PM Society half-day meeting focuses on joint working

Helen Lawn

PM Society

An enlightening PM Society Annual Half-Day Meeting recently took place at the King’s Fund in London. Following the publication of Lord Darzi’s report High quality care for all, the NHS is now very much focused on delivering quality, so the hot topic for this year was Delivering the NHS Quality Agenda – a Joint Responsibility.

With the help of a panel of eminent speakers, offering a wide range of experience and expertise, it was important for the meeting to clearly set out and discuss what delivering quality actually means and to assess the potential for the pharmaceutical industry to contribute to the process via joint working.

This was particularly important in light of the results of a recent joint PM Society/MGP Survey Understanding of the NHS Quality Agenda, presented by PM Society Education Sub Committee Chair Ivor Eisenstadt, which significantly showed that 55% of those who responded were unclear as to the meaning of NHS/industry Joint Working.

The meeting was chaired by NAPC President Dr James Kingsland who sent out a clear message to the industry saying: “In this time of financial uncertainty, the environment is perfect for the pharmaceutical industry to partner the NHS. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to work together to deliver a joint approach to the quality agenda.

 PM Society

Dr James Kingsland (left) and Ivor Eisenstadt (right) addressing the audience

Speaking first, National Director for Primary Care DH, David Colin-Thomé, focussed on the current challenges with delivering quality and innovation, particularly the changing face of GP practice and the importance of maintaining patient focus in the wake of NHS reorganisation, funding and commissioning issues.

NICE Deputy Chief Executive Gillian Leng went on to discuss NICE and the quality agenda including technology appraisals, clinical guidelines, quality standards, QoF and NHS Evidence. She also outlined opportunities that the industry has for closer engagement with NICE.

Patrick Hopkinson, Director of Portfolio Partnership Marketing at GSK, then spoke about the scope that the industry now has to work together with the NHS to address the quality agenda. He confirmed that the framework for industry/NHS Joint Working is now in place saying, “outputs of a true partnership approach should benefit the patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical company.”


“outputs of a true partnership approach should benefit the patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical company”

Alan Horne, Advancing Quality Managing Director, NHS North West, gave an overview of the drivers for quality and service improvement, while Paul Midgley, Community Director at Principia and Matt Lilley, Integrated Healthcare Specialist AZ, provided a practical example in COPD of how NHS and Industry can work in true partnership through a Joint Working initiative.

Matt concluded, “in an increasingly challenging healthcare environment, it is essential for a company to align itself to better engage with the NHS as a customer.

Commenting on the content decision for the meeting, Neil Copping, member of the PM Society Education Sub Committee, said: ‘‘The Annual Half Day Meeting is a key event for the PM Society, its aim being to increase depth of knowledge on key topics which equip the pharmaceutical marketer with new insight to help drive marketing excellence. With those thoughts in mind the topic for the annual meeting is always the subject of much debate, however, the next stage review, published in June 2008, outlined the challenge the NHS faces in moving from a capacity constrained organization to a world class service delivering high quality care for patients and putting quality at the heart of everything it does. We believe this will have a significant impact on the patient, the NHS and the Pharma industry.’’

Further details:

For a full report on the Half Day Meeting log onto

For further media information contact Helen Lawn on 01892 682733 or email

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