The joint working toolkit – theory into practice

by | Oct 23, 2019

Last month, the ABPI launched their updated Joint Working Toolkit. It goes a long way to simplifying and clarifying the process. I hope it will encourage more companies to do more joint working.

One of the main barriers has been the prospect of navigating a cumbersome internal process to get a project off the ground, only to have the results fall short. Even in companies with lots of joint working experience, projects can stall or fail to deliver the triple win for patients, the NHS and the company.

I’d love to see that improve. I’m firmly in agreement with my old friend Prof David Nutt of Imperial College London, who once told me that joint working with industry was so vital to sustaining our NHS that it should be included in junior doctors’ training!

The arrival of primary care networks with their focus on genuinely integrated and patient-centred care provides significant opportunities for firms to deliver value across the whole care pathway; by keeping people out of hospital, for example, or improving population health. According to expert David Thorne, the NHS is currently going through its biggest change since the 1990s – and offering pharma a golden opportunity to shift from supplier to partner.

Collaboration and co-creation are essential for developing and implementing the initiatives that will deliver these benefits, and the toolkit is an indispensable framework for setting up projects compliantly. But it’s not the whole story. Strategy, Value and Access Director at MSD, Simon Nicholson’s view is that the toolkit, while useful, is just the starting point: companies should adapt it to make it work for their organisation. They should then work with their stakeholders to identify pain points along the patient pathway and find the common issues affecting companies, clinicians and patients.

My view is that bringing in an independent facilitator at this stage can make this process really effective. It helps embed partnership into the very early planning, since everyone can participate fully, as a combined team of industry, clinical and other key stakeholders.

But the other part of the jigsaw is building capability and competency – how can we get better at partnership working so as to achieve more consistent results, or deliver outcomes in a shorter timeframe?

This is another way the Dovetail team can help – drawing on over ten years’ experience of effective collaboration, our Joint Working Masterclass examines the building blocks of robust partnership working. Complementing the Joint Working Toolkit, it enables teams to put theory into practice, lay firm project foundations and understand what to do when things don’t go to plan.

We’d love to help you refine your collaboration skills, so that you and your teams can make an even greater contribution to the NHS and patient outcomes. Contact us to find out how we can help, or to book a complimentary taster session.