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It’s frustrating when you know you have a great drugs, med-tech or device project that could have a transformative impact on outcomes for patients, yet you’re still struggling to get your offer taken seriously by key-decision makers within the NHS.

It’s a problem I hear time and again from clients. They know they have the solutions the NHS needs and cannot understand why they’re not getting heard.

One of our key pointers to them is to always make sure you position your projects to align with the current agenda.

And that current agenda includes prevention and population health. They are key, not only to the NHS Long Term Plan (LTP) but also to the functioning and development of Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

In this blog I’ll explain more about the prevention agenda and what’s pertinent to know when identifying opportunities to align your offer – so you can be sure your pitch is well received and recognised for the benefits it could offer.

What’s on the prevention agenda?

It’s worth noting that any plans for service development being put forward by Primary Care Networks (PCNs) will need to be underpinned by a health needs analysis of the population they serve.  This naturally targets the big areas of obesity, smoking, alcohol, sexual health and antimicrobial resistance; however, the prevention agenda is much wider.

From PCNs right through to the whole Integrated Care System (ICSs) there is a requirement to develop preventative services. At PCN level this was very much reflected in Direct Enhanced Service for Primary Care Networks: click here.   

Understanding local population needs

As part of this agenda, there is a need for each PCN to understand their local population health needs – a lesson learned from the Primary Care Home model upon which PCNs are based. 

And whilst there’s a focus on preventing disease at the outset, where disease exists it’s about:

  • taking proactive steps to prevent, or slow, its progression
  • reducing the need for avoidable referrals, admissions and attendances within the system.

Challenges of the prevention agenda

One of the biggest challenges around prevention lies with the population itself and the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing. 

Support is needed within local communities to improve self-care and to get that support from the right part of the system when the need arises.  For example, getting people to access a pharmacy for help before booking a GP appointment. The current Covid-19 pandemic is already shifting the approach people take when needing to access services.

Reducing health inequalities

Lastly, prevention includes reducing health inequalities and unwarranted variation, and ensuring funding is targeted in the right places. The service specifications that PCNs will be delivering support this approach.

Use budget impact models to stand out

This is where your budget impact models and data can play an important role; however, you will need to tie that to the prevention agenda. Think carefully about that and at the same time how you link this to the key agenda of positively impacting the workload and the workforce

I explore what population health is and how you can engage on that agenda in this blog. In the meantime, if you have any questions, you can reach me through LinkedIn or by scheduling a call.

Scott McKenzie helps pharmaceutical, medical technology and device firms increase revenue by getting their products and services in front of the right NHS decision makers. If you want to get your products fully embedded into treatment pathways, we can help you. We’ve doubled revenue for our clients and can share these processes with you too. Download your free guide: click here

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