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UNDERSTANDING THE NEW VALUE PROPOSITION FOR THE NHS

Industry needs a new way of describing its commercial propositions in response to the changing NHS landscape, argues Wilmington Healthcare’s Oli Hudson. This ‘new value proposition’ needs to be reflected across all brand planning and engagement activity.

Introduction

What constitutes value in the NHS is changing as a result of both the reforms underway and the operational realities facing the service.

On one level, the needs of an individual service, and the trust or primary care organisation they’re part of, remain as important as ever: after all, they remain discrete entities with their own needs, preferences, and pressure points.

Any proposition must therefore continue to describe things like the clinical efficacy, safety and patient benefits of a product, the costed benefits it can bring to a given service, and how it can help the purchaser with organisational challenges such as demand management, cost pressures and workforce capacity.

However, as Integrated Care Systems (ICS) exert greater influence, the commercial pitch must now broaden to cover the needs and preferences of the wider system too, in particular showing how a proposition can support population health goals, deliver new and more sustainable ways of providing care, and help the ICS to manage its many strategic challenges.

Costed pathway analysis

As such, every value proposition needs to clearly articulate its specific role in the pathway and the costed value it – and it alone – can bring across the whole pathway.

With ICSs actively looking at how pathways can be redesigned to manage down cost and capacity pressures, pharma will need to show it understands the patient’s journey through a pathway, knows how much each element of their care costs and the benefits it brings, and can demonstrate where and how their proposition can deliver best value.

Developing a Costed Integrated Patient Scenario, such as this for chronic kidney disease, can be a powerful way of evaluating the different components in a patient’s care, and showing, in an evidence-based way, what can be changed to optimise the pathway as a whole.

Supporting population health

At the same time, NHS England have made it clear that ICSs – and specifically the place-based partnerships within them – are responsible for improving health and care outcomes and experiences across their populations.

This adds further new angles to what the NHS customer regards as “good value”. It means all organisations will want to be able to demonstrate that resources are fully optimised to meet the long-term needs of the population the system is supported.

From pharma’s standpoint, this involves highlighting:

  • The preventative value of propositions that can prevent a patient’s condition from escalating to the point where they will need more costly treatment and care.
  • The social value of propositions that can reduce a patient’s dependencies by relieving their symptoms and allowing them to do more things than before.
  • The service value of propositions that successfully reduce demand on certain health services, and/or allow patients to be treated in a more appropriate (community) setting.
  • The experiential value of propositions that improve the quality of a patient’s experience by reducing inconvenience or providing a less invasive way of treating them.
  • The efficiency value of reducing the frequency with which a patient may require follow-up care and/or helping them to become fully de-medicalised over the long term.

In addition, with capacity pressures challenging all parts of the NHS, an effective value proposition should also zero reflect resourcing benefits of freeing up clinical time or remodelling the staffing mix required to administer a treatment – both of which may have more significance than base cost as a result of the operational priorities and pressures the NHS is currently faced with.

Addressing health inequalities and other strategic priorities

Effective propositions must also clearly link in to the strategic priorities for the NHS, as described in the latest NHS operational planning guidance and reflected in local ICS delivery plans when they are published later this spring.

Managing the backlog will be a top priority for all systems – customers will want solutions that can build in additional capacity to reduce case lists and take pressures off frontline staff. However, it’s also worth factoring in other strategic challenges. Can your proposition help NHS customer to implement technology-enabled solutions at scale; expand community-based diagnostics, treatment and services or reinvigorate the disease-specific service improvement aspirations in the NHS Long Term Plan, for example?

Most significant of all is the increased focus on access and health inequalities. Pharma can add considerable value by helping the NHS understand the nature of under-served and under-treated patient groups (not just in cancer but across all long-term conditions). The data, analysis and insight pharmaceutical companies hold can help identify and stratify these missing patients, drawing out the cost arguments associated with late presentation and showing how it can complement NHS efforts to minimise them.

Conclusion

In short, Industry must now broaden its commercial base beyond an isolated focus on product values and attributes, as NHS customers look for a more sophisticated and rounded analysis of value. This means being able to quantify the value of your proposition across multiple areas of need, skilfully straddling clinical, organisational and system requirements, and demonstrating hard evidence of the impact this can make through a whole care pathway.

Getting it right is not easy, but it’s vital for helping the customer see how your offer can help them deliver against an increasingly challenging environment – and that is key to winning both their business and their trust.

Wilmington Healthcare provides market leading data, insight and intelligence across the healthcare community. Watch our panel of experts discuss the new value proposition in this latest webinar, and find out more about how we can support your NHS partnerships by visiting wilmingtonhealthcare.com.

6th April 2022

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