NHS Insights

24 insights into the challenges facing the NHS during a pandemic

24 insights into the challenges facing the NHS during a pandemic

In December 2020, our NHS Insights and Interaction team shared a thought for the day throughout Advent on our NHS Whispers LinkedIn page. These insights were drawn from the day-to-day experiences of our associates working within the NHS and from the latest policy announcements during this period of great change and challenge.

Below we bring together all 24 of these insights.

NHS Insights Advent Calendar – December 2020


With 99 mentions of “integrated care systems / ICS(s)”, 67 mentions of “Place(s)”, and 11 mentions of “primary care networks / PCNs”, what does the NHSE Integrated Care document mean for primary care?


How many Place-based partnerships might there be? Well, there are 152 local authorities managing education, 152 Acute NHS Trusts and there were 152 Primary Care Trusts.


Surveys suggest (see source) only 60-75% of NHS staff may consent to having a COVID vaccine. Does this illustrate a mistrust of science or a cultural trend?


42 systems, 29 are now ICSs, 11 announced yesterday, 13 remain Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs). Deadline remains 1st April 2021.  How many have their Chief Pharmacist in place?


No mention of medicines or prescribing in the Integrated Care consultation so where will the largest variable NHS cost sit? This will depend on the ICS mentality, organisational readiness and population needs.


This will be a particularly hard Christmas for many. If you are struggling there are people to talk to in confidence: https://www.samaritans.org/


The Integrated Care proposals propose increased local authority joint funded posts and services, as well as shared premises. How ready is the industry for increased engagement with social care staff and others outside the traditional cohort of Healthcare Professionals (HCPs)?


For the NHS, when invited to work with industry, it is often “easier to politely decline”. How can companies make it easier for the NHS to say yes?


Each ICS is expected to have a Chief Pharmacist in place from April 2021. What do you imagine their main priority to be?


IPMO – possibly the most significant acronym market access has faced in 10 years. Do you know what it represents, and what it means for your business?


Distributed leadership will be a prominent feature of ICSs. How will it impact on decision-making processes and the progression of change?


We expect variation between ICSs but the way in which this is measured and performance managed is likely to look very different in the new systems.


The most impactful way to manage mental health services is to reduce crises. Is there anyone you could reach out to this winter to help them?


New roles and algorithms – prescribing may look very different in the future NHS.


There is a wealth of new data as systems evolve which could be harnessed to develop really impactful value stories and service improvements. Do you know where to look for the data relevant to you?


One condition, one pathway, one medicine – this would be truly integrated care, and may be closer than we imagine.


“In over 30 years in the NHS, this has been the worst week ever. Ever.”  –  A quotation from one of our NHS Faculty illustrating the stark reality we are facing going into Christmas.


Video insight from Samantha O’Connell, GP Clinical Pharmacist and a member of our NHS faculty. Skip to 3.08 in the video to hear from Samantha.


Insight from Phil Webb, Head of Value Based Healthcare, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board and a member of our NHS faculty: “What does an independent dwelling look like to support a person? What does a hospital mean?” – Phil Webb outlines some of the new conversations taking place around health.


“Our ED is incredibly challenged. Clinicians are struggling to provide safe patient care.” Please be careful over Christmas and consider others in your actions.


Insight from Patrick McGinley, Head of Costing & Service Line Reporting, Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust and a member of our NHS faculty. “For possibly the first time ever, we approach Christmas not knowing what the activity targets, the methods of counting, the payment methods or the cash envelopes will be for secondary care providers on 1st April.”  – Patrick McGinley


Insight from Samantha O’Connell, GP Clinical Pharmacist and a member of our NHS faculty. “Primary care services haven’t stopped and are busier than ever, things haven’t slowed down and demand continues to grow” – Samantha O’Connell


Insight from Hilary Snowdon, Management Lead for West Northumberland Primary Care Network and a member of our NHS faculty. “We are in it for the long-term with the Covid-19 vaccine programme. This isn’t a quick win.”- Hilary Snowdon


Insight from Debbie Morgan, Director of Service Improvement and Transformation, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and a member of our NHS faculty. “We must recognise that our staff are doing amazing things in a very challenging environment and they are to be celebrated.” – Debbie Morgan

We continue to share similar insights on our NHS Whispers LinkedIn page to help pharmaceutical and medtech companies stay ahead of the changing environment and identify the best ways they can support the NHS to deliver the best outcomes for patients.

Click the ‘Follow’ button on the NHS Whispers page to get the latest insights in your LinkedIn newsfeed.

If you have a question about any of the points raised in the advent calendar or if you would like to know more about how we can help you and your colleagues stay ahead of the latest changes in the NHS, please email nhsinsights@mtechaccess.co.uk.

Leave a Reply