Case studies

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Client: The leading UK charity for a non-malignant disease of the bowel

Objective: To support the charity in creating a nationwide process for the review and improvement of NHS services in Scotland to diagnose and treat the particular bowel condition in partnership with all NHS Health Boards and incorporating existing national standards of care for the whole of the UK.

Action: On behalf of the charity, led and facilitated a steering group of clinical, policy and patient experts to devise the review process, based on pilot schemes run by two NHS Health Boards in partnership with the charity.

Built and maintained relationships with government ministers and officials observing the activities, as well as members of the Scottish Parliament and NHS Health Boards not involved in the pilot schemes to ensure the review process was welcomed and widely taken up at launch.

Launched the new process at an event held in the Scottish Parliament.

Advised on the setting up of a Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament to support the review processes in NHS Health Boards after launch of the review process.

Outcomes: A quality improvement process was developed that NHS Health Boards use to assess their services, make improvements and take up new approaches to the diagnosis and management of the condition. This document was the first of its kind in the UK. The Scottish Government welcomed the new process and participated in the launch event

All NHS Health Boards have utilised the process to improve services and new approaches to treatment have been introduced. This includes supported patient self-management via digital technology that allows many people to play an active role in managing their condition whilst leading normal lives.

The Cross Party Group, in partnership with the charity, continues to support service improvement through close liaison with national professional bodies and with NHS Health Boards.

Addendum. A similar initiative was undertaken in Wales in which the charity worked in partnership with the national professional body through a steering committee. This group formed a collaborative relationship with NHS Wales through which Local Health Boards are being supported to review and improve their services for this condition.

Client: The leading national charity for a specific type of cancer

Objective: To draw to the attention of clinicians and health policy experts, the need for the development of a single set of evidence based quality guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and management of this specific type of cancer, that will improve outcomes throughout the UK, including survival rates, which are currently amongst the worst in Europe.

Action: Researched and drafted a report on behalf of the charity, demonstrating the need for service improvement in England and Wales. This also revealed the poor level of information available on services for this cancer type.

Advised on the formation of a multidisciplinary steering group of patients, surgical and medical experts to propose measures to address the situation. On the formation of this group, to act as policy expert and adviser.

Drafted a consensus statement for the steering group to consider and advised on the design of a peer review process. This statement would be the first stage in a process leading to the creation of a system to measure service quality in England and Wales for this specific type of cancer.

Facilitated meetings between the steering committee and representatives of national government bodies collecting information on cancer. Advised on the drafting of a set of pilot quality statements for this type of cancer that could be measured using data already collected.

In parallel, drafted a similar report covering Scotland where the quality of services for this cancer is already measured. Advised on the formation of a similar, but separate, multidisciplinary steering group to advise the charity on its input to the forthcoming routine review of services.

Outcomes: The England and Wales consensus statement was well-received during peer review and was launched to all specialist centres, together with a version for patients.

A design has been created for a set of workable and measurable quality statements that also complimented the consensus statement. The baseline study that will form the start of the quality measures project will be the most detailed measurement of services for this cancer ever carried out in England.

In Scotland, the steering committee helped the charity to produce a robust set of comments on the quality measures, which was submitted to the review process. Many of the points made in these comments were echoed by clinical experts in their submissions and the revised quality measures have been adjusted.

Client: A regional specialist nature conservation charity

Objective: To support the charity to campaign for the Agriculture Bill 2019-21, and its proposed new payment system for farmers to include a mechanism that will reward farmers for the conservation of semi-wild species, particularly those with rare genetic compositions.

Actions:  The charity was already closely involved in a DEFRA scheme to pilot the application of the new payment system and had positive relationships with some local MPs. However, the charity was concerned that the Agriculture Bill 2019-21, whilst including provision for the new system, might not be sufficiently clear on its application to semi-wild species. They asked the consultancy to help them follow the Bill through its progress in Parliament, and to advise on opportunities to create understanding and support amongst MPs and Peers involved in the Bill’s passage of the importance of including a form of words clarifying the point that semi-wild species may be considered within the Bill.

The level of targeted activity carried out by the charity has resulted in a high level of support. The charity continues to be one of a small number of organisations involved in pilot work.

Once the Bill is written into Law, the charity’s objective will be to support local farmers in applying for financial support under the new payment 

Provided advice and information on the relevant parliamentary processes. Identified a small target group of MPs for the charity to approach, in addition to the contacts they already had and helped to draft letters approaching them for support.

Assisted in the creation of the charity’s evidence submission to the Bill Committee, ensuring that they were aware of the reasons for the inclusion of semi-wild species in the Bill.

Created draft written questions for the charity to send to MPs and Peers who agreed to support them. The questions sought clarification on the Bill with respect to semi-wild animals.

Providing an ongoing monitoring process of the Bill’s progress and content, so that the charity is kept aware of developments and any emerging issues around semi-wild animals.

Outcomes: The Bill is presently completing its process through Parliament. The current wording of the Bill will allow the inclusion of semi-wild species and the charity has received written confirmation that the Bill is intended to do so.

The level of targeted activity carried out by the charity has resulted in a high level of support. The charity continues to be one of a small number of organisations involved in pilot work.
Once the Bill is written into Law, the charity’s objective will be to support local farmers in applying for financial support under the new payment mechanism wherever applications include preserving semi wild animals.