Empowering future healthcare through data

Following the pandemic, the need for data-led interventions in healthcare is indisputable. Although the pandemic catalysed digitalisation, a joined-up approach to utilising data and using it to deliver actionable insights remains in its infancy. In an article published in Business Reporter and The Independent, our Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, argues there is now an urgent need to look at healthcare data more strategically to begin designing solutions that future-proof the system and meet the widely varied needs of all.

Delivering the best patient care relies on having access to all relevant information. It is important to ensure there is enhanced visibility of the holistic needs of the patient, that nothing is missed, and the patient’s condition is managed in the most appropriate way.

By connecting data insights from different areas of service provision, health organisations would be equipped with a more accurate overview of patient journeys across their borders as well as benefit from the efficacies of interventions. It would also allow a consolidated and informed view of the current and future needs of their patient population.

Follow the link to learn more about the fundamental requirement for the right data infrastructure, how to harness the benefits of data sharing and the importance to examine data from multiple sources to promote equality and inclusion.

Acumentice attends Patient Safety Awards 2022

On the evening of October 24, 2022, the entire Acumentice Team attended the HSJ Patient Safety Awards held in the exhibition and conference centre, Manchester Central.  

The HSJ Patient Safety Awards is created to drive improvements in culture and quality across the NHS. The awards recognise and reward the hard-working teams and individuals who despite all the challenges of our times are striving to deliver improved patient care. This year there were 23 awards under four key areas: Clinical and Specialist excellence; Enacting organisation-wide change; Proactive prevention and harm avoidance; Service/system innovation. 

We enjoyed a welcoming atmosphere created by HSJ which fostered connections with our NHS colleagues. Dinner was followed by the main part of why we all got together – the celebration of the shortlisted candidates and the announcement of the winners. As one of the judges, our Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, presented a trophy to the outstanding project “A Service Evaluation of the use of using offloading knee braces in the treatment pathway of knee osteoarthritis during the coronavirus pandemic” undertaken by Dorset Country Hospital in the Safe Restoration of Elective Care Services category. As the judges noted, the excellent team demonstrated a real passion for improving patient outcomes.  

We also would like to mention the Highly Commended Candidate South West Ambulatory Orthopaedic Centre who presented the project An Integrated Care System approach to tackling the backlog in elective care by developing a revolutionary ambulatory centre for elective orthopaedic surgery” and the shortlisted finalists who have also shown an incredible dedication to patient safety. We would like to congratulate the winners again and to thank HSJ for organising such a fun and important event for the industry. We look forward to next year already! 

New report identifies 16 health systems under high levels of pressure this winter

We are thrilled to announce we have commissioned and supported the Future Health Research Centre with the launch of a new report, which identifies 16 health systems under high levels of pressure across both primary and secondary care going into this winter.

Analysis from NHS data sources including appointment access, waiting times and ratios of staff to patients is used to look at relative pressures between new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), established in July 2022 and now responsible for regionally managing health services.

Each of the regional ICSs are ranked for six key metrics: the number of appointments per head of population, the number of appointments per GP, the percentage of same or next day appointments available, the percentage of appointments that were booked over 21 days of initial contact, the number of patients who ranked their experience as fairly poor and the number of A&E attendances due to no GP appointment availability. 

The research revealed that Kent and Medway is the NHS region under the greatest relative pressure, ranking in the top ten for four of the six index metrics. It had the second highest appointments to GP ratio, the fifth highest number of patients recording a ‘poor’ or ‘fairly poor’ experience, as well as ranking tenth for the number of patients unable to see a GP resulting in going to A&E. 

The top ten ICSs identified as the most under pressure were: 

  1. Kent and Medway 
  2. Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland
  3. Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes
  4. Sussex
  5. South Yorkshire
  6. Gloucestershire
  7. Derbyshire
  8. Mid and South Essex
  9. Dorset 
  10. West Yorkshire

By contrast a similar number of systems are under low relative levels of primary and secondary care pressure. These include Bristol, North Somerset and Gloucestershire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West, Coventry and Warwickshire, Hertfordshire and West Essex, Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent, Suffolk and North East Essex.

