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About the C19 National Foresight Group

The C19 National Foresight Group is a cross-government and multi-agency group set up to support the UK response to Covid-19. This group works with NTU to draw on academic insight and expertise throughout its work.


The C19 National Foresight Group (C19 NFG) was a cross-government multi-agency group set up to support the UK response to Covid-19. It operated between March 2020 up until the end of January 2021. This group worked in partnership and collaboratively with Nottingham Trent University (NTU), one of NFG’s members, to draw on academic insights and expertise to save lives, relieve harm and support communities. NFG considered how Covid-19 would affect different groups, organisations and practices across society, and rapidly share this learning with other parties.

Chaired by Shaun West, the membership of the group was broad, with attendance from a range of government departments, from the national bodies of the emergency services, health agencies, the voluntary and community sector, the military and from academia.

Dr Rowena Hill, Associate Professor here at NTU, was asked back in March 2020 to be the critical friend and academic voice for the group as an embedded scientist. Her role was to respond, inform and support the discussions and thinking of the group with academic insights and considerations. This was supported by a broad range of teams across NTU including a team dedicated to producing intelligence briefings (NTU C19 Foresight Working Group), a team who analysed and produced reports on purposefully collected data from across the UK on the management of the pandemic, and the support of our library services team who completed literature searches to ensure scope, range and equity of academic insights feeding into the work of the group.

We share our reports and products online here in this space in the hope it will provide an evidence base to inform the management of the pandemic as it continues to unfold, and in the future. These reports and products were developed within the operating timeframe of the group (March 2020 to end of January 2021).  We hope these publications will be used to support thinking and decision-making around the pandemic in the future.

The publications you can find on this website have the date stamp of when the publication was produced and span a range of topics. This space was created to host all publicly available outputs, all of which have been shared across Government, Local Resilience Forums, Blue light services, the Local Government Authority SOLACE network to name but a few.

  • For info on NTUs C19 NFG work read more below and explore the outputs
  • Whilst Nottingham Trent University and the Hydra Foundation have made these outputs available to the public we are clear that these outputs and subsequent versions produced by them, are not to be copied in whole or part without the prior written permission as sponsor. Both organisations operate due diligence and vigilance regimes to ensure there is no compromise of such arrangements.
  • We look forward to hearing how you have used them. Please share any questions, observations or case studies of their use via
C19 National Foresight Introduction
Shaun West headshot

Shaun West

Shaun West was the Chairman of C19 National Foresight Group, connecting colleagues dealing directly with the unprecedented challenges presented by Covid-19, through an innovative platform enabling cross-partnership reflection and continuous development in real-time.

Shaun commissioned in excess of 50 papers, comprising foresight intelligence, strategic roundtables and rapid reviews providing opportunity for Local Resilience Forums, partners and government departments to reflect beyond their present challenges and consider long term impact in collaboration with Hydra Foundation and Nottingham Trent University as academic partners.

Shaun previously served as Assistant Chief Constable (partnerships) for Lincolnshire Police, Chair of the Lincolnshire Local Resilience Forum and Senior Responsible Officer for Lincolnshire Blue Light Programme.  He joined Lincolnshire Police in 1997 and has served in both uniform and detective roles throughout his career, including local policing, Community Safety, CID, Professional Standards, Public Protection and Operations Support. Shaun was the Head of the Specialist Operations in Lincolnshire before taking a seconded role in April 2014 as the lead for Armed Policing and Strategic Roads Policing for those forces within the EMOpSS collaborative team; Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.

Shaun is a Specialist Strategic Firearms Commander, Gold Public Order Commander and Gold CBRN Commander. Shaun is also a Multi-Agency Gold Incident Commander, chairing in excess of 200 Strategic Coordination Groups (SCG) for such incidents as flooding, tidal surge, terrorism, protest and EU transition. Shaun has delivered training across England and internationally, for example Kosovo on behalf of EULEX Rule of Law mission and British Embassy. He is a peer reviewer with Local Government Association.

Shaun has returned as an Assistant Chief Constable to UK policing.

