Responding to Rose - the importance of actionable informationRecent publication of an updated version of the Rose report, taking into account Simon Steven’s Five Year Forward View, has re-ignited the debate about management in the NHS. Whilst there is nothing new in his observations about the pace of change being unsustainable, his conclusion that the NHS does not have enough experienced managers to deal with the challenges associated with major change in the NHS, is cause for concern.

Many of the report’s recommendations for improving management are admirable although there is one glaring omission. Rose advocates local strategic oversight, but for this to happen senior managers need to become more engaged with performance information about the services they provide. It needs to be delivered in a decision-ready state so they can act on it, instead of becoming distracted by the data submission requirements and targets imposed by regulators.

As with any other management skill, competency in using health information comes from a combination of training and experience. The former could be addressed via programmes co-developed with informatics service providers and the NHS Leadership Academy for example. However, information providers in both the public and private sectors should strive to evolve better ways of engaging senior managers with this information.

By way of example CHKS has recently launched iCompare – a platform harnessing the latest informatics technology to generate decision-ready information for clinicians and managers alike. We have decided to migrate our clients to this new platform without an additional cost because we see the value of information. If our clients engage with it and act on it they not only achieve substantial returns on their investment with us, more importantly they improve services for patients and return greater value for tax payers at the same time.

We believe that accountability when it comes to using information effectively and for improvement should be made a board priority and if this doesn’t happen many of the challenges highlighted by the Rose report cannot be addressed.

Jason Harries, managing director, CHKSRecent publication of an updated version of the Rose report, taking into account Simon Steven’s Five Year Forward View, has re-ignited the debate about management in the NHS.   Whilst there is nothing new in his observations about the pace of change being unsustainable, his conclusion that the NHS does not have enough experienced managers to deal with the challenges associated with major change in the NHS, is cause for concern.

Many of the report’s recommendations for improving management are admirable although there is one glaring omission. Rose advocates local strategic oversight, but for this to happen senior managers need to become more engaged with performance information about the services they provide. It needs to be delivered in a decision-ready state so they can act on it, instead of becoming distracted by the data submission requirements and targets imposed by regulators.

As with any other management skill, competency in using health information comes from a combination of training and experience. The former could be addressed via programmes co-developed with informatics service providers and the NHS Leadership Academy for example. However, information providers in both the public and private sectors should strive to evolve better ways of engaging senior managers with this information.

By way of example CHKS has recently launched iCompare – a platform harnessing the latest informatics technology to generate decision-ready information for clinicians and managers alike. We have decided to migrate our clients to this new platform without an additional cost because we see the value of information. If our clients engage with it and act on it they not only achieve substantial returns on their investment with us, more importantly they improve services for patients and return greater value for tax payers at the same time.

We believe that accountability when it comes to using information effectively and for improvement should be made a board priority and if this doesn’t happen many of the challenges highlighted by the Rose report cannot be addressed.

Jason Harries, managing director, CHKSRecent publication of an updated version of the Rose report, taking into account Simon Steven’s Five Year Forward View, has re-ignited the debate about management in the NHS.
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