We have supported Richard Sloggett, the report author to collate a number of recommendations following the findings of the research:

This report, Under pressure: an analysis of primary care pressures facing Integrated Care Systems at launch, argues that the introduction of the following would all support the ambitions within the Fuller report to be realised:

  • Accountability – Including measures within the new national oversight frameworks for Integrated Care Systems, such as the System Oversight Framework, that properly assess the role of primary care in ICS decision making. Also ensuring that system oversight is both proportionate and takes into account the different healthcare needs of ICS populations and the impact of the pandemic
  • Funding – A new funding formula for primary care that properly takes into account levels of deprivation and a review of primary and secondary care financial flows to ensure that payment mechanisms are flexible and support integrated working arrangements
  • Workforce – Tackling issues with NHS pensions to support workforce retention and providing greater flexibility to local teams regarding recruitment through the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) 
  • Capital – Re-prioritising healthcare capital spending to ensure capital funding is available for primary and community care and to support more integrated service transformation. This could include a proposed Community Health Infrastructure Fund
  • Data – Utilise the Digital Health and Care Plan and the efforts during the pandemic to reduce bureaucracy in data sharing and enforce action on suppliers who do not conform to minimum standards. Streamline national health technology funding into a health data infrastructure accelerator that enables systems to join up health data more quickly and easily
  • Regulation – Ensuring that new system level service regulation through the CQC Single Assessment Framework clearly engages with primary care leaders, particularly Primary Care Networks

These actions from national bodies will provide an enabling environment for regional and local systems to deliver the changes and improvements in care needed. 

To read the report in full visit: https://www.futurehealth-research.com/new-future-health-research-identifies-the-nhs-regions-under-most-pressure-this-winter/ 

Who’s next please?

Throughout the country, integrated care systems are trying to redefine what we have previously understood by the concept of treating in line with clinical need.  Indeed, NHS providers are reviewing how to reprioritise elective waiting lists by taking account of factors influencing inequality. This means an individual’s position on the waiting list could be revised by accounting for a series of clinical and non-clinical factors.  However, are there potential hazards in the methodologies being employed? Additionally, are there any risks in the organic nature in which the work is currently being developed?

Published in the HSJ today, Philip Purdy, Principal Consultant at Acumentice, discusses the challenges presented by pursuing novel and heterogeneous methods of prioritising elective waiting lists.

In the article, Philip concentrates on the importance of complete and accurate data and how it can be used in complex prioritisation systems. He recognises that the way we interpret and apply indicators of deprivation is a very new science to the NHS and one that that remains relatively unrefined. Finally, he explores the way in which the work is developing and whether it could lead to potential risks that must be recognised and explored.

 

Click here to read the article in full and learn more…

Fuller Stocktake Report 2022

In May 2022, NHS England published the final report of the stocktake by Dr Claire Fuller, Chief Executive-designate Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System and GP on integrated primary care, looking at what is working well, why it’s working well and how we can accelerate the implementation of integrated primary care (incorporating the current 4 pillars of general practice, community pharmacy, dentistry and optometry) across systems.

In our recent series on the recommendations identified in the Fuller Stocktake Report published on LinkedIn and Twitter, we shared our thoughts on data, population health management, leadership, personalised care and access. In the report, Fuller emphasises that crucial to the development of Integrated Care Systems (ICS) is creating the right environment that aligns to the needs of the local population. We share this optimism around the opportunities that the new health and social care reforms provide in transforming how primary care is delivered.

Data, Data, Data

Data was one of three environmental conditions discussed in the Fuller report alongside workforce and estates. Improvements to how we collect and use data is in our opinion a key ingredient for the NHS to be able to provide truly personalised and patient outcome-focused solutions, at neighbourhood and place level.  According to Dr Fuller, “Primary care must be at the heart of each of our new systems – all of which face different challenges and will require the freedom and support to find different solutions.” Indeed, if primary care is to be at the heart of each new Integrated Care System, then a clear and aligned, locally owned (end to end) data-driven approach is a necessity.

