct design of its printed forerunner, the digital Innovate will be a regular magazine from KSS AHSN with each issue looking at a single theme from three different perspectives. In this first edition of the new format we focus on COVID-19, and consider the challenges and opportunities that collectively face health and social care in KSS and beyond.

From initial lockdown at the start of March, to the start of the gentle easing of measures at the end of June and beyond, the changes that we’ve experienced as a result of COVID-19 are huge.

In this series of articles we look at how Kent, Surrey and Surrey has, as a region, reacted to the initial impact of COVID-19, and how we’re planning to develop our approach in the future.

Our first article looks at the region’s response, and from reading the piece you’ll see that closer integration and increased flexible working, both across organisations and geographies, played their part. While the government’s central message has been to protect the NHS and save lives, social care staff have consistently gone above and beyond what was expected of them.

Des Holden, our Medical Director, has written  about how COVID-19 is shaping the delivery of care closer to home, with three case studies of how that is happening in the areas of mental health, digital consultations, and diagnostics.

And we also take a deeper look at how we could rethink the delivery of urgent care, based on our own learnings from COVID-19 and the wider experience of the Danish healthcare system.