Part two: This article focuses on NHS and industry value-based partnerships as a means of ensuring productivity improvements, efficient spending, and improved patient outcomes

The NHS embodies a strategic vision grounded in equity, accessibility, and excellence in healthcare delivery. This vision is articulated through several key principles and initiatives. Its commitment to universal healthcare coverage means that there are now a multitude of specialised areas that can benefit from a continuous improvement approach. Furthermore, the NHS is dedicated to promoting health and wellbeing beyond the traditional boundaries which involves addressing social determinants of health to tackle health inequalities and improve overall population health outcomes.

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If we believe that adopting a continuous improvement (CI) methodology should be the foundation of the NHS, then we need to consider how easy these programmes are to implement given the challenges currently faced.

Continuous improvement is not a destination but a journey. It’s a certain mindset that requires cultural change and the strive for excellence at every level of an organisation.

How can we ensure that clinicians delivering care on the front line are not overwhelmed by additional workload? Put simply, CI programmes do not have to be difficult to execute, the most minimal of clinical practice changes can deliver the most robust results. Getting clinicians on board with CI programmes can be a delicate process. It is important to emphasise that these programmes are not about criticising current practice but rather about enhancing them.


NHS and industry value-based programmes can be pivotal in helping services redesign their services based on CI methodology. The benefits of such a value-based NHS and industry partnership are severalfold.

Innovation and technology adoption, cost reduction through economies of scale, shared risk and reward models, data collection and analytics, and skill and knowledge exchange being some of the favourable aspects of such a partnership. Furthermore, the data provided through CI methodology can help to inform the allocation of resources while ensuring high-quality care. This supports value-based procurement strategies, where the focus is not purely on upfront cost but also on the long-term value to patients and the healthcare system.

To read the full report and find out more about Smith+Nephew’s continuous improvement programme, click here.

Part 1 of this continuous improvement piece focused on the paramount importance of measuring health outcomes in the UK. Click here to read more.