A patient centric population management approach supported by high quality data will drive new proactive models of care that improve health and wellbeing, reduce health inequalities, and identify interventions which could improve outcomes, and even reduce demand. Furthermore, overcoming barriers to enable data sharing across multiple organisations within systems could in turn be a lever toward shaping a transformative approach to improvement and collaboration.

Shifting the focus – integration and joining the dots

Empowering local leadership in the delivery of locally aligned care and facilitating integration are key conditions emphasised in the report.  A leadership that is brave, and one that fosters a culture of partnership working and embedded strategic and long-term thinking, with the headspace needed to do this, is a key enabler.  It’s also about recognising that a one-size-fits-all health and care system will struggle to meet the increasing complexity of people’s needs, and meet expectations around how those needs should be met. Whilst the report advocates supporting community partners to operationally embed relevant teams as part of existing PCN teams, how we orientate providers to neighbourhood is not yet quite clear and should be high on the agenda for leadership teams.

Right care, right place, right time

For Integrated Care Systems, galvanising a system approach to managing access to same day urgent care is paramount.  This includes challenging the perception of current system provider remits and responsibilities to ensure that the right care is delivered in the right place, first time and indeed by the right healthcare professional. Of equal importance is the development of interventions and mechanisms to support elective recovery, and safe management of patient risk whilst waiting. For instance, without the well documented workforce challenges being properly addressed, managing access to same day urgent care is unlikely to be achieved. At the same time, the workforce challenge is one that will not be resolved in the short to medium term, and cannot be met within the local systems alone. Therefore, an integrated approach is not an option but a necessity to deliver right care at the right place, first time.

Digital enablers

Technology also plays a key role in ensuring that patients are seen in the right place, by the right healthcare professional at the right time, and provides the foundation for long term sustainability in health and social care. Interoperability between provider systems will enable joined up care, drive service improvement and innovation, and facilitate integration and personalised care. New technologies will support flexible, tailored services that support people’s health, wellbeing and promote independent healthy lives. During the course of the pandemic the use of digital tools and technology to manage long-term health conditions at home and to support independence increased significantly via interventions such as virtual wards, and outpatient video consultations. This momentum should be maintained and more informed alignment of digital technology to ensure consistency and interoperability in enabling system wide complimentary solutions will be key.

Vision to action

At Acumentice, we take a holistic and bespoke approach to working with our NHS clients, supporting them to create common goals, a shared purpose and build a collective vision. We are currently working with Integrated Care System clients to identify opportunities, challenges and priorities to inform a Primary Care Strategy refresh and to inform strategic direction. We also support multiple clients at all levels in approaching digital and data transformation to ensure they deliver current and future Population Health Management aims discussed in Fuller Report. For more information on how we can help your organisation https://acumentice.com/services/

We, at Acumentice, welcome this stocktake. With growing challenges in not just NHS hospital waiting times but also at GP surgeries, a report by Dr Claire Fuller on integrating primary care is useful and timely. It is an important and accessible guide on how to improve access, experience, and outcomes for communities by providing three essential offers: streamlined access to care, proactive and personalised care alongside helping people to stay well longer.

HSJi Live Conference 2022

On Tuesday 7th June, the Acumentice Business Development team attended the HSJi Live Conference 2022, held in the state-of-the-art Exhibition centre, 133 Houndsditch. This was a great opportunity to connect with colleagues from different parts of the country, meet HSJ journalists and listen to their insightful talks that revealed the current challenges faced by NHS. As this was the first HSJi Live Conference since the Covid pandemic, it was energising to observe how all attendees were enthused by connecting in person again discussing crucial NHS questions under one roof. This certainly facilitated the process of gaining a shared and deeper understanding of the current challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector.  

