INSIGHT 2020 – Week 6: Making the most of our decision-making resources 


The final week’s theme was a reflection on what had been heard in the previous weeks.

We thought about how we develop our analytical leaders by building on the success of the Midlands Population Health Management Academy and thought conceptually about ‘what makes a good decision?’, drawing on the tools and techniques shown over the course of the Festival.

Concluded by an expert panel who considered where we go from here… 

What do analysts bring to the task of leadership?

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A discussion with Steven Wyatt, Kate Cheema and Anthony Nicholls who shared their experiences of being analytical leaders. 

Speakers: Steven Wyatt (The Strategy Unit), Kate Cheema (British Heart Foundation) and Anthony Nicholls (Black Country and West Birmingham STP) 

Accessing the data and code that underpins the Decision Support Unit (DSU) Network analysis of healthcare use at the end of life

The DSU’s analysis of healthcare use in the last 24 months of life was launched in week 3 of the Insight 2020 Festival. These reports and other materials are available on the Strategy Unit’s publications page. 

This session provided an explanation on how the reports were constructed and how analysts across England could access the underlying data and code to support their own analyses. 

Speakers: Justine WiltshireTom Jemmett (authors of the report) and Steven Wyatt (Head of Analytics, the Strategy Unit) 

Are we ready to adopt Population Health Management?

In this session, Strategy Unit colleagues reflected on the Midlands PHM Academy and their analyst skills mapping work. This was followed by a discussion on what needed to be done to embed PHM as a standard approach. Discussion included upsides and opportunities, limitations and downsides, challenges and recommendations. 

Speakers: Fraser BattyeLucy Hawkins and Gareth Wrench (The Strategy Unit) 

Addressing the decision quality challenge with Prof Al Mulley

This session addressed the challenge of measurably improving decision quality by considering the interdependence of the dialogues that take place between: (1) patients and clinicians; (2) policy makers or managers and clinicians; and (3) policy makers and citizens. 

This was an interesting session which will help you think differently about the quality of decisions made at the levels of the patient, the service organisation, and the health and care system. 

Speaker: Professor Al Mulley (Managing Director of the Dartmouth Institute’s Global Health Care Delivery Science Program) 

Closing panel - What's next for decision-making?

To close the Insight 2020 Festival, we brought together a remarkable panel of leaders to discuss how decision quality could be improved in the new NHS. 

The panel reflected on: 

  • The nature of the decision-making challenge ahead and questions of legitimacy in decision-making that we are seeing emerge across society at present; 
  • What they see as the essential ingredients of decision-making and leadership in ICSs that are capable of maintaining the confidence of the public and the workforce, and are up to the task of optimising the value achieved from the resources available to the NHS (and partners); 
  • The role they see for learning systems and networks (such as the Midlands DSU Network) in supporting them; 
  • What principles should be held dearest by leaders of health and care systems as we chart our way through COVID-19. 

Speakers: Peter Spilsbury, (The Strategy Unit), Sally Warren (Kings Fund), Danielle Oum (Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust) and Andy Williams (Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland CCG’s) 

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