Policy Adoption and the Implementation Woes of the Intersectoral Prioritizing people and rapid learning in times of crisis: A virtual learning initiative to support health workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Cape province was the early epicentre of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic in South Africa and on the African continent. In this short article we report on an initiative set up within the provincial Department of Health early in the pandemic to facilitate collective learning and support for health workers and managers across the health system, emphasising the importance of leadership, systems resilience, nonhierarchical learning and connectedness. These strategies included regular and systematic engagement with organised labour, different ways of gauging and responding to staff morale, and daily ‘huddles’ for raid learning and responsive action. We propose three transformational actions that could deliver health systems that protect staff during good times and in times of system shocks.