The Strategy Unit is a team of experts who are committed to helping you to improve health and care in ever more challenging circumstances.
Our team offers advanced technical skills combined with practically-grounded strategic and operational experience. We aim to be the bridge between strategic expertise and getting things done. We specialise in analysis; evidence review; strategic financial planning; policy and strategy development; consensus building; programme design, assurance and implementation; intelligent implementation; capacity building; evaluation; and 'trusted advisor' support for senior leaders.
We value our reputation for excellence, innovation and independent thinking. We don’t sell 'products' or 'tools' or transplants from elsewhere. We don’t evangelise for 'risk stratification' or 'outcome based commissioning' or any other method. We can take from these what is useful, but we don’t buy or sell 'silver bullet' promises. We are always mindful of the evidence rather than the fashion and the need to find out what will work best given local needs and circumstances.
We therefore always provide a bespoke service, designing our support with local parties to meet their particular needs. This has resulted in a range of inputs from tightly defined technical contributions through to the provision of a suite of specialist supporting services for multi-year whole-economy change programmes.
Hosted by the Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit, we operate autonomously
as a free-standing health and care consultancy business with a 2016/17 turnover of c£3million. To enhance our range of specialist knowledge and experience, and also our capacity, we have established a network of expert Associates, have developed two formal alliances with carefully selected and highly regarded partners. (The Transformation Unit, based in Greater Manchester; ICF International) and we also work in partnership with Health Services management Centre, University of Birmingham and with the award winning e-Innovations Unit, also hosted by MLCSU.
Driven by values
Improving health and care for patients and communities drives everything we do.
Our sole purpose is to help find system-wide solutions to address complex and long-standing problems and opportunities to achieve improvement. We aim to place patients and service users at the heart of our work and we only take on projects where we are confident that our work can make a positive difference.
We recognise that health and social care is a complex environment where uncertainty and volatility are inherent (we think in terms of complex adaptive systems). We have a track record of significant innovation in supporting complex change. Where possible, we like to develop long- term partnerships where we can go on a shared journey with our clients, and where innovations arising that can be used elsewhere generate benefits for both parties. We are particularly interested in working with clients to create the conditions for self-improving systems. We believe this to be the most important priority now for all health and care economies.
We’re committed to continuous learning and improvement and always seek out and act on feedback from our clients. Having a strong public sector ethos, the small margin we receive on our work is reinvested in innovations and improvements which benefit our clients.
Recognising the financial and time pressures within health and social care, we offer a real-world balance of quality and timeliness. We place great importance on the evidence base and on rigorous analysis. We recognise however that the evidence rarely gives a definitive answer and we work with clients to achieve consensus on what to do by balancing evidence with local context with expert and lay views. We adopt a collaborative coaching style when we work with clients and we actively seek to transfer skills and learning. We believe in and practice the open sharing of knowledge and are committed to developing the evidence base to support complex change through robust and authentic evaluation. We are proud to have recently been awarded our first substantial NIHR grant, regarding the evidence base and the deployment of that in the New Models of Care Programme nationally. We have also presented at recent international programmes on the use of evidence in practice.
We work with:
- Commissioners and providers of health and social care
- Whole-system health and care economies (a number of STPs)
- Vanguards (MCPs; Chains; UrgentCare)
- National Innovation Test BedProgramme
- Clinical Senates and StrategicNetworks
- NHS England and other national bodies in health and socialcare
- National Third sector organisations