Project Description

About the Client

ISS is a facility services company with over 100 years’ experience. Founded in Denmark, ISS partner with a wide number of international organisations. Not restricted by sector or client complexity, ISS offer bespoke solutions through their services. Services include cleaning, catering, security, technical and service support.

With industry leading partnerships across the UK, particularly in healthcare (providing world-class services to patients, visitors and staff), ISS help to provide a pleasant patient journey and most importantly, ensure better patient outcomes.

The Project

Despite being a thoroughly well respected supplier of facility support services to the NHS, ISS always want to ensure they are up to date with the latest issues facing CEOs within the NHS – identifying them early, and tackling them before they manifest into wider concerns. As a result, ISS sought the assistance of the leading academic consultants at Strategic Discourse and Kingston Business School professors, to conduct an in-depth study into the underlying issues within healthcare that were on the agenda of NHS CEOs. It was a desired outcome of the research to establish if there were any issues “keeping NHS CEOs up at night” that were not yet being documented officially on national and international agendas.

Our Approach

Strategic Discourse have a long standing relationship with Kingston Business School. Both organisations have collaborated on a number of academic projects successfully in the past. To reduce bias in this research study, it was deemed necessary that both organisations work on the project. Kingston Business School would be responsible for primary data gathering phases and Strategic Discourse would be responsible for data analysis phases.

Following academic best practice, Saunders Research Onion and other literature search methodologies adapted from Boell and Cecez-Kecmanovic (2014) were employed. The team gained a comprehensive understanding of the factors currently on the agenda of CEOs, not only in the NHS, but in an international setting as well.

Overall, the literature shows that Chief Executives and other Senior Leaders in the healthcare system are at constant pressure to deliver on many moving and changing targets. By including various global healthcare leaders, the team were able to show differences in approach throughout multiple communities.

To establish first hand if the issues highlighted in literature were in line with those that were on the agenda of NHS CEOs and “keeping NHS CEOs up at night”, interviews were held with several key leaders in the NHS.

These interviews were transcribed in full and analysed by the Strategic Discourse team. The content of the transcripts were coded and key themes were identified. In total 60 areas were identified by the CEOs, as key areas of concern. These are highlighted in the graph below.

Overview of Concern Areas

The Outcome

A comprehensive report was produced for ISS explaining the findings of the research. The majority of areas discovered during primary research were in line with those highlighted in the literature review.

ISS were extremely satisfied with the report, stating that it added to the sum of their knowledge, confirmed certain presumptions and most importantly gave them insight into a few areas of concern for NHS CEOs that were not currently being captured in existing literature.

The new insight gained will require further analysis from ISS, and will enable them to refine their services to help healthcare professionals rapidly tackle new concerns before they materialise into wider issues and reach national and international agendas.

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