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New population health support programme launched in the Midlands

Better insight leads to better decisions; better decisions lead to better outcomes. That is the proposition behind a new support programme commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement (Midlands) to be provided by a partnership of organisations led by NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU).

The programme will support Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), building capability and capacity to embed population health management practices into the foundation of Integrated Care System Development; and will initially cover eight of the STPs in NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Midlands region.

The programme will focus on improving the use of data (in its widest sense) in designing and delivering services to improve population health. But it will focus on much more than this: it will also address the ‘human factors’ – such as leadership, culture, decision-making and analytical skills – needed to translate insights into action and outcomes.

The support will be provided by a multi-disciplinary partnership led by the Strategy Unit (MLCSU) including the Oxford Centre for Triple Value Healthcare, Dartmouth Institute, The Centre for Health and Social Care Leadership (University of Birmingham), Milliman as well as other organisations. Underpinning this is also a collaboration agreement across all the CSUs which will ensure sharing of good practice and resources as needed.

One prominent component of the support is the creation of a ‘Population Health Management Academy’. Through this Academy, STPs in the region will have access to world-leading expertise from the Strategy Unit and its partners. There will also be events, webinars and a microsite to share learning with a wider audience across the NHS.

Alison Tonge, Director of Commissioning, NHS England and NHS Improvement (Midlands) explains: “We in the Midlands are keen to be at the forefront of developing Population Health as the foundation of Integrated Care. This will help drive out inequalities and make sure services, both health and care, are working together for improved patient outcomes. This work will support local systems as they develop Integrated Care.

“I’m proud the Midlands is leading the way on this.”

Strategy Unit Director, Peter Spilsbury said: “Our ambition is to inspire and to stimulate changes in thinking. We are committed to empowering NHS and other partners to make wise, well-informed decisions that make a lasting difference to their local populations.

“We envision a vibrant and ambitious academy: a catalyst for engagement that supports local action and improves local outcomes.”

On behalf of the CSUs, MLCSU Managing Director, Derek Kitchen said: As NHS organisations, CSUs are well-placed to give this support. We are delighted to be awarded the contract for this programme and to have the opportunity to contribute to the improvement of population health in such an impactful and wide-reaching way.”

The STPs covered are:

  • Birmingham and Solihull
  • Black Country and West Birmingham
  • Coventry and Warwickshire
  • Herefordshire and Worcestershire
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent
  • Shropshire
  • Derbyshire
  • Nottinghamshire.