What do we do? we:
Report on effectiveness (including SROI). We’ve done reports on new professional roles (eg the Emergency Care Practitioner; nationally over 1000 were trained and deployed at a cost to NHS of around £32million, but saving NHS within the following 18-30months somewhere around £50million and with opportunities for greater savings), changes to services (whether to base Out of Hours care in hospital or in the community is an example), the quality checkers and so on. As far as possible I’ve included economicmodelling which shows what investment should be made and what will result from that investment, and in many cases (eg Urgent Care Reform across London) I’ve also described the staffing, training and deployment models which will be needed and therefore the training needed. In some cases the reports are forecasts (ie based on projections), and in most cases they are reviews of pilots or reviews of an ongoing service, making recommendations for improvement as well as demonstrating value for money
National policy review. As you know, some national policy suffers very high profile failure – an example under the previous government was the 10p rate of income tax where the ‘wrong’ demographic suffered. Policies where I’ve been involved (urgent care reform nationally, Payment by Results nationally, ISTC locally) have been notable by their lack of headlines, and it really doesn’t take much work to sanity check before rolling out policy
Academic review and background preparation. This is one of the steps in a national policy review, and organisations sometimes want to gather all of the available information into a report before taking a new idea to their boards of trustees. Few officers in organisations manage to complete this work in the midst of the daily urgent tasks
Engage front-line staff. Years of experience engaging the different staff professional groups to work together in NHS has, I believe, delivered some significant improvements for patients, staff, clinical outcomes and cost-effectiveness (for example, the Easington COPD pathway won NAPC national award in 2009). I also helped to set up Newcastle BME network, worked with North East charities on my “from grant to sustainable contract”programme, and so on. Often nobody tells the front-line staff what theorganisation’s aims are and they resist change, whereas once they are involved, they don’t need management any more
Process automation. This is fairly detailed and specific and includes programming in MS Excel, Sharepoint, MS Access and web pages to take mundane but time-consuming tasks and reduce them to what they should be – a function that the computer takes care of. My most recent work is for one of the health Quality Review bodies which needed self-assessment forms prepared for organisations, but needed a lot of automation as the information which had to come out of these forms was quite complicated. They are delighted that not only the finished result is easy to understand and use, but also that they can set up the next batch of self-assessment forms (for Mental Health) themselves because the programme reads in the matrices from their own document appendices. My particular skill is in understanding what you are trying to achieve and how people want to work, and then making the computer suit your needs, rather than the other way around
Budget cuts? Need to do more with less? The writing is on the wall – cuts in the Social Care budget but protection for NHS budget means that social care services will be moved to NHS.