The Academy identified six Principles for Reintroducing Healthcare Services to be used as an aid to promote safe and effective healthcare as we move into the next phase of the COVID-19 pandemic – that of beginning to recover and restore life in general as well as health and care services.

We are following this up with a series of individual statements on issues arising out of the principles setting out our view on how various aspects of the reset and recovery programme should be taken forward.

Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, it has rarely been a simple binary choice between a right and a wrong course of action or decision. Faced with the harsh realities of this pandemic individual clinicians, health organisations, national bodies and Government have generally had to make choices on what would seem to be the least damaging of a series of unattractive options. Decisions have to be made in the light of the best evidence available at the time with the best interests of patients and the public as the driving factor.

We believe the future delivery of care will, undoubtedly, become more difficult and complex. The previous concentration of medical resources to accommodate COVID-19 cases has moved to a gradual restoration of more complex planned care in an endemic situation with a huge backlog of people needing interventions and new ways of delivering care becoming more accepted. That will present health professionals and organisations with a series of challenges.