Health Policy
Collaborating to make the case for change

By - Public Policy Projects

As the healthcare and life sciences sector has continued to expand in response to expanding patient populations and changes to healthcare delivery, so to have the number of organisations within the healthcare eco-system.

Firstly, there is the ever growing third sector in the UK, which now contains 166,000 charities – many focussed on healthcare and covering the same condition areas addressed in the NHS, often with the same priorities. Then there is the expanding numbers of pharmaceutical enterprises in the UK, growing by over 100 in the last decade. Finally, the health system we all work in is ever shifting, with the creation of new national bodies such as NHSX, as well as reorganisation which has led to the creation of regional Integrated Care Systems, Primary Care Networks, the National Institute for Health Protection and more.

Healthcare sector growth has necessitated collaboration as it becomes increasingly difficult to make the case for change, and achieve it, via a single voice. The collective voice has not just been an important function for smaller organisations to pool resources, but also for larger companies to support policy change via the creation cross-organisation consensus, adding weight to any key strategic imperatives they are looking to embed within the system.

It is in this spirit that Public Policy Projects, alongside Dr Jonathan Sheffield, launched the first Clinical Research Coalition last year. This Coalition, a collaboration between industry, NICE, the MHRA, professional bodies, and the third sector, was established with the goal of understanding positive learnings generated by the clinical research environment in the UK. By doing so, we sought to enable the UK to retain its global leadership of clinical research and operate as the number one global destination for clinical trials.

A series of evidence sessions later, a strong set of recommendations were produced, which have been used by Ministers in respect of their Spending Review bids. Public Policy Projects is now working to implement these recommendations, in partnership with Coalition members and key external stakeholders.

Therefore, I am hugely excited to have joined Public Policy Projects to head up our new Coalitions department. I will not only be leading the work to implement the Clinical Research Coalition’s recommendations, but I will also be building new coalitions on areas including the post Covid-19 NHS re-build, long-term conditions and more.

For those of you who do not already know me, I have worked in health policy and public affairs across a range of condition areas in the third sector, professional bodies and agency for several years. I have a particular wealth of experience leading collaborative efforts having chaired the Prescription Charges Coalition and the Continuing Healthcare Alliance as well as being vice-chair of the Neurological Alliance Policy Group. Most recently I worked for Hanover Communications, managing the work of the Industry Vision Group and CVD Collaborative.

My aim is clear: to foster greater collaboration in pre-defined areas of healthcare and life sciences that will bring about actionable change. The coalition model provides an opportunity to hold a series of roundtables, providing a deep dive into differing facets of healthcare, resulting in a report and subsequent recommendations. However, the most important part is what comes next. Too often roundtables lead to recommendations that gather dust due to the lack of a formalised group to take them forward.

To combat this, Public Policy Projects will ensure that all coalitions contain key stakeholders involved in leading regulatory bodies, the healthcare system, the third sector and industry. This approach means the stakeholders involved in taking forward recommendations are already ‘bought-in’ and ready to make the necessary changes within their organisations to achieve the coalition’s goals.

If you are interested in finding out more, or becoming involved with the Clinical Research Coalition or NHS re-build coalition, or to discuss other opportunities to work collaboratively across the health and life sciences sector please do get in touch with me on or on 07540 554206.

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