Best Healthcare Provider Partnership - HSJ Partnership Awards 2019
For many years, the NHS has relied on independent healthcare providers to help at times of high demand. Outsourcing some procedures has been commonplace for a long time but more recently patients have been able to choose to go to private providers, under Patient Choice, and private companies have played a major role in running treatment centres and, most recently, they have won tenders for whole services – most notably in the community services sector. While the use of the private sector has been controversial in some quarters, it has played a major role in helping the NHS respond to increasing demand and has kept waiting times down for elective procedures.
In mental health, learning disability and other sectors independent providers are intrinsic to the delivery of a good service for NHS service users and often been at the forefront of innovation.
This award will go to a company which has helped the NHS by providing excellent – and ideally pioneering – services, perhaps responding to a local need for increased capacity or for provision of a service which is not available through NHS local providers or have developed a pathway which meets patients’ needs. The quality of care and the level of access offered to patients are also likely to be factors in the judges’ decisions
- A project with the NHS which can be supported by recent evidence from the past two years up until the awards deadline date
- Private business working in partnership with NHS providers, commissioners or integrated care
What was the context in which a healthcare provider was required? For example, was there a need for increased capacity which the NHS could not engineer without partner support? Is there demand for a specialist treatment centre which the NHS organisation is unable to provide with current infrastructure?
Describe the solution and how the partners have worked together. Show clear evidence that the solution required was more cost effective and the patient better served within planning for the partnership. What innovative or substantially different outcomes were proposed and how were patient outcomes prioritised within the planning?
Show clear and demonstrable benefits to patient outcomes including improved patient experience, waiting time reduction, capacity increase and treatment pathways. How has the NHS organisation benefited in terms of staffing, cost, reducing inefficiencies and ability to provide services? What are the pros and cons and how has working in partnership been more beneficial than otherwise?
Evidence from patients and NHS staff is required in the form of quantitative improvements and qualitative testament proving the efficacy of the partnership. Judges will be looking at any innovative practices which have created beneficial than working independently.
If the partnership has proven a success has any of the best practice elements been adopted by other departments within the NHS organisation? Has the methodology been employed within other partnerships? What efforts have been made to disseminate success outside of commercial arrangements for the benefit of patients and staff? Judges will be looking for examples, supported with evidence of take up from other organisations even if neither partner was involved in the execution.
Key stakeholder buy-in from across the NHS organisation is important to garner support for partnerships with the private sector. How was the introduction of a healthcare provider from outside the NHS received by other teams within the organisation? What level of interaction did the partners have with other stakeholders and how was their buy-in sought? How was impact on other departments and organisations handled and how were those teams managed within the scope of the project?
Judges are looking for demonstrable evidence of comprehensive stakeholder engagement with testimonials and project planning examples. Consideration will be given to entries which have made substantive effort to placate apprehension or reservations about the partnership through participation and interest in the ambition and outcomes.
The value of a healthcare partnership for the provision of services for which the NHS organisation has been unable to fulfil can be primarily measured through the prism of the ambition. How have those ambitions been realised, and have they led to material and measurable improvements in non-monetary value? Has the investment brought about something other than financial gain? The project might well have cost the NHS organisation more money than providing the services itself, but have the benefits outweighed the costs?
Judges will be looking for evidence which demonstrates reduced bureaucracy, streamlined patient experience, improvements in capacity and staff satisfaction.