The dominant theme of the conference was, How the private sector can support the NHS?. This central theme was explored through three panel discussions – Recovering from the pandemic, Integrated Care and Workforce Reform and What is the NHS buying and how?. The opening words of Alastair McLellan, HSJ Editor, highlighted the importance of suppliers in supporting both the NHS and HSJ, were especially memorable to us and connected all the delegates. We were all in this together indeed and HSJi Conference definitely marked the transition from the peak of the pandemic to looking at ways to resolve its impact.  

The theme that attracted our attention the most was Recovering from the Pandemic as we continue to work with many NHS organisations supporting their recovery. The talk was delivered in 3 parts by James Illman, Ben Clover and Matt Discombe from the HSJ. Especially useful were the insights around waiting lists discussed by James Illman. The principal message was that cutting waiting list times remained the NHS’s main operational priority because they would continue growing considerably for years to come. As we are aware, the maximum waiting time of 18-week standard set by NHS was not regularly achieved even before the onset of the pandemic. Philip Purdy, Principal Consultant at Acumentice, comments, “To fix waiting times, it is important to look at the whole pathway a patient goes through before they leave NHS services. Quite often there are unintentional attempts to optimise waiting times just in the beginning or the end of the pathway. It is important to be aware that this approach only creates more problems”.  

Thus, for example, addressing waiting lists only for outpatient consultations, ignoring diagnostics, will only create more demand for diagnostics and enlarge the waiting list. Therefore, it is vital to approach waiting list management holistically, not ignoring any part of a patient’s journey. We continue to support clients design recovery programmes that reflect on this crucial question and believe that to ensure the successful recovery of NHS services, Trusts should be confident in applying this holistic vision when resolving capacity problems.  

At Acumentice, we take a holistic and bespoke approach to working with our NHS clients, supporting them to understand and build a clear picture and assessment of their elective care waiting lists, working with them in partnership to deliver truly effective solutions. We ensure that Trusts receive a fresh perspective on the state of their waiting lists on different stages of patient’s journey and understand where the improvements are required. With sophisticated and innovative modelling and analytics tools, we bring sustainable improvements to support recovery and capacity planning to make sure NHS’s main operational priority – cutting waiting list times – discussed by Illman, is at the core of our services.   

To conclude, the HSJi Live conference was a great experience, particularly to understand key challenges facing the NHS, and also to have the opportunity to connect with like-minded colleagues and suppliers from the healthcare sector. The key themes presented has reinforced the importance of the work we do around waiting lists and elective care recovery. Both of these services remain crucial for the foreseeable, to help heal the NHS and to ensure all patients receive timely access to treatment as a result, guarding patient safety as much as possible.  

 

Visit our website to learn more about our approach and how we can help. 

 

The State of Demand for Mental Health Services 2022

Mental health services have never been in such a demand as they are in 2022. At the end of 2021, the number of referrals for specialist NHS mental health care reached a record high in England. NHS Digital told the BBC that there were 4.3 million referrals for conditions including anxiety and depression – and 1.025 million of these referrals were for children or adolescents.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said that in December 2021 alone, 1.8 million mental health consultations had taken place. This was a great feat, considering this was the same time the Omicron variant of Covid-19 swept across the UK. Despite this, however, around 1.4 million people were still waiting for treatment.

Mental health and Covid-19

It’s no secret that the events surrounding Covid-19 have had a significant impact on the mental health of many people across the UK and the effects are still being felt in 2022. The Office for National Statistics found that over two-thirds of adults in the UK (69%) reported feeling worried about the effect Covid-19 would have on their life. Concerns were related to worrying about the future, feeling anxious and feeling bored.

While forced locked downs and fear of catching a potentially fatal virus have been drivers for the worsening of mental health, other factors added to the situation. Furloughs and redundancies halted careers and caused financial strain while those working with frontline services had added stresses of continuing to operate through a pandemic.

