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Delivering elective care planning support to every ICS in the country

In a CSU collaborative programme, SCW worked with Midlands & Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit (MLCSU) to coordinate and evaluate the ICS Elective Care Planning Support programme on behalf of NHS England.


NHSE&I set a national ambition to deliver around 30% more elective activity by 24/25 (compared to pre-pandemic baselines) as well as eliminate 104-week-waits and reduce long waits. In 2022/23 this meant an ambition for ICS to deliver >10% more elective activity than before the pandemic. Robust, triangulated elective recovery plans were considered key in meeting and delivering on these ambitions.

In recognition of differing levels of ICS maturity, capability and capacity, NHSE appointed external consultancy partners through a national procurement programme, to provide tailored support to each ICS to develop their plans.

SCW partnered with our colleagues at MLCSU to provide national coordination support for this programme. This entailed mobilising the consultancy partners; supporting them to engage and scope requirements with NHSE regional teams and ICSs nationwide; and overseeing and evaluating their delivery. SCW was responsible for 4 of the 7 NHSE regions (South East, South West, London, East of England).

What we delivered 

  • Engagement/liaison with the core national elective programme team, NHSE regional teams, ICS elective care leads, consultancy support providers
  • Scoped and validated/triangulated ICS support requirements 
  • Facilitated provision of agreed support requirements from nominated consultancy providers
  • Performance & contract management of provider delivery; ensuring support packages were optimised in terms of provider skill-mix
  • Ongoing risk management and customer satisfaction tracking
  • Assurance and reporting that system support programmes were delivering to plan and budget
  • Sharing of best practice and learning within and across regions; ensure knowledge transfer to ICS/regional teams; identify opportunities for standardisation of approach within regions


The programme was successfully mobilised to the national timetable and consultancy partners delivered planning support services to every ICS in the country in February and March 2022. 

Feedback received

“…the ‘ask’ of our team was delivered successfully with great feedback from the client. The colleagues from SCW were fantastic – excellent strategic and operational focus and a genuine pleasure to work with. It really was seamless in terms of clients and stakeholders and it made perfect sense for the two CSUs to work together to deliver this programme.” Martin Pope, Director of Delivery, MLCSU


“The CSUs were instrumental in helping us to set up and roll out the NHSE planning support programme at pace. They were highly effective in managing multiple stakeholder relationships including external consultancies, NHS systems, and NHSE regional and national teams. There was significant complexity and challenge in delivering aspects of the programme, and they not only recognised key risks and issues but proactively identified solutions and resolved issues. Without the support of the CSUs we would not have successfully delivered the programme, and we were very satisfied with the service that was provided. NHSE Elective Recovery and Performance team

For further details: Ben Krempel, Programme Director, SCW: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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