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New guide to cross-sector working

Posted: 28th May 2019

The ABPI and the AHSN Network has published a new guide to cross-sector working between NHS Sustainable Transformation Partnerships (STPs), Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) and industry. The guide sets out governance and process recommendations to make collaboration more straightforward.

AHSN Network Chair Dr Séamus O’Neill and ABPI CEO Mike Thompson explain its importance.

Cover of the Simplifying cross sector working guideA document with the words ‘governance and process’ in the title isn’t normally a bestseller, but our new guidance on cross-sector working between industry, ICSs and STPs should be recommended reading. Here are five reasons why:

The guide reinforces the benefits of cross-sector working for patients and NHS transformation and includes case studies demonstrating how this can be achieved

To make sure patient and NHS benefits are delivered, the guide sets out the governance that should be set for collaborative projects, which includes: the patient, population or user groups intended to benefit; project goals and methodology and the nature of the interventions required;the measures to be used to assess the patient outcomes or benefits achieved and over what time period.

The guide sets out why we need collaborative working – we can’t work in silos

The NHS Long Term Plan and the Government’s Life Sciences Strategy are clear – we need biomedical innovation to improve people’s health and the economic prosperity of the UK.

Realising the opportunity presented by biomedical innovation will depend on NHS, life sciences and industry stakeholders collaborating more effectively than in the past to tackle health needs and prepare for major new advances.

The guide will help avoid the problems of the past

While there is widespread interest in and goodwill towards cross-sector collaboration, industry and NHS stakeholders have frequently been frustrated by the time taken to agree collaborations, concerns about governance and the challenge of aligning system needs with industry offers. Following our guide will help avoid the pitfalls that have come up previously.

The guide could help the NHS become more efficient and productive

The guidance makes it easier for STPs, ICSs and industry to develop and implement local collaborative initiatives that improve patient outcomes, make more efficient use of NHS resources and generate evidence of impact for industry – a ‘triple win’

The guide makes maximum use of AHSN expertise as a promoter of innovation

The AHSNs already have a critical role in promoting and facilitating innovation in the NHS. As described in the guide, each AHSN can help its local STPs and ICSs to articulate local health challenges in the form of a call to industry and by providing a robust process for selecting the best industry partner / partners to address the challenges identified. This will mean that cross-sector projects have the best chance of succeeding.

Download the guide