This, combined with the lack of access to mental health services has ultimately made the situation even worse; and the backlog in cases has continued to rise even as we entered 2022.

National measures to tackle the mental health crisis

Back in 2019, the NHS released its Long Term Plan to tackle the mental health crisis and improve care. One of the headlines of this new plan was:

New and integrated models of primary and community mental health care will give 370,000 adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses greater choice and control over their care and support them to live well in their communities by 2023/24.

In a call welcomed by many, this was the beginning of the switch towards integrated care systems (ICS).

How does an integrated care system support improvement of mental health service access?

An integrated care system means NHS organisations, local councils and others must take collective responsibility for delivering NHS standards, managing resources and improving the health of the population.

The hope with ICSs is that patients will have greater access to a wider range of mental health services and that it will have increased priority in local healthcare planning.

Since the announcement in 2019, many ICSs have been set up across the UK. In February 2022, the first State of Integrated Care was released by NHS Confederation. The report revealed that 90% of system leaders believe they have been able to improve joint working. In fact, the pandemic had helped speed that process up as staff had to adapt quickly to the demands of care.

However, one  concern being felt across all healthcare systems is the national workforce shortage and mental health services are no exception. Indeed, The Royal College of Psychiatrists explained that workforce shortages are causing “painfully long waits for [mental health] treatment”. In 2021, they found that 568 out of 5,317 vacancies hadn’t been filled. This is causing some patients to wait 18 weeks or longer for treatment. The current NHS workforce data shows there are 4,500 full-time consultant psychiatrists for 56.5 million people – that is one consultant per 12,567 people.

To address the workforce shortage in mental health services, The Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for an extra 7,000 medical school places on top of the current 8,000 by 2029.

Health and Care Act 2022 and Mental Health

The new Health and Care Bill introduces various measures to tackle the backlogs accelerated by Covid-19 and rebuild health and social care after the pandemic. The funding is coming from the Health and Care levy which will generate £36 billion over the next three years. The Bill also contains measures to tackle health disparities and create safer, more connected services to make the health and care system more sustainable.

It furthermore aims to roll out more mental health innovations, such as one example at  Somerset ICS. Here, a 24/7 helpline was set up to direct those looking for mental health support to voluntary, social care and NHS services. The scheme brings together doctors, nurses, psychologists, and charities such as Age UK, Citizens Advice, Rethink Mental Illness, and others through a shared recovery and care planning system, so all professionals involved in an individual’s care can communicate with each other. This means that patients are directed to the right service quickly, stopping them from bouncing around services until they find the right one.

The new healthcare bill and investment in mental health services are incredibly important. Mental health services have long felt neglected in national policy, so it’s great to see that change with the new bill, adding exposure to the support that is needed to reduce waiting times.

Even as this bill was put through to the UK government, mental health waiting times continued to rise. And it’s likely that challenge will remain, even as Trusts work to tackle the crisis. Furthermore,  as patients waiting for treatment continue to rise, so will the scrutiny placed on mental health Trusts.

Increased scrutiny could necessitate the need for single pathway levelpatient tracking list (PTL) per Mental Health Trust, for example. This would require Trusts to be able to effectively record and manage all patients via such PTLs, yet many Mental Health Trusts may not be able to do so quickly as mental health pathways are complex and also for the fact that they have not faced this task previously. This is where Acumentice can support Mental Health Trusts.

Acumentice and mental health waiting lists

With ambitious targets now set out by NHS England for Mental Health services, there’s now an expectation for trusts to deliver them. Here at Acumentice, we are leading the work on introducing a set of systems to record, monitor and report whole pathways waits from referral to treatment as part of our data quality improvement services for Mental Health Trusts.

Beyond that, our data validation strategies will ensure you have the right information about every patient, allowing you to get through your mental health waiting lists to ensure all patients get the care they need when they need it.

