The chief executive of global pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo shadowed the chief executive of Plymouth NHS Trust, Ann James, for a day in May 2015. They were connected by the SWAHSN’s commercial development manager, Paula Varndell. Simon Clough spent the day with Ann and her executive team at the hospital. He found out about their work programmes and current challenges.
Paula said: ‘What was truly fascinating to all of us was that Simon was experiencing some of the same challenges in his own, apparently totally different, organisation. Seeing what industry and the NHS have in common is a crucial step to helping them work together more meaningfully. That is the goal of the shadow days.’ This was the second shadow day instigated by Paula. The first was held at the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust when chief executive Angela Pedder hosted Stephen Whitehead, chief executive of the Association of British Pharmacy Industries (ABPI) on 31 October 2014.
The aim of the pilot was to give staff from NHS and industry a greater opportunity to understand what they have in common.
Angela Pedder said: “Over the last few years we have found that there is a great deal to be learned from industry that can be applied or adapted to how we operate in the NHS. Learning from others about the issues they face, the approach they take and the processes they use, is vital in helping us continue to deliver high quality healthcare safely and sustainably.
“Today’s visit has been a useful first step in improving mutual understanding and insight into the different but related challenges both industry and the NHS face and we look forward to future shadowing visits in the future.”