Accenture wins prize for consulting work with NHS

11 December 2020 3 min. read

The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants has announced the winner of its annual Urwick Cup prize. The award commends the year’s top thought leadership involving the UK consulting industry, and Accenture has walked away with this year’s prize for its work leading a consortium producing breathing apparatus to help the NHS address the coronavirus crisis.

Named in honour of the life and work of management consultant, writer and educator Colonel Lyndall Fownes Urwick – founder of Urwick Orr Management Consultants – the Urwick Cup sees the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants identify industry changing research in the UK. A panel of academics and others active in the area of management consultancy select a shortlist for the award of the Cup, and the authors of these papers are invited to make a short submission to the Company’s Assessment Panel explaining how the research meets the criteria for the prize, from which the Assessment Panel selects the winner.

In view of the ongoing restrictions due to Covid-19, the judging of the 2020 Urwick Award focused heavily on how the management consulting industry has contributed to the nation's response to the pandemic – from providing support to the NHS and other bodies providing care and treatment, to key suppliers to these organisations, and to private sector organisations such as food supply and transport. Case studies were invited from organisations based in the UK who have undertaken management consulting or related business advisory work during this year in response to Covid-19, with the projects ultimately received commendation.

Accenture named winner of 2020 Urwick Cup

Providing “excellent examples of how the management consulting industry has helped to deliver effective solutions quickly in the context of the biggest challenge that society has faced in recent times,” two runners-up were named as Cadence Innova and Accenture. Cadence Innova was celebrated for its work with the University of Exeter, where a joint team rolled out Microsoft Teams to over 29,000 users in eight days, enabling academics to live stream and record lectures, and now incorporates on-line assessments and examinations. Meanwhile, Accenture won praise for its work with the NHS to keep all staff connected, helping build a Microsoft Teams integration platform for 1.2million NHS mail users in seven days.

Ultimately, it was Accenture again who would walk away with the cup itself, however. The consultancy was named as the winner of the 2020 Urwick Cup for its role working with a consortium of leading aerospace and engineering businesses producing ventilators for the NHS.

Chair of the Company’s Education Committee Malcolm McCaig remarked, “This assignment demonstrated an extraordinary achievement in helping to tackle the critical shortage of medical ventilators in the UK, with the prospect in the early days of the pandemic of NHS patients dying because of the lack of equipment.”

With the health service’s resources over-stretched, Accenture designed the supply chain processes and established protocols for the flow of information, product and payments across more than 100 organisations globally to produce medical ventilators in just 10 days. The first ventilator was built within 47 days and a total of over 1,500 had been produced by early summer.

Following the announcement, Accenture Managing Director James Slessor commented, “Thank you so much for this fantastic news. Thank you for running this competition and highlighting the efforts of the management consulting industry in helping in the wider Covid-19 response.”