With integrated care now required across the country, we are also working on ensuring these improvements in mental health trusts are taking into account the use of new and innovative technology to improve integration efforts and reduce administrative burdens. It’s vital that all services are able to focus on provision of clinical care with effective digital transformation  to support efficiency gains.

For more information on how we can support your mental health trust, get in touch with the team today.

How successful are the early adopters of the community diagnostic centres?

Comminuty Diagnostic Centres’s (CDC) were introduced to support elective recovery. The Department of Health and Social Care announced in October 2021 the opening of 40 new CDCs. By April 2022, 73 centres had opened, and 160 more CDCs are envisioned to be up and running by 2025. However, to what extent do these centres actually help to relieve the tension from elective care? What currently prevents them from achieving this?

Published in the HSJ today, Principal Consultant at Acumentice, Wendy Baines, discusses how workforce shortages and lack of collaborative strategy affect the success of CDCs.

Based on her research, she suggests that it is not clear what the real contributions of the CDCs to the elective recovery have been so far. Indeed it seems that it may be the case that not all centres are fully functional because of current workforce shortages and skills gaps. One of the solutions she puts forward is to have a lead employer or host organisation to oversee recruitment, training and staffing.

Click here to read the article in full and learn more…

Wendy Baines joins as Principal Consultant

We’re pleased to announce the hiring of Wendy Baines as a new Principal Consultant to help integrated care systems (ICSs) execute sustainable recovery plans.

Wendy will work with ICSs to understand the challenges and opportunities arising from the elective recovery plan, alongside helping us expand our range of healthcare consultancy services.

Frontline experience

In the last 15 years, Wendy has worked in various senior management NHS roles which have given her vital experience and expertise in all aspects of healthcare delivery, alongside having significant healthcare management consultancy experience.

Her previous roles in the healthcare sector have included both operational and transformational roles. This includes work ranging from diagnostic training academies and community diagnostic centres to service reconfiguration and helping strategies evolve from concept to operational model stages.

Wendy has a successful history of achieving sustainable, evidence-based change across clinical and non-clinical projects. Her strengths are recognising the different needs of individuals to make change happen. She can also identify the tools and technologies that enable digital transformation in healthcare services. Most important is Wendy’s attention to focusing on the human elements of change.

Baines has also lectured at Liverpool’s Edge Hill University. Her work and experience around the North of England open up a great opportunity for Acumentice as we continue to work with NHS Trusts across the whole of the UK.

With all this experience under her belt, Wendy will use it to look at how primary and secondary care services can work together effectively while helping ICSs in navigating the elective care recovery plan. She will help to build and implement a variety of strategies that help to reduce the impact of the elective care recovery plan on the workforce and patient pathways.

Wendy said: “I am immensely proud of what I have achieved working across a variety of NHS organisations over the last fifteen years and the relationships I have built with the clinical and non-clinical teams. The need for expert support is now greater than ever.

“Whilst NHS England sets out a progressive agenda for the recovery of elective care services, there is quite often insufficient capacity to actualise recovery solutions whilst maintaining a high standard of care, and at the same time future-proofing services.

“I look forward to working with Acumentice in supporting the NHS on its journey to sustainability.”

“We are thrilled to have Wendy join the team as principal consultant,” said Karina Malhotra, founder and Managing Director of Acumentice. “We’ve experienced large growth in the last 6 months, so expanding the team feels like an organic step forward.

“Wendy’s level of expertise and breadth of knowledge of the NHS, especially around Community Diagnostic Hubs, is a great asset. We look forward to her playing a vital role in the future growth of Acumentice”.

Acumentice supports the NHS on elective care management, data quality improvement and digital transformation. With a specialism in elective care, we’re in a unique position to respond to the new complexity of current recovery and restoration endeavours.

To see how Wendy and the team can help your trust with its elective care recovery plan, get in touch with Acumentice today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delivering impact

A first for Acumentice, this summer, NHS Graduate Management Trainee, Wil Peake, joined the team for an 8 week flexi placement.

