Population Health Management (PHM) is now a well-used phrase, but what exactly does it mean, and what is the Academy’s involvement with it?

It’s an approach aimed at improving the health of an entire population – improving people’s physical and mental health outcomes while reducing health inequalities for a defined population. It includes action to reduce the occurrence of ill-health, addressing wider determinants of health, and working with communities and partner agencies.

Population Health Management improves population health by data driven planning and delivery of care to achieve maximum impact, designing and targeting interventions to prevent ill-health and to improve care and support for people with ongoing health conditions and reducing unwarranted variations in outcomes.

Within Surrey Heartlands, the Surrey Office of Data Analytics (SODA) has taken the lead to embed this approach across our ICS focusing on insight and harnessing analytic support. SODA was developed by the Academy in partnership with Public Health to enable information to be shared to drive transformational change through the ability to do deeper dive analytics to give us broader insights. SODA is working to embed the use of population health analytics throughout Surrey Heartlands to drive change and service improvement.

Our Population Health Steering Group, supported by the enthusiasm stimulated at the July Connection event, submitted a successful application to participate in a development programme created by the NHS England transformation team to accelerate our journey in this area. This will be a joint project between NHS England and Surrey Heartlands for six months starting in September 2019.

The aim is to support four Primary Care Networks (PCNs) to improve health outcomes for their patient population using data analysis to drive service change. This work will then be spread throughout the system to support all PCNs across Surrey Heartlands

Dedicated expert support will help us establish, tailor and deliver a local programme to embed PHM capability from system level through to place and to a selection of PCNs. Within the 20-week programme, local teams will be supported to use the PHM cycle to deliver tangible change for people in their neighbourhoods. The programme then leaves a lasting legacy to scale and spread that local learning across other parts of the system and to other PCNs to improve the overall infrastructure for PHM.