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Published on June 28, 2016

NHS changes impact on marketing strategy

NHS changes impact on marketing strategy

As a healthcare marketing agency naturally it is important that we keep abreast of changes in the [often very dynamic] healthcare environment. This is why two members of the StockdaleMartin team  – Anca and Yana – attended a conference on multichannel marketing to NHS professionals earlier this month.

Here, we can reveal some of the key points that were discussed during the event. It is just a snapshot of the day’s discussions so please let us know if you would like a more detailed introduction.

The NHS is vast– with an equivalent of 1.2m full-time employees, it is one of the largest organisations in the world, let alone in the UK. In order to accommodate the varying needs of different geographical regions, types of care etc., the macro NHS is segmented into over 134 different types of organisations.

Times are tough for this giant. With an ageing population, a rise in chronic conditions (a staggering 70% of the NHS’ budget is spent on treating those), and a target of achieving savings of 2% every year until 2020, the NHS is required to achieve more with limited resources.

The plan is to achieve this through prevention, investment in new care models, sustained social care services and wider system improvements.

In line with these changes, there are two, seemingly contradictory, trends within the NHS.

The first is a drive towards removing unwarranted variation and making sure that NICE guidelines are followed. In this context, medicine optimization is a key focus for the NHS at the moment.

At the same time, there is a move towards a more devolved and fragmented NHS, where healthcare professionals (GPs, nurses etc.) gain more control over budgets and are enabled to shape the services they provide. The continuing devolution of powers to local authorities enhances this process.

One of the implications is a blurring of responsibilities for some HCPs. In the past, the primary job of the clinician was to think about the best way to treat a patient, whereas the managers (or “payers)” had to think about the cost of the treatment. With the new models (like GP-led Clinical Commissioning Groups) that are being implemented more frequently, the clinician will also be the payer.

This, in turn, can have an impact on the strategies that healthcare brands adopt in their engagement with healthcare professionals . Here at StockdaleMartin, we harness the latest intelligence about the industry so that we can help you effectively target the healthcare professional audience and ensure your brand message gets to the right person.

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