Special report GAD response to the coronavirus 1 year later


This time last year the coronavirus pandemic appears to have passed its peak in the UK. As challenges remained, there was optimism that we were moving in the right direction and that a new normal would develop.

Twelve months later and we’re at a lower point again after a peak. There is renewed optimism about the future as the roll-out of the immunization program continues at a steady pace.

This special feature looks back at GAD’s coronavirus response over the past year and looks at what may follow.

Support of the response

Throughout the pandemic, GAD staff worked with colleagues in the public sector to support the coronavirus response. Some of the many areas in which we have provided support:

  • providing modeling and actuarial expertise to help the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports develop a solution enabling the UK film and television production industry to operate, supporting over 180,000 jobs in the UK

  • secondment of staff to the NHS test and trace analysis team, performing system-level modeling and analysis to assess future demand and support policy decisions

  • second staff to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs to support the delivery of the Risk assessment for the COVID-19 population ensure that people at high risk of COVID-19 are added to the list of protected and priority patients for vaccination

  • produce the annual report of the government actuary on the financial position of the National insurance fund given the impact of the pandemic on the fund’s income and expenses

  • work as part of a team to ensure community pharmacies have the clinical negligence compensation coverage necessary to deliver vaccines in key areas of England

  • GAD also supported the British Business Bank and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to forecast the costs of the various coronavirus loan programs that have supported businesses that were losing revenue due to the pandemic.

Opinion leadership

Throughout this time, we have sought to share our learnings and experiences with clients and colleagues in the public sector.

Our webinar series covered areas such as the potential implications for longevity and the impact of COVID-19 on commercial insurance.

We continue to develop new event content and welcome the views of our clients and colleagues in the public sector on areas of interest.

In addition to our series of events, we also produce a range of publications, including some that you can subscribe to, including:

Partnership with clients

Customers had to respond quickly to issues related to COVID-19 and at GAD we have also adapted our approach which is:

  • flexible and iterative
  • get involved earlier in the development phases of the project
  • create innovative methods to analyze incomplete datasets available for fast-moving projects

GAD has delivered substantial work in the short term. We have worked with our clients to be an integral part of the political partnership.

In addition to providing direct support in pandemic responses and thought leadership, we have continued to support our clients with the other challenges they face.

Hand shake

New ways of working

Many customers have come under considerable pressure, with regular activity continuing in addition to demands related to the pandemic response, while also managing new ways of working.

We were not able to work on site with clients as we had done in many cases before the start of the crisis. Instead, we used video conferencing technologies to increase our chat opportunities.

This allowed us to participate in team meetings and project discussions in a much more flexible way and, as a result, to become a full member of the team.

Clients have recognized the value of this close collaboration and the added value we can bring when we better understand the context and other issues of a project.

Screen sharing made it possible to discuss the work as it progressed and to solve problems in a collaborative way, thus strengthening the partnership approach of the projects.

Look ahead

As the restrictions on our lives begin to loosen, we look to the future with hope, expectation, and no little uncertainty. The pandemic has affected us all in one way or another, and as we gradually ease the lockdowns, we will try to keep the positives from last year:

  • our secondment program has helped us immerse ourselves in some of our clients’ challenges and provide the immediate support required

  • the use of technology to organize events and maintain regular contact with clients has enabled closer engagement with larger groups

  • the pandemic required rapid responses and we have improved our approach to redeploying support to meet new demands and build collaborative links across the public sector

  • technology has also allowed us to work remotely in a very efficient manner, offering greater flexibility to staff and the possibility of developing a more hybrid working style.

With these lessons learned, GAD is in a stronger position to support the government through any challenges that may arise in the future.

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