Project Name: Primary care: Innovating for the future

Project Summary: 

Before the pandemic, there was a conventional narrative on the barriers to innovation in the NHS. Many policy papers and reports repeated similar lists of obstacles: lack of financial incentives, resistance by clinicians and a top–down system, among others. However, during the pandemic, the emergency response to COVID-19 saw the most significant innovation and transformation of healthcare delivery at an astonishing pace. In this period, we have seen the agility of primary care and its ability to transform using technology, establishing new ways of working and collaboration across organisational boundaries. Some of this progress has been supported by the removal of bureaucratic obstacles and an emphasis on scaling localised innovation. 

Looking ahead after the pandemic, clinicians and healthcare system leaders will need to review how much of the conventional thinking on barriers to innovation still seems credible. Can they still insist on the importance of financial incentives, if such rapid change could happen without them? Can they still claim, with the same degree of certainty, clinicians are resistant to innovation, if those same clinicians could react so quickly during the crisis? What support do clinicians and local leaders need to lock-in the transformation gains made during the pandemic and innovate for the future? How do we foster innovative environments with a focus on local delivery, shifting from activity to outcomes, from demand to need? 

The principle aim of this CW is to:

  • Explore and understand the barriers and challenges to innovation and transformation in primary care; and  
  • create a space within which clinicians and healthcare system leaders can be equipped to utilize the innovation opportunities to transform the future of primary care (the ‘Innovation Convention’)

This executive summary has been updated in April 2023 and July 2023 to reflect an amendment to milestone 4 detailed below.

Planned Milestones:

MilestoneDescriptionPlanned Completion

Set date for April Innovation Convention.

Undertake mapping of good practice in relation to system working to improve population health outcomes and reduce health inequalities.

Content developed through engagement with NHS colleagues and service users/representatives.

Agenda confirmed for innovation convention.

April 2022
2April Innovation Convention takes place.April 2022
3Outcomes of the May Innovation Convention presented at NHS Confed Expo;June 2022

Publication of practical guide to transforming primary care, with a focus on health inequalities and CVD management.

By agreement between the collaborative working partner-NHS Confederation, and Novartis the publication of a practical guide to transforming primary care will now be a publication of Population Health Management Resource 2023.

Publication of outcomes of CW

This milestone will now be delivered in June 2023 rather than June 2022.

A further delay to delivery of Milestone 4 will now see distribution of The Population Health Management Resource 2023 in November 2023 at the ICS Conference.

Expected Benefits:

Anticipated benefits for Patients:

  • Increased access to new and innovative models of care and interventions.
  • Improved experience of care through better integrated and community focused models of care and prevention.

Anticipated benefits for the NHS:

  • Increased access to examples of good practice and guidance in relation to innovations which contribute to the planning and delivery of high-quality care
  • Strengthened understanding of and ability to apply new and innovative approaches such as population health management to accelerate post-COVID recovery across the NHS.
  • Strengthened engagement with peers to collaborate in tackling practical issues facing local healthcare systems
  • Increased awareness of the value of industry collaboration and partnership working to drive improvements in healthcare deliver and patient experience.

Anticipated Benefits for Novartis:

  • Increased understanding of the key policy issues and challenges in healthcare, and use insights to support the development of innovation, best practice, and replication of learning across Novartis.
  • Work collaboratively with healthcare systems and subject-matter experts, to co-design and implement policy and guidance, share knowledge, and facilitate learning to drive improvements in patient care, experience and outcomes.
  • Develop thought leadership to increase the awareness of industry collaboration and partnership working to drive improvements in healthcare delivery and patient experience.

Start Date & Duration: Project initiation in April 2022 and originally planned to run for 3 months will now end in November 2023 following amendment to delivery of milestone 4.