“Local NHS organisations will increasingly focus on population health – moving to integrated Care Systems everywhere” – NHS Long Term Plan (2019)
Health and social care leaders from STPs and an ICS across the Midlands came together this week in Birmingham for an inaugural System Leaders Symposium on Population Health.
The event saw the launch of the Midlands wide Population Health Development Academy* and Community of Practice. This programme of work provides an enormous opportunity to improve the health and wellbeing of the people that live and work in the Midlands, as well as those that provide their care.
With 10 STPs and one ICS in the Midlands covering 18% of England’s population, this ambitious project also has the power to influence the national state of the NHS at a time when transformation is needed more than ever. The programme will harness the huge potential of applying PHM at scale, with the Midlands championing PHM and trail blazing the way for the rest of the country.
The programme has been commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement in the Midlands and designed collaboratively with the national team responsible for population health, Public Health England (PHE), the Local Government Association (LGA) and STPs.
The Strategy Unit of Midlands and Lancashire CSU will deliver the Academy, which enables multi-disciplinary teams to develop their population health approach by applying the skills learnt to a system priority area.
STP analysts will hone their skills in building population based intelligence using these to inform strategy development and service improvement. The work will help systems deliver the triple aim of enhancing experience of care; improving the health and wellbeing of the population and improving value for money, whilst delivering quality services.
Contributors on the day included Alison Tonge, Director of Commissioning, NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands and sponsor of the programme, Peter Spilsbury, Steven Wyatt, Muir Gray, Tim Wilson, Al Mulley, Margaret Mulley and Belinda Weir.
Alison Tonge welcomed the group: “Today is a fantastic opportunity. You’re all here because you want to make improvements for your population. Population health management isn’t new, public health teams in local authorities are doing this already so we need to work with them and learn from them. We’re not starting from scratch and much can be done to understand inequalities and how we can bridge the gap.”
STPs enjoyed inspiring presentations including from Sir Muir Gray and Professor Al Mulley on value-based healthcare, and how we can learn from warranted and unwarranted variation to deliver what is valued by the patient. Warranted variation takes into account individual patient preferences when deciding whether or not to carry out an intervention.
The STPs/ICS shared their challenges and priorities and committed to learning and sharing together to ensure that the Midlands becomes a world leader developing population-based health and care for now and for the future.
Feedback from delegates on the day included:
“Thank you for the day, colleagues from Birmingham and Solihull found it really interesting and valuable and sparked their enthusiasm for the programme.”
“Lots of helpful conversations about PHM…each STP/ICS is in such a different place so much potential learning from each other.”
“Muir and Al challenged my thinking and gave me a different perspective.”
In July, Multidisciplinary Core Teams from each of the STPs/ICS will be meeting again to start work on their chosen project area. Analytical colleagues from each of the STPs will also have their own workstream led by Professor Mohammed Mohammed and Steven Wyatt, from The Strategy Unit.
The Strategy Unit is leading the programme, working with some excellent partners, including: Oxford Centre for Triple Value Healthcare; Dartmouth Institute; The Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership (University of Birmingham), Milliman and others
*Phase 1 of the Academy includes: Birmingham and Solihull STP; Black Country and West Birmingham STP; Coventry and Warwickshire STP; Herefordshire and Worcestershire STP; Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent and Shropshire, Derbyshire STP and Nottinghamshire STP.