Please login to the form below

Joint Working That Works

Claire Munro blogs about a recent Dovetail workshop on best practice in collaboration between industry and the NHS.

Having delivered over 20 collaborative projects, we wanted to share what we’ve learned and find out more about the perspectives of our pharma and NHS colleagues. But we were also keen to run the meeting itself in a spirit of collaboration, because we know that working this way helps groups find common ground sooner.
We brought together a group of experts from a broad range of clinical specialities and industry roles to look at the key elements of effective collaboration, as well as analyse the problems that can arise in a partnership project.

Both pharma and clinicians see huge benefits to joint working. When it works well, the sharing of resources, knowledge and skills enables them to achieve things they couldn’t do alone. Asked to score joint working out of 10 in terms of the value it can deliver for patients, the NHS and pharma the group rated it 7.7, 7.1 and 7.5 respectively. Working with stakeholders on areas of commonality means that companies are able to achieve commercial goals while improving patient outcomes and experience at the same time; the results are more than the sum of their parts.
What’s interesting for me is the value of the experience itself. Both groups reported that working together had helped them see the other’s viewpoint, and understand things they wouldn’t have otherwise. As one industry participant put it, collaboration helps you “walk a mile in your customers’ shoes, ” giving you fresh insights into the challenges of working in the NHS.

The open and interactive discussion on barriers to joint working showed a striking similarity in the pitfalls experienced across both sectors. Issues include a lack of time, capacity and resources to set projects up properly; teams not having the right skills and capabilities to plan and manage joint working effectively; short-termism; misaligned objectives; bureaucracy and fear of reputational damage.

For collaboration to succeed, keeping the patient benefits at the heart of a project acts as its moral compass, helping to ensure it delivers on shared goals.  Patients could be involved in setting up or signing off project objectives at the start of the process. Goals need to be realistic, and adaptive mechanisms should be built into agreements, recognising that projects can evolve over time.Our delegates told us they found the collaborative experience at the meeting stimulating, insightful and fun. One senior clinician told us that joint working was ‘vital to the future of the NHS’, while others suggested we need additional tools and resources to upskill both pharma and clinical teams.

We're currently collating all the insights into a report. Contact if you'd like a copy of this in due course.

4th September 2018



Company Details


020 3176 6435

Contact Website

20 Marsden Road
SE15 4EE
United Kingdom

Latest content on this profile

Call for industry innovators to join working group
The IBD Registry is calling for industry stakeholders with a flair for innovation and collaboration to join its Industry Working Group.
IBD Registry wins Communiqué award for COVID-19 tool
The IBD Registry has won a coveted Communiqué award in recognition of its collaborative efforts in creating the COVID-19 IBD Risk Tool for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The award was the first to be won in Communiqué’s new AGILITY AND FLEXIBILITY category.
Dovetail partners with Tillotts AG to map management of C. difficile infection in Europe
Specialist stakeholder engagement consultancy Dovetail, based in London, UK, have announced a new partnership with Tillotts Pharma AG to support the launch of Tillotts’ recent acquisition DIFICLIR™ in the EU.
Essential collaboration skills training for pharma and healthcare teams launched by Dovetail.
Specialist healthcare consultancy Dovetail launches new collaboration skills training in response to client demand.
Joint working that works