The final Joint Working – Why Should We Bother? Regional meeting from the ABPI has been held in Leeds.
Dr Liz Mear, CEO, The Walton Neurological Centre, Liverpool, chaired the meeting, describing it as a chance for delegates to step back and think about how Industry and NHS work together. Harriet Lewis, ABPI Regional Partnership Manager North, and Heidi Lucchi, Health Economy Business Director, GSK spoke about the role of the ABPI's North Regional Interest Group (RIG). Improving patient outcomes is the key aim of the RIG, ensuring the group is focused on transforming relationships and inspiring collaborative working.
Three of the region's four Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) were represented at the event. Linda Magee, Chief Operating Officer of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre discussed case studies of good Joint Working in the region and lessons learned from unsuccessful projects. It is important, Linda argued, for each party to manage the other's expectations to avoid disappointment when working together and to maintain mutual respect.
Dr Andrew Riley, Programme Director, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN, spoke about the practicalities of creating successful partnerships in the region. Both AHSNs aim to improving access to, and navigation within, the NHS for regional SMEs.
Dr Liz Mear, Chair of the Cheshire and Merseyside CLRN gave an overview of the priorities of the North West Coast AHSN and spoke about the vision for the CLRN. To support their goal of increasing the number of clinical trials conducted in the region the Network aims to reduce the red tape around setting up a study and offer proactive support helping to get studies completed to time and target.
Patient experience, medicines management and prescribing were key topics throughout the event. Mark Robinson, Medicines Optimisation lead, NHS Alliance, gave an engaging presentation arguing that medicines optimisation is part of a wider treatment optimisation agenda that requires real understanding of the patient and the impact of their condition on their daily lives. 
Understanding what the patient wants and needs should be at the heat of treatment. "Patients never say "I want my HbA1C lowered". They come in because they feel ill and they want to feel better."
A medicine is only a medicine, not a package of care. Long-term treatment, Mark said, is a marriage between patient and pill that needs support to prevent divorce. Patients need to be helped to understand how a medication will make them feel and to be supported through the process of deciding whether to continue with a medication. They require help to comply, including navigation through the often fractured prescribing and dispensing process, and a supported self-care plan. This is not an easy agenda to achieve, and the NHS need the help of the wider community to make this work.
Paul McManus, Lead Pharmacist, Specialised Commissioning discussed how NHS and Industry could engage within the new NHS to enhance relationships and support commissioning, emphasising the importance of thinking beyond individual products. While admitting to not having found interaction with Industry useful in the past, recent experiences have been much more positive. "Things have changed. I have changed. You have changed."
Paul suggested five actions to ensure successful Joint Working between NHS and Industry:
  • Be an active commissioner
  • Ensure contact at right level and make meetings productive for all
  • Look for ways to best use skills and resources available
  • Think beyond individual products
  • Start talking

Andrew White, Head of Medicines Management, Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit, argued that the aims of the NHS and Industry are not that different; both ultimately aim to improve patient health and wellbeing; therefore there is often no point to the two parties being at loggerheads. With Greater Manchester being the largest conurbation outside London and an area with significant deprivation, the CSU is taking steps to reduce the "irrational" variation in patient experience. 
Before delegates worked through a practical Joint Working scenario in the afternoon workshop, Amanda Schofield, Quality Improvement Lead of the Greater Manchester, Lancashire & South Cumbria Strategic Clinical Network and Senate gave an overview of some of the Joint Working projects she's been involved with and an honest analysis of what worked, and what didn't. Amanda pinpointed a lack of detailed planning at the outset and insufficient communication throughout the process as two of the key reasons Joint Working projects struggle. 
Finally, Dr Jo Brooks of the University of Huddersfield described the Pictor technique. Originally developed for Macmillan Cancer Care to help participants reflect on involvement in complex cases, the tool can be used to help understand role perceptions in a Joint Working environment. 
Summing up, Kevin Blakemore, National Partnership Manager of the ABPI said that while there are still isues around trust and reputation – the very long-term memory of the NHS is making things difficuly – the ABPI do feel the Joint Working agenda is moving forward and beyond sponsorship, with the Industry starting to get a more positive response.

