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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Data to Insights: How to Improve Elective Care Sustainably

From Data to Insights: How to Improve Elective Care Sustainably

Covid-19 has created a huge impact on elective care. With resources focused entirely on treating patients affected by the pandemic the NHS is now facing the largest elective care recovery programme in history.

 

A sustainable elective recovery programme is built upon strong clinical leadership, innovation, operational management, and engagement of patients supported by effective data insights.

 

This complex undertaking must be done safely and accurately, but trusts face huge challenges to return to normal activity levels. However, with the right steps, this also represents a great opportunity to create sustainable elective care service models and improved patient outcomes.

 

To highlight the importance of intelligent data analysis to elective care recovery and sustainability, Acumentice have produced a video for the HSJ explaining how this works in practice. Featured in the video are:

 

Martina Dineen – Divisional Director of Operations, Surgery, Cancer & Cardiovascular at Imperial College Healthcare

Karina Malhotra – Founder & Managing Director of Acumentice

 

Below are two key findings from the contributors in providing sustainable elective care recovery:

1. Good understanding and integration of data will inform elective care recovery

Multiple IT systems are rightly used to help manage patient care across the NHS. With it, there needs to be a thorough understanding of each individual data set and what they’re telling us. The data used must be able to tell and capture individual patient circumstances which can then be utilised to support the NHS to effectively prioritise patients, alongside driving safe booking strategies.

 

What’s also important is that any technological solution that is used in the NHS must be able to integrate with existing systems to ensure a smooth transition for all Trusts.

2. Shared Learning and Collaboration

The best way to ensure the right data is collated and used effectively is for NHS and non-NHS expertise to share and collaborate with each other.

 

There’s so much big data in the NHS now, it’s vital to know which is the right data set, to ensure there is context for that data while visualising that data in the right way.

 

Shared learning and creating strong partnerships will help in this recovery. NHS leaders facing this monumental recovery challenge must look around them for those key skills and expertise and also look further to what the industry can bring to the table. That is why it’s important to work with a team in an advisory or intelligent capacity on this recovery journey ultimately aiming to achieve better outcomes for patients and their safety.

 

Find out more by watching the video to learn more on what Imperial NHS Trust and Acumentice say is required to improve elective care sustainably.

 

For more information on elective care recovery services and how your Trust can collaborate with an expert team, get in touch with Acumentice today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glass framework

Acumentice Awarded National Framework for Data Validation Services

Acumentice is pleased to announce that it is one of seven providers that has been awarded a national framework for the provision of Data Validation Services by The Countess of Chester Hospital Commercial Procurement Services (COCH-CPS).

 

With the framework in place, NHS organisations can access highly specialised support enabling the testing and validation of patient data during the process of migrating from a legacy patient administration system (PAS) to a modern electronic patient record (EPR) system.

Benefits of the national framework

 

Having been awarded a place on this national framework, this should provide added reassurance to NHS organisations looking for Data Validation Services knowing that in becoming an approved supplier, Acumentice have met high quality standards including Cyber Essentials Plus.

 

Further benefits of the framework for NHS organisations include:

 

  • Providing assurance to the Board, CCGs and patients of the accuracy of patient data
  • Supporting RTT and other patient access standards
  • Improving patient data quality held in the EPR
  • Supporting the optimal use of a new EPR from implementation
  • Ensuring effective transfer of knowledge helping to develop in-house central validation and booking teams expertise

 

Karina Malhotra, Managing Director at Acumentice said: “We’re really proud to have become an approved supplier on this framework scoring the maximum mark for our technical abilities. Data validation services are an extremely important enabler of elective care recovery, and I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the success of the framework, now our third, and ultimately working with new NHS partners to bring sustainable improvements through a value for money and technically expert service.”

 

Andy O’Connor, Director of Commercial Procurement Services at COCH-CPS said, “We put this framework in place to help the NHS improve the quality of patient data held, and how this is managed. We’ve selected the leading specialists to help NHS organisation provide assurance to their Boards, their commissioners and most importantly their patients that data is working to deliver better outcomes.”