Professor Rowena Hill

Dr Rowena Hill

Dr Rowena Hill is an Associate Professor here at Nottingham Trent University in Social Sciences. Her research seeks to understand the psychological and social impacts of emergency working. She has been working alongside the emergency services for the last fifteen years and has been involved in a range of research projects.

Her primary research interests consider the impacts of disasters and emergencies on all those involved. She is involved in work with Local Resilience Forums to inform practice through evidence. She sits on a number of national committees and advisory groups relating to the blue light services.

She has worked extensively across these sectors. Some of her projects relating to disaster management include the psychology of communications in warning and informing the public, projects exploring communication and decision-making within Strategic Co-ordinating Groups. Her other projects include the wellbeing and resilience of emergency service workers, the impact on families of working in the blue light sector and principles of blue light collaboration.

What is the C19 National Foresight Group

It was a cross-government, multi-agency group established in March 2020 to focus on foresight and issues relating to Covid-19 and its impacts within the UK. Chaired by Shaun West, this group created a space where all agencies could review the current and future impacts of Covid-19 and work with local strategic decision-makers across the country to reduce harm, alleviate suffering and save lives within the context of those impacts and the virus itself.

How is NTU Involved

During the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Rowena Hill was approached by the initial creators of the group to sit on a newly formed group tasked with exploring foresight issues relating to Covid-19. During the early stages of the pandemic across the UK there was limited discussion about the upcoming challenges and issues as a lot of energy was understandably spent on the immediate response. The foresight role since that initial six/eight-week sprint has expanded. NTUs role was to support the group full time by bringing academic insight into the daily meetings and to act as a critical friend helping government departments and agencies to bridge across their statutory responsibilities to meet the aims of the group.

NTU supported this work as part of its civic mission to contribute to societies effort to tackle Covid-19. It formed a central part of our response to the pandemic and its effects.

To support the task and commissions that we developed, Rich Pickford and Kelly Smith were seconded to the project to help set up and deliver the requirements asked of NTU. Alongside Dr Hill, they formed the core team working alongside the C19 National Foresight Group. This team has worked with a small team of Research Assistants -Dr Stacey Stewart, Adam Potter and Stephanie Bianco- and academic colleagues -Dr Sally Andrews and Dr Lucy Justice- to deliver weekly intelligence briefings alongside a growing pool of academics from across NTU who have shared ideas, insights and time to shine a light on critical issues relating to Covid-19. These academic insights are synthesised from across national and international papers, and from across a range of subject areas in academia, all collated around topic themes each week to inform the management of the pandemic with an evidence base.

As the C19 National Foresight Group developed we also engaged a core group of Psychology colleagues - Dr Duncan Guest, Dr Sally Andrews, Dr Lisa Sanderson, Professor Thom Baguley- with expertise in disaster and emergency management to support the delivery of the C19 National Foresight commissioned Rapid Reviews which were facilitated through the 10kV Cloud platform created and managed by the Hydra Foundation and Professor Jonathan Crego.

The NTU C19 Foresight Group was decommissioned at the end of January 2021, but NTU continues to respond to agencies and the expertise and insights that the team has collated continues to be applied through several other ongoing projects and welcomes contact from interested parties who wish to discuss our work or commission similar activities.

Contributors from NTU

Intelligence BriefingsStrategic RoundtablesRapid ReviewsStand-alone Commissions
Rowena HillRowena HillRowena HillRowena Hill
Rich PickfordRich PickfordRich PickfordRich Pickford
Kelly SmithKelly SmithDuncan GuestKelly Smith
Stacey Stewart Sally AndrewsSally Andrews
Adam Potter Lisa Sanderson 
Stephanie Bianco Thom Baguley 
Sally Andrews   
Lucy Justice   
Karen Slade   
Clifford Stevenson   
James Hunter   
Blerina Kellezi   
Juliet Wakefield   
Clare Wood   
Mhairi Bowe   
Ian Clark   
Huw Fearnall-Williams   
Chris Rolph   
Carrie Paechter   
Andy Clapham  

Contact Us

Rowena Hill, Rich Pickford and Kelly Smith