Alex and Jane 2(1) - NHS-TU

Healthier Together – the trailblazing Greater Manchester acute hospital transformation programme was the topic of one of the key sessions at NICE conference 2017.

Two of the leaders of the comprehensive change programme, which involved a huge and widely praised public consultation process, told delegates at the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool how Healthier Together led to the creation of the NHS’s specialist internal consultancy, the Transformation Unit.

Alex Heritage, the NHS Transformation Unit’s Deputy Chief Executive and Dr Jane Eddleston, Chief Medical Advisor for Healthier Together explained how initial steps in 2012 to improve patient outcomes and eliminate variations across the region led to the implementation process being carried out today.

Dr Eddleston said: “Healthier Together put patients and staff at the centre of service reconfiguration and involved engagement on a massive scale and has been a key part of its success.

“Improving outcomes for patients and reducing variation in care is one of the biggest challenges facing the NHS today and patient engagement is an integral part of quality improvement which emerged very much as a key theme at NICE 2017.”

Healthier Together’s journey involved one the UK’s largest public consultations, which included over 450 events and 200,000 consultation documents being sent out across the region. A unanimous decision was made on the programme by a board made up of clinicians and politicians from 10 local authorities, 12 CCGs and 15 NHS trusts, and this decision was successfully defended at Judicial Review.

Alex Heritage said: “Healthier Together’s success led to the creation of the Transformation Unit which provides a range of services to health and social care commissioners, specialising in large scale clinical service transformation. This is a sustainable NHS resource that can reduce the NHS’s reliance on external support and keep talented transformation professionals working in the public sector.”

Continuing the theme of patient engagement, the Transformation Unit’s Head of Programme and Project Management, Jen Parsons, was also a speaker at the conference.

Jen explained how patient experience is central to the transformation of oesophago-gastric cancer surgery services in Greater Manchester and discussed, alongside Jeremy Taylor, Chief

Executive of National Voices, the Transformation Unit’s innovative approach to engagement and the co-design of new world class clinical and patient standards.

If you would like to know more about the Healthier Together programme or to find out how the NHS Transformation Unit can help your organisation, please contact us to discuss on 0161 625 7306 or