The Midlands Decision Support Network brings integrated intelligence functions together from across our region to share experiences, exchange great practice and improve outcomes.

Together, our Network is helping Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to make better informed decisions through analysis, evidence, evaluation, training and development.

They are working in partnership to address three key challenges:

  • How do we support integrated care systems (ICSs) to make high-quality strategic decisions?
  • How do we support each ICS to become a learning system?
  • How do we build the capacity, capability and culture needed to make this happen?

Each Midlands ICS is developing a team, an integrated intelligence function, which is focused on supporting the key strategic decisions faced by each system. Examples of the kinds of questions they will provide insight on include:

  • The most significant inequalities and how they might be addressed
  • Inequitable distribution of resource and how this might be rebalanced
  • Understanding variation and using this to target improvement efforts and drive innovation
  • Systematic exploration of the thoughts and beliefs of the population served and, frontline staff delivering services
  • Interaction between health and care systems and the wider economy

Each local integrated intelligence function is:

  • A locally-led, system resource which draws on and supports a breadth of organisations, including commissioners, healthcare providers and local authorities
  • Clearly separated from day-to-day reporting and routine business intelligence – instead focused on supporting major strategic decisions at system level
  • Led by a Chief Analyst and comprising multidisciplinary team, including skills in quantitative and qualitative  analysis, evidence and knowledge mobilisation and evaluation


Each intelligence function is part of a wider network across the region in order to maximise opportunities for sharing, learning and collaboration. The network is supported by the Strategy Unit which is supporting the development of DSUs through:

  • Training and development programme
  • Regional analytical programme
  • Active knowledge exchange and support for local DSU development

DSUs in the Midlands

Simon Bourne, our programme director gives a brief summary of Midlands integrated intelligence functions and the Midlands Decision Support Network