Blog post

Bold partnerships: the key to progress on our greatest healthcare challenges

How do we realise the true potential of collaboration?
Fiona Bride

13 June 2022

To drive progress and outcomes for local populations we must collaborate without boundaries and harness the power of bold partnerships, says Fiona Bride, director of market access at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.

Many of the greatest challenges in history have been overcome through partnerships. The life sciences ecosystem is now working together more than ever before, but it can sometimes feel like the true potential of collaboration has yet to be fully realised. How do we turn this possibility into a reality?

Collaboration in healthcare is not a new concept. However, it is only in recent years that we have seen huge drives towards more collaborative ways of working. The unprecedented level of cooperation seen in response to the COVID-19 pandemic enabled vaccines and treatments to be delivered at record speed, alongside a rapid transformation in healthcare delivery and clinical research.

As we reflect on a post-pandemic world, we will continue to face significant challenges that are simply too large to tackle traditionally

As we reflect on a post-pandemic world, we will continue to face significant challenges that are simply too large to tackle traditionally. These are particularly important when it comes to addressing the huge waiting list backlog and closing the health inequalities gap.

Pledging to address health inequalities

In 2021, at Novartis, we made a public pledge to work across the healthcare system to address health inequalities. However, we knew that this could only transform into action with true partnership working. An example of this is our work with healthcare system leaders, such as the director of transformation in the Black Country and West Birmingham CCG to develop a health inequalities insight tool, which helps build a greater understanding of the relationship between heart failure and socioeconomic deprivation in England.

It is hoped that this tool will not only help to increase awareness and knowledge of regional disparities in outcomes, but also fuel real change for people’s healthcare experiences across the country. This is exactly the kind of pragmatic and impactful project that is enabled and strengthened through partnership working.

Population health management (PHM) also offers a potential vision for the future of healthcare. At its heart, PHM is about addressing the 80 per cent of healthcare outcomes that are due to the wider determinants of health: health-related behaviours, alongside socioeconomic and environmental factors, that play a part in the overall whole health of individuals.

Building a system that works for everyone

Local NHS collaborations with groups including industry, local authorities and the third sector enable a better understanding of local issues and supports the healthcare system with tailoring care and solutions to their greatest unmet health and social care needs, whilst also making the best use of collective resources.

To truly benefit from recent advances and support the NHS in its recovery, we need to harness the current momentum and collaborate without boundaries

Through collaboratively implementing these ideas, we can help to build a system that truly works for everyone. Partnerships, such as Novartis UK’s PHM approach with the NHS 1 , are already starting to move us toward a more holistic approach to patient care and treatment. To truly benefit from recent advances and support the NHS in its recovery, we need to harness the current momentum and collaborate without boundaries, as bold partners for progress.

By working together, particularly in the area of PHM, we have the power to drive a revolution - delivering improved, more equal outcomes for all patients.

As a collective healthcare ecosystem, we must keep asking: how can we continue to harness the power of bold partnerships to drive progress and outcomes for local populations?

Fiona Bride is director of market access at Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited. You can follow Novartis UK on Twitter @NovartisUK

Footnotes

  1. 1. NHS England. Population Health and the Population Health Management Programme. Available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/integratedcare/what-is-integrated-care/phm/ Last accessed: June 2022