Data validation services from Acumentice

Data validation services from Acumentice have supported multiple trusts with improving their data quality through carefully considered operational changes coupled with ‘smart’ data validation and correcting hundreds of thousands of records across various patient administration systems.

 

By working in partnership with hospital trusts and organisations, they can find out the specific operational and data issues impacting their performance metrics to ensure the right changes are made.

 

Each service is bespoke to the organisation’s needs, following an initial assessment to identify specific issues. These can be targeted to specific cohorts of high-risk patients, or they can be more generalised to the Trust’s needs with recommended improvements that provide sustainable solutions.

 

The team also understands how complex it can be moving patient data from a legacy PAS system to a modern EPR system and organisations don’t always have the skills internally to complete a smooth digital transformation. Acumentice can deliver an efficient reconfiguration to support all operational and clinical needs.

 

Our team is looking forward to forging new partnerships within the NHS, supporting their transition to modern EPR systems and providing expert advice on data quality and validation.

 

If you’re an NHS Trust looking to migrate from a legacy PAS to a modern EPR system or require more information, get in touch with Acumentice at info@acumentice.com or contact The Countess of Chester Hospital Commercial Procurement Services at info@coch-cps.co.uk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data shown on a screen to help underpin elective care recovery

HSJ Feature – How data will underpin elective care recovery

It’s common knowledge that data plays a vital role in our daily lives. Indeed, most companies today rely on data to strategize and inform future business decisions. Data has played an important role in the NHS for a long time too. In an article published in the HSJ – Doug Treanor, Director of Operations at Acumentice, outlines why intelligent use data will be more important than ever in supporting the recovery of elective care at this crucial time and support the delivery of the latest NHS Operational guidance for 2021-22.

The article highlights the need for comprehensive datasets comprising of high-quality data, with a special focus on data being accurate, especially so with Integrated Care Systems increasing the need for standardisation.

For sure, patient safety remains paramount, yet with elective care waiting times now at the longest they’ve ever been, time is of the essence. Surely data must be held at the core of current and future decision making to ensure effective management of waiting lists which ensures patients are prioritised as quickly and fairly as possible.

Click here to read the article in full.

How technology can transform the elective care challenge

Open Access Government – How technology can transform the elective care challenge

The concept of using technology to help improve delivery and systems within in the NHS is not new. As waiting lists grow ever longer and are now at their highest levels since records began, the use of technology can surely be capitalised further to improve patient safety.

In this recently published article by Open Access Government, our Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, outlines the importance of working with clinicians to manage waiting lists and harnessing technology to help ensure the data held is of high quality so that the individual needs of patients are met foremost.

Click here to read more.

Shaking hands on a unified approach to managing elective patients during the pandemic

HSJ Feature – The need for a unified approach to managing elective patients during the pandemic

As we find ourselves in the middle of third lockdown, and what could be the most severe wave of the pandemic so far, what lessons can be learned from our experiences over the last 10 months to support the management of elective care and as much as possible, maintain the safety of patients?

Published in the HSJ today, senior consultant for Acumentice, Philip Purdy, outlines how taking a unified approach will not only put us in a better position now, but also when we finally emerge from this wave and the pandemic.

Recent edicts such as the clinical prioritisation framework issued in September, provided an outline of expected outcomes of managing waiting lists, yet also presented challenges such as the operational processes required to succeed which, as previously seen, can lead to varied approaches and potentially varied results.

This article explores how taking a more unified approach, working with others and employing digital tools where appropriate can really support these efforts, resulting in more positive results for all concerned.

Click here to read the article in full.

A couple showing resilience on a walk up a hill

Resilience rooted in Trust

A Mantra to take with us into 2021

 

As 2020 draws to a close, and the majority of us find ourselves in another lockdown, it takes some doing to reflect on the year we have had. ‘Unprecedented’ has become trite in our ‘year like no other’. But when the impact of Covid was first felt, way back in March – who would have expected we would be here at Christmas?

