The Strategy Unit

Specialists in complex change and transformation

Contact the Strategy Unit

Strategy Unit Services

We offer a range of support services, from helping you to understand the local context, through to designing, implementing and evaluating transformation programmes.

In order to deliver an effective change programme you need to…

The Strategy Unit can help you with

…know about the nature, scale and likely evolution of need in your area

Needs assessments. This ranges from service-specific assessments up to whole-economy assessments of need. The Strategy Unit combines expertise in data analysis (including use of linked health and care data) with stakeholder and service user consultation.

Coaching and trusted advisor support for key decision makers enables clarity on key questions and helps develop a shared case for change.

Resilient partnership working across systems is at the heart of how we work.

Complex analysis enables a deeper understanding of the current situation and opportunities for improvement.

…define strategic priorities to address identified problems

– and to know what interventions are most likely to be effective in achieving the desired change

Strategy and programme development. Defining strategy requires the ability to engage at all levels, including: patients and the public, leaders within the system, commissioners and providers, partner organisations. It also requires the ability to produce clear and compelling narratives and plans to guide action. Designing programmes to implement strategy then requires knowledge of the evidence base (what works?) and the practicalities / parameters of introducing changes in a given local area (will it work here?). The Strategy Unit brings core analytical skills (such as evidence reviews and data analytics), expertise in option development and appraisal with stakeholder engagement as the basis for strategy development and programme design. We have the skills, knowledge and experience to support consideration of the role of different commissioning and contracting methodologies and models of care options that may help drive delivery.

…develop ways to

work and make decisions in partnership

Achieving consensus to begin working together and ultimately to do something intended to achieve change. We bring significant skills and experience in building consensus and in developing a shared, evidence- based ‘case for change’.

The right governance. We can advise on effective and robust governance models for larger scale/multi-party programmes based on extensive experience.

Trusted advisor support for SROs. We have extensive experience in navigating the politics of change and the external approvals environment.

Getting the programme properly resourced. We can advise on what it really takes to deliver change programmes (resources and timelines), help design the programme and identify the resources necessary. This includes capacity building - for the Dudley Vanguard we are delivering GP practice level OD support to create change management capacity

Business case development. We have the technical skills and experience required to produce complex business cases for the various levels and stages of approval required.

…assess the likely impacts of proposed changes

Prospective impact assessments. These assessments cover a growing range of impacts – including on equalities, health and access - in increasing levels of detail. Again, the Strategy Unit has high quality modelling capability (e.g. on travel times) and similar skills in stakeholder engagement.

…understand how well implementation is progressing and what needs to change ‘in real time’

Evaluation / service reviews. The Strategy Unit takes a developmental approach to evaluation, feeding in evidence to aid programme improvement (helping services to develop and improve) and facilitate learning. We also have high-end data analytics to support the quantification of impact.

We undertake mixed-method (quantitative and qualitative) formative and summative evaluations, designed to support continuously self-improving systems. We place great emphasis on skilful working with local clinicians and patients to develop measures that are useful to them.

…draw upon specialist technical inputs to aid implementation

Access to a network of specialists. This includes Programme Assurance, training and development, strategic financial and infrastructure planning, consultation/ engagement design and implementation.

…understand the value of your efforts

Economic analysis. This may be prospective or retrospective and may take a range of viewpoints (value to patients, value to all public services, value to the commissioner, etc).

Documenting your change. We can write up what you do for publication and to ensure your contribution to the wider evidence base.

Our portfolio covers areas such as:

  • developing currencies for community and primary care services based on cluster analysis of utilisation as an aid to modelling impacts of change and developing potential new models of commissioning;
  • understanding the causes of urgent care demand;
  • relationship between GP practice organisation and A&E utilisation;
  • utilising proximity to death as an alternative way to plan future resource implications and desirable service provision for populations and individuals;
  • co-developing, specifying and quantifying strategic clinical models of care to underpin greater community based care, reconfiguration and system redesign;
  • assessing future national demand for endoscopy services (with HSMC for Cancer Research UK);
  • supporting primary care capability development at a practice level;
  • linking health and social care data to support analysis of opportunities for integration;
  • supporting integration programmes to identify highest priorities for service development and change;
  • intermediate care redesign (shortlisted for a HSJ Award 2015);
  • evaluation of referral management systems and of RAID services;
  • modelling the impact of proposed changes to services for stroke, urgent care and falls;
  • novel methods for forecasting dementia demands;
  • developing an app to support patient–led decision making built on pre- and post- operative PROMs scores for joint replacement procedures;
  • detailed analysis of QIPP opportunities and demographic effects
  • modelling changes in bed utilisation; consequent on whole economy change programmes;
  • introducing Payment by Results and Any Qualified Provider Arrangements for Stop Smoking Services across the West Midlands;
  • supporting national and local evaluation of the Five Year Forward View Vanguards, delivering national ‘ logic model’ workshops and intensive support to the Dudley Vanguard;
  • producing the 'Towards Excellence in Primary Care' resource for the West Midlands Clinical Senate.

Midlands and Lancashire CSU
Kingston House
438-450 High Street
West Midlands
B70 9LD

Contact us to find out more
Tel: 07971 412240
E-Mail: strategy.unit@nhs.net

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