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Header image for the current page Connected planning webinar provides insight into driving value for the NHS

Connected planning webinar provides insight into driving value for the NHS

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With statutory duties requiring Integrated Care Boards to undertake annually updated five-year health service planning, Integrated Care Systems have a unique opportunity to align and coordinate planning to better meet the needs of their population.

On 29 March 2023 Arden & GEM delivered an engaging and interactive webinar to explore how connected planning can drive value for the NHS. A recording of the event can be viewed here:

Host for the day, Alison Tonge (Director of Integrated Service Development, Arden & GEM) was joined by over 40 NHS planning professionals and a panel of experts to spread integrated planning learning from the private sector, NHS and consulting teams. The event took delegates through the journey of connected planning, governance, delivery and the lessons learned from real world case studies.

In the first session, titled ’System Planning- Strategic to Operational‘, international health advisor Tim Wilson detailed the significance of the reorganisation of the NHS from markets towards ‘systems’ – and how this presents both planning challenges and opportunities. With a legal duty to deliver the triple aim, health systems and their component organisations must adopt new ways to effectively plan in what are complex adaptive systems. Against the backdrop of falling life expectancy, worsening inequality, poor performance against international measures and targets, Tim explored how this shift in approach provides complex systems with a chance to galvanise different layers of organisations utilising population stewardship groups.

The second session, delivered by Nick Carter (Consulting Director, Deloitte), was titled ’Connected planning - value payback‘ and took delegates through a real-world case study for Queensland Rail in Australia. It was noted that across the public and private sectors the common objective was to generate value from being better prepared and that the common issue was getting an accurate, single source of the truth that could be used for truly integrated planning. The solution discussed bringing together the required people, processes and technology to provide accurate information with a high level of confidence, and the importance of ‘what if’ modelling to predict and plan for future demand and workforce requirements.

Session three, ’Using connected planning for operational management‘ was delivered by David Webb, Head of Performance Forecasting at South Central Ambulance Service NHS Trust. This session provided a recent example of connected planning delivering over £1 million in benefits for the NHS. The case study detailed how, using funding from the Global Digital Exemplar (GDE) programme, the ambulance trust procured and built an integrated workforce and finance planning system capable of bringing together demand, capacity and supply. This now utilises regression modelling and machine learning to accurately forecast and plan for the future requirements of their population.

The fourth session ’NHS context and planning imperatives‘, from Frances Khatcherian (Director of Operational Finance – intervention, NHS England) covered the national context . In this presentation delegates were provided with a whistle-stop tour of the most up to date planning guidance for health systems. This included details on how to access the latest guidance through the FutureNHS platform and the many tools and supporting templates available. Key areas of discussion included delegation arrangements (for POD and Specialised Services), the elective recovery fund and the timetable of planning requirements. An overview of efficiency and workforce metrics identified the national imperative to provide assurance that investment is resulting in additional clinical activity, improved key performance indicators and sustainable workforce.

In the fifth session, Fiona Grove (Head of Service, Workforce Planning & Consultancy at Arden & GEM) provided a short demonstration from our workforce and system flow. This systemised approach has been developed by working at a system level for over five years and utilises data feeds directly from ESR to provide clients with a ‘whole system’ picture of workforce. After building an employee baseline, the approach enables systems to predict their future workforce, model scenarios based on retirement and staff retention, and overlay this work into scenarios to target workforce ‘hotspots’ and better understand and plan for potential workforce gaps.

In the final session of the day Alison Tonge introduced the concept of the ’Arden & GEM Planning Network‘. As part of our ongoing commitment to realising the benefits available from connected planning we are seeking early adopters to support development of an integrated planning network. This will utilise Communities of Practice to develop integrated planning approaches from proof of value through to accelerator models. A subscription model will also be available for organisations that want to overlay this work within their planning activities.

Anyone interested in participating in the Integrated Planning Network should email alison.tonge1@nhs.net

A copy of the presentation slides used at the event can be accessed here