 

We all know the challenges the NHS, the country and indeed the whole world have gone through this year. So, rather than dwell on those, I would like to focus instead on what we have learnt and can take forward into the new year.

 

Early in the year, many at the helm of some organisations worried whether employees could be industrious at home and not be distracted by the glimmering lights of Netflix or the chance to improve their green fingers. They need not have feared as studies have instead proven that productivity increased during this time. Perhaps the structure of work provided a level of certainty which was needed during this uncertain time. Sure enough, soon all organisations found that placing trust in their employees only helped give their staff a sense of purpose with autonomy. Something maybe some of us had not seen the likes of before this unparalleled time thrust it upon us.

 

Trust was a theme throughout in defining our response to the pandemic – whether that was the NHS trusting new innovations and embarking fearlessly on its digital journey, or the pharmaceutical industries who globally trusted each other and worked together to deliver us the much needed and valued vaccines. Trusting each other got us there. It made us resilient against the challenge at hand.

 

We, at Acumentice, have also learnt from the trials presented by this year. We adapted our strategy and adopted differing working methods both internally as well with our NHS partners.

 

Our focus this year has been to support Integrated Care Systems find their feet in supporting restoration and becoming more resilient by trusting their partner organisations. This has led to some of the most amazing innovations I have seen in my time within the NHS and it feels incredible to be part of such journeys of discovery.

 

Our focus next year will be to maintain this reignited strength in collaboration, to build on the trust in our teams and partner organisations, to take stock of how adaptable we have proven ourselves to be when needs must and to start the year with a sense of confidence, resilience, and hope.

 

I wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and a much brighter new year!

 

 

Karina Malhotra

Founder and Managing Director at Acumentice

A stethoscope on a hospital bed

HSJ Feature – What now constitutes effective performance on elective care?

Last month, in conjunction with the HSJ, our founder and Managing Director, Karina Malhotra, contributed to a webinar discussing what may lie ahead for elective care performance, and the challenges elective care currently faces which have been only highlighted by the current pandemic. Joined by an expert panel, Saffron Cordery, Deputy Chief Executive at NHS Providers, and Professor Catherine Urch, Divisional Director for Surgery, Cardiovascular and Cancer at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, interesting insights were shared during the stimulating discussion.

 

These included ideas on how the existing measures for elective care performance may no longer be fit for purpose with instead looking at tools such as a clinical harm and priority matrix, and highlighting the need for high data quality and engagement from all, including involving clinical leaders much more than is often currently seen.

 

Following the on-demand version of the webinar being made available, the HSJ has now published an article summarising some of the key points made.

To learn more about the topics discussed, read the article here and the on-demand version of the webinar is available to watch here.

