Thursday, 8 September 2011

A report by Steve Wells of informing choices ltd.

Report scope

This report seeks to provide a snapshot of the NHS (National Health Service) and Pharmaceutical industry collaborative working landscape, taken between April and June 2008.

It is important to note that it is based on the real experiences of colleagues - as collaborative working practitioners – in the NHS and pharmaceutical industry. The only exception to this is section seven - My sense-making - where I seek to share my understanding of the information shared by the respondents.

My intentions are to understand a number of different perspectives on collaboration between the industry and NHS to help me in my own practice, and to provide a resource for other professionals interested in understanding and improving their experience of collaborative working.
All information has been obtained by holding a series of interviews or from questionnaires completed by respondents in the NHS, pharmaceutical industry and management consulting (healthcare practices).

Sections one through to six represents my articulation of what colleagues have told me about their experiences and views of collaborative working. Section seven – My Sense-Making - represents my observations of the collective views shared by respondents to the questions posed. (See Appendix for list of questions.)

Within each section of the report I have identified a number of themes and shared the views of industry and NHS colleagues. Where there was enough appropriate detail, I have used pie charts to demonstrate a sense of the weight of response for key issues throughout the report, providing a visual comparison of views between the industry and NHS. In addition, I have used a number of quotes from the interviews to highlight key points.

I am grateful to those colleagues who contributed their time and views to this research. They held a number of roles in the industry, management consulting and NHS including:
  • Industry – Local and Regional Account Management, Market Access, Local Marketing, Policy & Partnerships.
  • NHS (Primary and Secondary Care) – Senior Clinician, Departmental Management, Practice Based Commissioning, Pharmaceutical Advisor.
  • Senior Management Consultants in Healthcare Practices.
* This work was featured in the Pharmaceutical Marketing journal *

Report Content


In recent years much has been written in the health press, by the DoH and ABPI about collaborative working. Most commentary has involved statements of intent or policy and descriptions of a small number of collaborative working initiatives that are repeatedly held up as exemplars of collaboration in the health sector. Helpful as these examples are, they focus mainly on the structures, outcomes and organisational arrangements that support collaborative working.

But how do practitioners of collaborative working, ie those individuals in industry and the NHS that are currently engaged in joint working initiatives, experience collaboration and how much success do they enjoy? What does the future hold for collaboration and what needs to happen in order for collaborative working is to be more widely and successfully adopted?

Addressing these questions raises a number of issues that are pertinent to how the industry and NHS will progress the collaborative working agenda.

The report includes the following sections:
  • Practitioners' experience
  • Hurdles to collaborative working
  • Motivation to collaborate
  • Recognising value
  • Evolution of collaborative working practice
  • What needs to happen to improve collaborative working practice?
    • Pharma on Pharma
    • Pharma on the NHS
    • NHS on the NHS
    • NHS on Pharma
  • Observations and author's sense making
More Information
This report has been compiled from interviews with collaborative working practitioners and therefore provides a unique insight into how they are experiencing collaborative working between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry.

The full report includes 17,000+ words, charts and quotes from interviewees which all combine to provide a valuable and fascinating view of the current collaborative working landscape.

To find out more about this report, apply for your FREE copy and find out how we can support clients in collaborative working, please contact us by emailing