#SolvingTogether – how can we recover planned and elective care in the NHS?

From our work over the past two years we can be very proud of the way that the NHS and its partners came together to respond to COVID-19, the biggest challenge that we have faced since the NHS was founded. Our pandemic response clearly showed that by working together we could develop, test and adopt effective solutions to health challenges at an incredible pace. Managing the tasks before us now is in some ways even bigger because it includes recovering a much larger set of services. Just as with the pandemic response, we are looking to you, the experts in delivering high quality care, for ideas for how best to address the challenges we now face. We need your help.

With that in mind I am delighted to launch #SolvingTogether today, a new platform for everyone in the NHS to post their ideas for how to recover elective services, redesign care delivery, and address health inequalities. We want you to let us know what’s worked for you and your ideas for making the NHS better: better for our patients and better ways of working within the NHS. The platform is open to all and enables us to learn from you the ideas of those that know best how to recover elective services – those leading, delivering or receiving care.

Who can get involved?

Everyone. And we mean everyone. #SolvingTogether will be open to people in health and care in every role and at every level, to people who use health and care services and their families, and to partners in other sectors.

We hope that you can contribute to #SolvingTogether with your ideas, experiences, practices, votes, and comments. No idea is too small, and no one is too inexperienced to take part.

I look forward to hearing your ideas, and I am truly excited by the potential we have to transform health and care together.

How you can get involved

There are several ways to get involved with #SolvingTogether, in addition to the online platform; through connect sessions, and by joining in with tweet chats.

The #SolvingTogether platform is the main place where you can post ideas. It’s easy to join. You simply need to register so we know where the idea came from, and this process only takes a few seconds.

On the platform you will find seven ‘challenges’. We’d love to hear your ideas for addressing them. They are

  1. Rethinking demand
  2. Making elective service recovery fair, inclusive and accessible
  3. Boosting capacity
  4. Building outstanding theatre teams
  5. Coordinating elective care
  6. Thinking the unthinkable – How might we deliver elective care in very different ways in the future
  7. Supporting people waiting for hip and knee operations

If you don’t have an idea to post, you can still get involved on this crowdsourcing platform by commenting and voting on ideas that other people have shared.

What happens after the #SolvingTogether platform closes?

The #SolvingTogether platform will be open for four weeks, until 3 May 2022. Within two weeks of the platform closing we are going to start testing the most promising ideas, with support from teams across the country. The teams will be supported by improvement coaches to utilise the latest rapid prototyping techniques.

The best ideas will be supported for spread across the country.

Connect sessions and tweet chats

The Connect sessions are virtual ideas-storming sessions which will be held over a range of dates. The Connect sessions are informal opportunities to put forward ideas and have discussion; anyone can join to share their ideas for addressing the challenges. The Connect sessions will be held on MS Teams.

Ideas shared during the Connect sessions will be collated and added to the #SolvingTogether platform, meaning the conversation about them can continue whilst the platform is live.

Tweet chats

Everyone is welcome to join the #SolvingTogether tweet chats, all you need is a Twitter account. To join in with the conversation, please look out for tweets from @HorizonsNHS with the hashtag #SolvingTogether.

Again, ideas shared during the tweet chats will be added to the #SolvingTogether platform.

Find out more about the tweet chats and Connect sessions on the #SolvingTogether website.

Dr Timothy G Ferris, MD, MPH

Dr Timothy Ferris took up the post as the National Director of Transformation on 10 May 2021.

Dr Ferris, who has served as a non-executive director of NHS Improvement for almost three years, is internationally renowned for his pioneering work on improving health and care in both hospital and community settings.

He will lead the new Transformation Directorate, bringing together the organisation’s operational improvement team and NHSX, the digital arm, to maintain the pace of innovation seen during the pandemic.

Dr Ferris joins the NHS full-time from the not-for-profit Massachusetts General Physicians Organization, where he is chief executive, and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He founded the Center for Population Health, which champions the use of prevention and data to improve health, reduce inequalities, and save lives.