healthcare PR and communications

Knights Communications Blog

Are you a private provider trying to share best practice?

Why is it so hard for private providers to share best practice?

If a the case study for a private supplier to the NHS  can demonstrate  efficiencies and evidence of improved patient care and outcomes, then surely it should be promoted as best practice regardless of whether it was delivered by a private supplier or an NHS department?

The NHS and local authorities have to save money and cut costs whilst providing a better service to an increasing population. By sharing best practice and KPI regimes, commissioners can learn from each other rather than commission identical services in isolation. To promote this, private providers must be able to share their insight and the professional expertise that won them the contract originally. So, why is this so difficult?

Publications, blogs and awards often favour the NHS and preclude private providers from showcasing best practice, or charge them to place articles and case studies. There really shouldn’t be a need to sign up to a period of advertising simply to secure your case study’s rightful place.

Health Service Journal recently asked me to complete a short survey about sharing best practice. It appears they are gathering insight before setting up a platform to enable sharing, which is a good sign. But my question is this - will private providers have the same access and be able to share like their NHS colleagues? Surely if the aim for everyone providing services is to benefit more patients, enhance service offerings and drive efficiencies, it doesn’t matter who the author is.

Over the last year, I have searched out media partners who share this view, and have secured case study-led editorial promoting best practice delivered by a private supplier. I’ve had success with several publications including The Guardian and with the NHS Confed.

I’d like to wave a magic wand and enable everyone to share best practice, efficiency tips and knowledge on how to commission more effectively. I can’t do that, but there are routes for private healthcare providers to share as long as it is pitched correctly.

Felicity Knights, Knights Communications