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Report reviews lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic

Published on Wednesday, August 16, 2023

2 minute read

Professor Ivan Browne

A REPORT that looks back at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lasting effects of lockdown on Leicester has been published by the city council.

Compiled by the city’s director of public health Professor Ivan Browne and his team, the report acknowledges that the health inequalities that existed in Leicester before the pandemic have been exacerbated ­– but the size of this impact is yet to be seen.

It looks back at the way the pandemic unfolded in Leicester, charts the timeline of events, the number of cases, the testing programme and the vaccine programme – but it also remembers the ways that the city’s communities pulled together to help with the response.

“People will remember that Leicester became the first local authority area to be placed under a local lockdown in June 2020 – and, as a result, we spent more time living under COVID restrictions than anywhere else in the country,” said Professor Browne, who will be stepping down from his role at the end of the month.

“Those periods of lockdown undoubtedly took their toll – but the lasting impact of the pandemic on people’s health, livelihoods and happiness is only just starting to be understood.

“In this annual report, we look back at the public health interventions that helped protect the health of the people of Leicester during the pandemic and consider the lessons that can be learned from the challenges that we faced.

“By evaluating our response to those challenges, we hope to improve the health and wellbeing of the people of Leicester in the future.”

The report is structured in distinct chapters, including Healthy Minds, which looks at how lockdown impacted on the city’s mental health; Healthy Start, which considers the challenges faced by children and young people during the pandemic; Healthy Lives, which focuses on people’s ability to access health services and look after their own health; and Healthy Ageing, which evaluates the impact of the pandemic on older people and explores what’s being done to help combat social isolation.

Deputy city mayor responsible for health Cllr Sarah Russell said: “This report considers the events, challenges and achievements of 2020-22 through the stories of the people who lived through it.

“The lessons learned from the pandemic will help us be better prepared for a future crisis, and they will also help us better understand the pandemic’s lasting impacts on the health of the people of Leicester.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ivan, our director of public health, for the leadership he showed during the pandemic, and for guiding the city through unprecedented times with humility and calm authority.

“We will certainly miss him but we wish him well in his new role at De Montfort University.”

The Director of Public Health’s annual report, Beyond the Lockdowns: Lessons Learned from Leicester’s COVID Story, can be viewed here 


Picture caption: Professor Ivan Browne, Leicester’s director of public health