Speaker biographies

Dr Liz Mear 
CEO, The Walton Neurological Centre, Liverpool
Liz is the Chief Executive of The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Chair of the Cheshire and Merseyside Comprehensive Local Research Network and Chair of the Merseyside Rehabilitation Network.  She also sits on the Academic Health Science Network shadow board.
Liz has held a number of NHS Director posts in a variety of organisations including the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust and Tees, East and North Yorkshire Ambulance Service.  
Prior to working in the NHS Liz worked in local government for 17 years, holding a variety of senior customer service roles.  Liz has also worked as a Senior Management Consultant, specialising in public sector business performance improvement and change management. 
Linda Magee
Chief Operating Officer, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre
Linda is the Chief Operating Officer of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC), one of only five in the UK designated by the UK Government’s Department of Health in March 2009. MAHSC is a federated partnership, enabled by a company limited by guarantee, between University of Manchester and six of the Greater Manchester NHS Trusts (NHS Salford (Primary Care Trust), The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Mental Health and Social Care Trust, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust). 
Within her COO role, Linda also takes a leadership role in business development and industry relations. In this capacity she is a member of the executive committee of the NIHR Greater Manchester Comprehensive Local Research Network, the Manchester Innovation Group (Local Enterprise Partnership), and the Manchester M-health Steering Committee. She is also Chair of the ‘Health is Our Business’ Group which supports economic development in the city region via the biomedical sector. Linda has co-led development of the industry and wealth creation business planning for the GM AHSN.
Prior to joining MAHSC in 2009, Linda was Biotechnology Sector Director and established Bionow®, the biomedical cluster, for the North West Development Agency (NWDA). Before this she was co-founder and General Manager of Manchester Biotech Ltd, the UK’s first dedicated biotechnology incubator company, at the University of Manchester (now part of UMI3). She also developed and directed the £35M National Biomanufacturing Centre project while at the NWDA, now managed commercially by Eden Biodesign (Watsons).
Following a PhD in Medical Biochemistry at the University of Southampton, Linda worked for a US healthcare company Pall Biomedical in technical and marketing management positions. 
She was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2009 for services to biotechnology.
Andrew Riley MBA (Warwick), CDir.
Programme Director, Yorkshire and Humber AHSN
Andrew is an experienced Executive Director in the NHS and commercial sector with fifteen years experience as CEO in three large NHS Hospitals and as the Managing Director for the UK National Institute for Health Research, Clinical Research Networks. 
Andrew’s current role is Programme Director for the Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) and Director of Development at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust where I am responsible for commercial partnerships, mergers and acquisitions, system reconfiguration, and translation of research outcomes into practice. 
Qualified leadership and performance coach working in a developmental or issue resolution capacity with chief executives, senior executive directors and medical consultants. 
Mark Robinson
Medicines Optimisation Lead, NHS Alliance
Mark is a pharmacist with extensive experience within the NHS. Mark has worked within the hospital sector, through clinical pharmacist up to chief pharmacist and spent some time as a business manager. Mark has also worked within general practice, a commissioning pilot and across 3 PCGs which merged to form a single PCT. Mark currently works on a consultancy basis delivering services for the NHS and healthcare sectors as well as being the medicines optimisation lead for NHS Alliance.
Andrew White
Head of Medicines Management, Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit
Andrew is currently Head of Medicines Management in the NHS Greater Manchester Commissioning Support unit, which provides strategic support to all GM CCGs and runs the locality service in one CCG. He leads the operational aspects of the Greater Manchester Medicines Management Group (GMMMG), which include the GM joint formulary, new therapies, and shared care recommendations for the 12 CCGs and 13 providers across the GM population of 2.8 million.
He was previously Head of Medicines Management, Assistant Chief Executive and Clinical Effectiveness Pharmacist in Bolton PCT from 2003 - 2012, and a community pharmacist in North Manchester and Central Scotland for 10 years prior to joining the NHS.
Andrew is a (largely unrewarded) Scottish rugby fan, and is more recently enjoying learning about cricket through his son's team.
Paul McManus 
Lead Pharmacist, Specialised Commissioning 
Paul McManus is lead pharmacist for specialised services with the South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw Area team of NHS England. He has worked in specialised services since 2009 in a role that has included the development of regional and national commissioning policies for high-cost medicines and operational lead for the Yorkshire and the Humber Cancer Drugs Fund. Paul has previously worked as Pharmaceutical Adviser in a number of NHS primary care organisations and in the Channel Islands, as Associate Editor for Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, and as a senior pharmacist in the medicines and poisons information service.  
Amanda Schofield 
Quality Improvement Lead, Greater Manchester, Lancashire & South Cumbria SCN and Senate
Amanda has worked in the NHS for over 27 years mainly in clinical roles, the last being a Clinical Lead for community nurses which was her first introduction into project management work.  In 2009 Amanda became the Cardiac Programme Manager for the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Cardiac and Stroke Network (GMCCSN) and was responsible for the delivery of the networks cardiac programmes to improve quality and drive transformation across the conurbation.  
Amanda has experience of working with clinical teams, service user managers, commissioners, industry and third sector organisations across Greater Manchester, the North West and on a national footprint.  Following the recent NHS changes Amanda is now part of the Greater Manchester, Lancashire & South Cumbria Strategic Clinical Network & Senate working on Women and Children’s projects.