The new normal and the new relevant: what’s what for industry wanting to engage with the NHS at the moment?

Nuala Foley, Industry Engagement Manager at KSS AHSN, looks at the opportunities for industry to work with an NHS that is focused on fighting coronavirus alongside its reset and recovery of routine services.

The new relevant

What is your value proposition based on the new NHS environment? Where does your product fit into the pathway? Is it going to genuinely support current challenges in the fight against coronavirus and reset and recovery of the system? These are the first questions you need to answer if you’re thinking of starting work with the NHS or expanding the scale of your operation.

It’s been fantastic to see how industry has responded to the pandemic and the support that has been given to the NHS by industry. Companies have done all manner of things, from responding to the national call for PPE to companies like Brew Dog Brewery producing their own ‘Punk Hand Sanitizer’. It has been so positive to see the agility of industry in other sectors turn their production lines into addressing the immediate public and NHS needs and really shows the strength of our manufacturing industry here in the UK.

We have also seen many companies already working in the NHS making their product more accessible to the system by waiving fees and re-focusing their production towards the COVID-19 challenge.

Life has changed so much in just a few months. And just as people are talking about a new normal, there’s also a new “relevant” to go with it.


At KSS AHSN, as across the national AHSN Network, we’ve been contacted by hundreds of companies with their offers to help or their requests for information. Naturally some see the calls for support as the doors to the NHS finally opening. Understandably there’s a sense that barriers are coming down and now is the time to engage.

For industry looking to support the national COVID response and offer solutions this means there is a different opportunity. It’s not simply a question of labelling a product or service as something to do with COVID. We’ve seen people doing this and, no surprises, it doesn’t work.

Now more than ever, companies need to show their relevance. And the best way to do this is a strong and well thought out, tailored and credible, value proposition.

Value is paramount

The companies succeeding right now are those who are showing their relevance. It’s not just a COVID badge or finding an angle to make your product COVID relevant, it’s being able to show the true value of how the product and your company can support the reset and recovery work after the pandemic and the associated challenges from this.

In the new normal, the best way to convince buyers, at local, regional or national levels, is through a compelling value proposition. This may mean adjusting existing models to reflect changed times.

The NHS is already working to reset and refocus. There will be work that has been put on hold and which needs to be accelerated; there will be new ways of working that needed to be embedded, and lessons learnt about what hasn’t worked will need to be understood and actioned.

If your solution is not COVID related, now is the time to prepare your value proposition to show your relevance in the reset stage. Things will never be the same again, but by continuing to engage with the NHS and getting insight into the new normal, you’ll be best placed to develop a value proposition that shows your relevance as the NHS plans for the next phase.

For further information or support

If you’d like help to make sure your value proposition isn’t selling you short, get in touch with Nuala via