Future-proofing the NHS through partnerships

Value-based healthcare is improving outcomes as well as cutting costs.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

The 70th year of the NHS is a time to celebrate the history of our beloved asset, but also to put a spotlight on what the future might hold and how can we secure its success for the next 70 years. It can’t be denied that the NHS is facing more pressure than ever before. By 2030, it is estimated that there will be around 15m people in the UK over the age of 65 . The increase in life expectancy from where it was in the post-war era of 1948 when the NHS was launched is a huge achievement, but with it comes the challenges of an aging population, underpinned with a continued expectation on the NHS to improve outcomes while reducing costs.

Today, industry has a responsibility in shaping the future healthcare landscape by partnering with the NHS to co-create solutions that deliver value to providers, improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. We know that we need to deliver more than product-based solutions – we need to collaborate to support healthcare providers to find ways of addressing both their clinical, operational and cost-based issues.

It was with this mindset that Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies (JJMDC) launched CareAdvantage, a more holistic approach to co-creating solutions with our health provider partners. Our data-led approach showed us that the changing healthcare landscape requires a new type of partnership between industry and the NHS. It reflects our joint commitment to improving the future of healthcare through innovation and collaboration.

We are incredibly proud to be collaborating with a number of NHS trusts across the country with this value-based offering and of the results being generated. What’s become very clear, is that there are a number of recurring challenges within each trust. These include bed capacity shortages, long referral times and waiting lists, theatre processes that need streamlining and, of course, supporting patient outcomes, all while reducing costs.

To tackle this, we have created processes and pathways to help trusts embed clinical best practice and reduce process variation, which are designed to align to initiatives such as Getting It Right First Time. We aim to take a whole system approach, which means we can provide support in theatres from a non-clinical perspective, such as data-driven planning and theatre visualisation, through to developing standardised patient messaging to drive consistency of care pathways. Collaborating in this way generates an increase in activity throughput in theatres, meaning higher levels of utilisation can be achieved, ultimately translating into being able to treat more patients, more efficiently.

Our embedded approach within hospital teams not only differentiates our offering, it also allows us to become more than a vendor of products and services. We have become a fully vested and integral part of our partner trust’s outcome delivery programmes, both clinically, operationally and financially.

I truly believe that it is this collaboration between the NHS and industry that will help to secure the success of the NHS for the next 70 years. By keeping the patient experience and hospital need at the centre of the partnership, we can tailor an approach to generate solutions that get to the heart of the challenges faced, and ultimately create better outcomes for our end user, the patient.

Neil Davis is strategic capabilities director at Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, UK & IRE.