A male gesturing while in a meeting

Exhibiting at the annual NHS Providers Conference 2020

Those who regularly read our news posts and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn will know that we recently exhibited at the fantastic NHS Providers Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020. Taking place across three days, we are immensely proud for this to have been our first exhibition and conference. However, this was not the only first. It was also the first time NHS Providers hosted the event virtually – something we can now expect to see happen increasingly for the foreseeable future. It was, therefore, excellent to see high levels of engagement which we are certain had a lot to do with the impressive line-up of several high-profile keynote speakers and thought-provoking sessions.
As we are entering what is now generally agreed to be a second wave of COVID-19, this event could not have been more timely.
With over 900 attendees and 85 speakers, it was certainly a busy 3 days. Our senior consultants were on hand to speak with visitors to our virtual stand and we managed to balance this with attending many of the speeches and sessions too. With the conference’s theme, ‘reflect and recover’, it will not be surprising to learn that there was much reflection on the huge efforts made by all those working for the NHS, in all capacities, not only during the first wave of the pandemic earlier this year, but the continuing efforts and what likely lies ahead in the coming months. In a keynote address, Rt Hon health secretary Matt Hancock offered his thanks, “Everyone who works in the NHS knows how valued they are by the public, and by me…”. In a change of tone to how the first wave was handled, he also underlined the importance of maintaining, wherever possible, non-covid services over the winter period.
Diversity was also a dominant theme, not only on efforts to diversify the current workforce in the NHS, but also addressing the unequal impact of COVID-19 on those who identify as BAME. What can be done moving forward, as we increasingly find ourselves entering a second wave, to prevent the BAME community being disproportionately affected? We found the New York Times bestselling author, John Amaechi to be particularly inspiring, “The enemy of inclusion is not what you think… it is mediocrity. When you open up an opportunity to a wider number of people, mediocrity is exposed.” In addition, Patricia Miller OBE, Chief Executive of Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, infused us with her passion on addressing issues of diversity and inclusivity from a Trust Board perspective.
Digital transformation featured heavily too. Digital plans that were in the pipeline pre-COVID and scheduled to happen in the next 3-5 years, have out of necessity taken place in 2020, due in large part to the meet the pressures of COVID-19. Many appointments are now taking place virtually, and this is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. In addition, as many of us continue to work remotely, software’s such as Microsoft Teams, have played a massive part in enabling communication to continue successfully.
The theme of COVID-19 stimulating accelerated change also featured in one discussion we found particularly enlightening, Step-up to day case: Attacking waiting lists to support the recovery – two transformative examples. Two speakers, Eric Mutema, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and Sean Carrie, Consultant ENT Surgeon and Rhinologist, Freeman Hospital and University of Newcastle upon Tyne, brilliantly showcased how they have successfully reduced the demands on the NHS for inpatient care, not only making savings for the NHS but also enabling better patient care and safety. It was great to see some positive news in a year which has brought hard challenges for many.
Overall, it was a great event and good news too that all sessions remain available to access online for another three months. We are looking forward to next year’s event and have the dates in our diaries already!

Healthcare staff walking down a corridor

NHS Providers Annual Conference and Exhibition 2020

If the last few months have underlined anything, it is that there is never a quiet day in healthcare. Yet, despite the ramifications of the current pandemic, the show must go on and there’s much happening in the sector that warrants discussion, deliberation and debate. That is why we are excited to be part of this year’s NHS Providers Conference.

 

This year’s theme is ‘reflect and recover’, exploring the challenges of confronting the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on the healthcare sector. Indeed, it is a conference that arguably couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time given the rising number of cases, launching of the track and trace app and ongoing debates around restrictions, testing and impact on other elements of public health.

 

The event, taking place from 6-8 October is virtual only but that has in no way dampened its scope. In fact, this year, we’ll be hearing from one of the most high profile figures in the UK health sector in 2020 – the Rt Hon health secretary Matt Hancock who is giving a keynote address on day three. But he is just one of many outstanding speakers and panellists we’re looking forward to hearing from.

 

The opening address will be provided by Chris Hopson, chief executive, NHS Providers who will offer reflections on the NHS response, NHS trusts’ achievements and learnings from the pandemic to date with a look ahead to the challenges winter may bring. Other high profile speakers include; Sir Simon Stevens, chief executive, NHS England and Improvement who will discuss how we can learn from the pandemic and look ahead to the key challenges and opportunities facing the NHS in the months and years to come, and Amanda Pritchard, COO, NHS England and NHS Improvement, who will look at how best trusts can move forward as the NHS recovers from the first wave of coronavirus cases and gets ready for winter. 

 

There are some great sessions too, particularly Saffron Cordery, who is going to be speaking on what a new era of digital leadership means for the provider sector and Prerana Issar, chief people officer, NHS Improvement who is giving a one-to-one interview. The panel on ‘exploring provider collaboration within the ‘system by default’ operating model’, which involves Miriam Deakin, Director of Policy and Strategy, NHS Providers and Matt Neligan, Director of Primary Care and System Transformation, NHS England and NHS Improvement, amongst others, is also penned in our calendar.

 

All the sessions are outstanding. Which is why we decided to be an exhibitor at this event. If you are attending, you’ll be able to find us at our virtual stand via the dedicated event app where our expert team will be on hand to help or advise on your queries, quandaries or questions. 

 

You can find more about our services here but, in the meantime, we hope you can join us at the event or follow what’s happening on social by using @NHSProviders or #NHSP20.