As part of the Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS), it is encouraged trainees use their flexi placement to gain a broader and more holistic view of the wider healthcare sector.  After working in an operational role at the Royal London Hospital, and as Strategy Lead at Bart’s Health NHS Trust, Wil joined Acumentice as a Junior Consultant.

Over the 8 weeks, Wil worked with our Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, and our Senior Consultant, Philip Purdy, and having visibility and access to our senior management team provided valuable insight into some of the work we’ve been supporting at two major clients.

Continued Professional Development is very important to Acumentice and we therefore wanted to ensure Wil gained as much as possible from the experience and could also make a meaningful contribution from the beginning. Wil joined us as we were beginning a project supporting a client to visualise key elements of their elective care data with the aim of improving clarity of interpretation thus making it easier to identify potential challenges. Despite this being a new area for Wil, the Acumentice team ensured that with thorough training and ongoing support, Wil was able to make meaningful contributions to these data packs which led to him becoming increasingly involved in direct communications with the Trust we were supporting.

As the placement has come to an end, we can confidently say the experience has been mutually beneficial and we would definitely welcome the opportunity to receive an NHS Graduate Management trainee again. Read on to hear from Wil’s perspective:

New experiences

When I started on the NHS Graduate management training scheme (GMTS) in 2019, I had no idea what was coming. In fact, if I could go back and tell that younger me – I think he’d struggle to believe it as would we all with the ensuing events about to take place.

The GMTS includes a Flexi placement component – where trainees can apply for placements in an organisation of their choice, provided it will bring new experience and perspective to their time on the scheme and future career. When it came to applying for a Flexi, I was looking for innovative companies in the private sector that would have a meaningful impact in the post-COVID NHS. This broadening of my experience could only bring with it a more accurate understanding of the context that the healthcare sector now finds itself in and I was excited to secure a placement with Acumentice.  I’ve experienced first-hand the complementary nature of NHS organisations such as ICS’s collaborating with consultancies. The wealth of knowledge and resources that can be concentrated on a single task allows the consultancy to agilely deploy an iterative process to produce its task specific outputs.

Data visualisation

One of the projects that I assisted with was the development of data packs and visualisations supporting a high volume low complexity (HVLC) elective hub in London. Acumentice increased management bandwidth by producing weekly analysis of the combined PTL and condensing them into one self-contained data pack. It’s no overstatement that NHS staff have many competing demands for their attention, and it’s been great to see how Acumentice can facilitate the rapid communication of impactful data, thus enabling rapid informed decision making.

I’ve seen the unique viewpoint a third party has, like Acumentice, to see complex and systemic NHS issues from an outside perspective, often enabling them to question ongoing assumptions and status quo by providing further breadth of experience and working knowledge from different disciplines. This type of thinking can help us see the opportunities for change more clearly. Without the cultural ability to see our actions and the changes around us from a systemic perspective, and the capacity to evaluate proposed solutions in the context of their effects on the wellbeing of the system, we can be prone to falling into repetitive patterns of behaviour. An observer from outside the system can therefore be a powerful change agent. When that outside observer is a network of highly experienced professionals with backgrounds from across the health service, such as Acumentice, their capacity for impactful change is amplified.

Acumentice perfectly fit my flexi placement criteria. They’ve created many mutually beneficial, and lasting relationships with the NHS and I’ve seen first hand how they are able to offer a new perspective, with a wealth of diverse knowledge and practical experience. In addition, they can provide additional capacity by supplementing management bandwidth across the wider health system . Furthermore, they represent a key resource capable of delivering a focused “task and finish” style approach that is invaluable when dealing with time sensitive projects within a complex system. Their processes are open to feedback input throughout, and modifications being made in real time allow for a truly bespoke service.

I believe that the synergistic and complementary relationship between the NHS and organisations like Acumentice will continue to play an important role in supporting the NHS to face its challenges and I look forward to bringing the benefit of my experiences back to the NHS.

 

Wil Peake

Junior Consultant

NHS GMTS Trainee