Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit boosts strategy offer in alliance with ICF International


Peter Spilsbury

Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) is enhancing its range of strategy and high-end analytical services by forming a strategic alliance with consultancy specialist ICF International.

 MLCSU’s renowned Strategy Unit provides NHS, local authority and third sector clients with a specialist service to support health and care improvement in complex situations. The team delivers evidence reviews, economic and service  modelling, quantitative and formative evaluation, option appraisal, change programme design and implementation,  consensus building  and ‘trusted advisor’ support for local leaders.
ICF is an international research consultancy that works across all areas of public policy – from climate change and food security to labour markets and education. ICF specialises in applied research and analysis and throughout the variety of this work, offers the same basic proposition: better use of evidence leads to better decisions - and better decisions lead to better outcomes.
ICF’s services also span the commissioning cycle: from needs assessments and options appraisal; through support for implementation; to impact and economic analysis. Within this, ICF has a particular specialism in evaluation – helping their clients to prove and improve the value of their work.
The new strategic alliance will enable both the Strategy Unit and ICF to extend their offer to existing and new clients by bringing their specialist expertise and experience together.
The Strategy Unit and ICF will continue to work independently on the majority of projects they undertake, but the alliance allows them to come together when their combined resources can best serve a client’s needs. They will also, however, be systematically sharing skills, knowledge and training between them at all times.
Peter Spilsbury, Director of the Strategy Unit, said:

"As well as shared and complementary expertise, the Strategy Unit and ICF have shared values rooted in public service and a real respect for each other’s skills and capability.
The biggest challenge for the Strategy Unit is to keep up with demand for our highly-valued services. This demand sometimes means it’s challenging to find the capacity to deliver for our clients, so we decided to look at expanding our offer through a carefully chosen strategic alliance.
The valuable knowledge ICF brings from working with public sector and third sector organisations around the world, particularly in the broad area of public health, means together we can offer commissioners and providers the insight and practical support that they need to deliver high-quality, cost-effective services.”

Jeanne Townend, ICF Executive Vice President and group lead for Europe and Asia, said:

“ICF has a long history of helping to improve health outcomes through the application of analysis. We’re delighted to form this alliance with the Strategy Unit. ICF looks forward to supporting health and social care commissioners to meet the challenges in developing sustainable services that meet needs and improve outcomes.”


Notes to editors

Midlands and Lancashire CSU serves commissioners and others responsible for a population of c 8 million. It employs 1200 staff and its commissioning support services span the entire range from finance, contract management, business intelligence and communications/engagement through to continuing healthcare, medicines management and strategy services
MLCSU’s Strategy Unit has an outstanding reputation for its analysis, evidence review and transformation consultancy services. It has clients across commissioners, providers, local authorities, whole systems, NHS England and the third sector. It obtains feedback on every project undertaken and its current cumulative net promoter score stands at 96%. In addition to the Alliance with ICF, the Strategy Unit partners with the Health Services Management Centre at University of Birmingham and has a number of highly expert and experienced Associates in the fields of strategic finance, primary care commissioning, mental health policy, third sector outcomes, social care and more
For more information visit www.strategyunit.co.uk
ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI) provides professional services and technology solutions that deliver beneficial impact in areas critical to the world's future. Since 1969, ICF has been serving government and the voluntary sector at all levels, major corporations, and multilateral institutions. More than 5,000 employees serve these clients from more than 70 offices worldwide.
In the UK, ICF provides analytical services and support to health and social care clients including: Department of Health, Skills for Health, Healthwatch, the Welsh Government, Public Health England, and charities such as Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and the Health Foundation. ICF also works regularly for the European Commission, providing analysis and advice to DG SANTE to support its public health functions.
For more information on ICF in the UK, see: www.icfi.com/regions/europe/united-kingdom

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