Health and the Industrial Strategy

map with pins

The government published its Industrial Strategy in November 2017, setting out a long-term plan to create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK. The Strategy identified four ‘grand challenges’ which would put the UK at the forefront of the industries of the future and five ‘foundations of productivity’ to transform the economy. Many of these relate to the health sector and we have an important part to play in realising the UK’s economic potential.
The NHS Confederation published its briefing on the Industrial Strategy in November 2017.

Local Industrial Strategies

Critically, every local economic area in England, along with the devolved administrations, is now developing its own local industrial strategy. The NHS Confederation is working closely with partners to influence the development of these Strategies. We published a briefing in June 2019 reflecting on the emerging importance of health to many of the early draft local industrial strategies, exploring the opportunities for the NHS that exist at both system and organisational level and outlining how to engage with and influence the development of these strategies in the coming year.

Key points for Local Industrial Strategies

  • Every local economic area in England, along with the devolved administrations, is in the process of developing a local industrial strategy, to be agreed with the government by March 2020.
  • These strategies focus on long-term priorities for investment across a range of important areas for the NHS including skills, infrastructure, innovation, and economic and inclusive growth. They will also guide the use of future funding resources and, potentially, local devolution policy asks.
  • While NHS engagement in local industrial strategies has been varied, many feature health-related local priorities and/or offer clear opportunities for closer partnership working. There are significant benefits for the NHS in influencing these strategies.
  • Sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs), integrated care systems (ICSs) and NHS organisations should seek to engage their mayoral combined authorities (MCAs) or local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) on the design and subsequent delivery of their strategy. Local government, university and industry partners will also play an important role.

How we are helping

The NHS Confederation, through its Head of Health Economic Partnerships, is supporting several members to engage with and influence the development of their local strategies. Our Head of Health Economic Partnerships is on the expert panel of some strategies, has directly facilitated local partnerships, advised both LEPs and the NHS on likely areas for priorities, and worked with government to align national messaging,
Contact to discuss how you can get involved.

Additional resources

Given the breadth of local partners involved in the development of these strategies there are a range of useful resources to help you understand more about the process and opportunities. Find out more in the column to the right.

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