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NHS Reset in the North East and Yorkshire region: The Approach

Written by: Oliver Barnes - 7th September 2020

Throughout this week we’ll be posting a number of blogs that explain how we’re working with our partners across the region to support the NHS Reset campaign. In today’s post Oliver Barnes, our Programme Lead for Evaluation and Reset, talks about the approach we’ve taken to collaborating with all our health and care systems to understand how innovations have been used and implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic and what we can learn from this work.

The impact of COVID-19 has demonstrated the need to accelerate the rapid adoption of innovation in the way we work and deliver care. We have seen an unprecedented, accelerated pace of innovation and change in response to the pandemic from individual trusts to the system as a whole.

International and UK health systems ‘as we knew them’ are unlikely to be the same again, and as we start to emerge and recover from the pandemic we will be faced with a ‘new normal.’ The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of delivering health and care through innovative solutions that could continue to deliver value in the future even after the end of the crisis.

It has been a privilege to work collaboratively with North East and Yorkshire Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), NHS England and NHS Improvement and colleagues at North East and North Cumbria AHSN (NENC) to evaluate the impact of such changes in order to identify valuable learning that could inform short, medium and long-term plans. Yorkshire & Humber AHSN has been in a prime position to support our partners in the challenging task of identifying and understanding the impact of current changes for the future of the health and care systems at local, regional, national and international level with the objective of informing long-term reset planning.

Key to this process has been the development and delivery of a North East and Yorkshire (NEY) regional evaluation and reset methodology and framework. Under such extreme and challenging circumstances, nurturing positive relationships and acting as a supportive partner and honest broker to our integrated care systems,  NENC AHSN and the NHS England and Improvement regional and national recovery and learning workstreams has been vital to progress at pace and feed in significant learning for the NHS planning phased responses.

We have achieved this by developing and agreeing with NEY partners individual system, regional and national governance channels to ensure a constant flow of communication and as a mechanism for agreeing a regional methodology and framework for cross pollination of learning. The engagement, enthusiasm, commitment and willingness to work collaboratively and conduct a rapid regional evaluation to inform reset has been inspirational and a testament to everyone involved who has come together with a common vision to achieve uncommon results in a crisis.

The overall approach and process has involved combining thought leadership at a national level as well as learning from our NEY system partners to align with national and regional NHS England and Improvement policy and directives. Throughout the process we’ve used an agreed, consistent, qualitative and quantitative approach. The guiding principles underpinning this work are based on trust, openness and honesty with a focus as much on identifying behavioural and culture change as on identifying specific innovations.

Our Evaluation and Reset programme has three specific stages which included the gathering of patient and public feedback:

  1. Short-term – Rapid Insights reports
  2. Medium-term – Deeper Evaluation and Shortlisting process using a Quality Improvement and Sustainability model to explore in more depth the impact of identified innovations and themes
  3. Long-term – Reset Recommendations through collating all the phases and learning across NEY into the development of an Innovation Adoption Framework and Guide including national thought leadership, a literature review to help provide context and additional innovation insights from across the UK and globally. Additional support will be provided to embed the guidance and framework through a specific Learning and Delivery programme in collaboration with partners delivered by clinical leaders and Yorkshire & Humber AHSN.

The outputs will aid systems with their response to the NHS phase 3 (and beyond) planning activity.  So far, we have conducted the Rapid Insights work across the region and developed a report written for each ICS.  We are also producing an overarching regional report for shared learning across our partnerships.  We are now entering into the deeper Quality Improvement and Sustainability evaluation phase and we’re looking forward to continuing the fantastic partnership work regionally and nationally working closely with our NHS England and Improvement Recovery Cell, Learning Network and the National Beneficial Changes Network.  The strong partnerships developed have made our collective regional evaluation and reset vision turn into a reality that will nurture the innovation landscape to improve the delivery of health and care.

In our next blog ‘Communication, collaboration, and changing behaviours: three factors to successfully establishing change’, you will read more about some of the findings of our Rapid Insights work.

If you’d like to find out more about our regional Evaluation and Reset work then you can read Richard Stubbs and Rob Webster’s blog which was published today on the NHS voices website.