Arts and Humanities researchers have highlighted the complex and difficult situations in which health and care staff have found themselves during the pandemic.

Studies have developed tools to guide ethical and transparent decision-making and identify and assess risk in healthcare environments. Research and design skills have been applied to PPE, immunity passports and public-facing rapid testing instructions. Researchers have mapped the way in which infection spreads on public transport, and used their creativity to help the public understand public health messages and mitigate infection risk in public spaces. They have turned a spotlight on healthcare workers’ experiences of racism.

Findings suggest that staff now need improved frameworks and structures of support if they are to balance the usual requirements of their work alongside the demands of an ongoing emergency response. There are lessons to be learned about the way in which healthcare decisions have been made, communicated and received. Applying these during recovery and in future crises is likely to require increased public awareness and involvement.

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Browse other projects addressing themes of communication of public health messages and experience and design of healthcare services here.