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Our year – supporting through COVID and beyond

The past financial year has been a challenging and turbulent one. In our annual report 2020/21, we focus on what being a responsive system partner supporting the NHS through COVID has truly meant. We also summarise how we’re helping systems in delivering the goals of the Long Term Plan, and we highlight key areas where we made a difference across all our services.

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In the past year, we, along with colleagues from across the NHS and wider health and care sector, have adapted to shifting priorities and made many changes to our way of working. Our vision has remained to be pivotal in fully supporting the delivery of major improvements in health and wellbeing. Our philosophy is to face every new challenge and opportunity together with systems as partners.

Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit team members have been and continue to be deployed in the national Supply Cell, working on procuring ventilators and hard-to-source items, and have provided reporting and programme support to NHS England and Improvement’s national effort. We have reallocated a range of service teams and funding to response, recovery and restoration programmes. As a system-wide service, we provided advice and support to our partners, including the sharing of intelligence, best practice and volunteers to support COVID-19 operations and Winter Rooms.

Beyond COVID, we’ve developed an unparalleled experience across a wide range of areas. In addition to our established transactional support services, we continue to contribute with significant strategic  and programme management expertise, providing tailored transformational support to 10 health systems. Examples, among many others include advancing the application of machine
learning and AI in addressing population health management challenges; driving forward work on population profiling and risk stratification; using automation and chatbot technology to facilitate more efficient care delivery; reducing waiting times and hospital length of stay rates; solving flexible capacity issues for GP practices, saving them time and money.

We bring added value and we work with customers as partners, whatever the need. In the future, we know commissioning will become far more about the strategic management of the health of the population. We have the dedication of our expert staff and the flexibility in our delivery models to collaborate with you, developing and delivering services within a single system plan.