The chief executive of NHS England has announced a new vanguard model that is crucial to the future of the health service.
Simon Stevens has unveiled the radical new scheme that will have a significant impact on local hospitals across the NHS network.
Thirteen new hospital vanguards will be created as a result of the new model, which represents a new and distinct phase in implementing the well-publicised NHS Five Year Forward View.
These 13 hospitals will become Acute Care Collaboration Vanguards.
Acute Care Collaboration Vanguards are intended to act as beacons of excellence in hospital services and management, while serving a wide geographical region.
Thirty-seven Vanguard hospitals had been launched previously, but the focus of these establishments had been significantly different from this new acute care-focused raft.
The existing vanguards were mostly focused on integrating care between GPs, social and community care, mental health and hospital services within their local area.
Hospitals nominated to join this new programme represent some of the most notable and efficiently run institutions in British healthcare.
They include The Royal Marsden, Northumbria Healthcare Trust, the Christie, the Royal Free London, Moorfields, Salford Royal, and University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Each of these establishments will now be extending their geographical reach, playing a major role in driving inefficiency and improvement in the NHS.
Now that these new Vanguard institutions have been named, each will test three new approaches in response to ideas of full report on proposed by frontline clinicians and managers.
– Excellently-performing individual NHS hospitals able to form NHS Foundation Groups to raise standards across a chain of hospitals.
– Individual clinical services at local District General Hospitals being run on site by specialists from regional centres of excellence.
– Forming ‘accountable clinical networks’ integrating care across District General Hospitals and teaching hospitals for key services, including cancer and mental health.
Speaking to the Confederation of British Industry in London, Stevens had the following to say on the matter.
“The era of go-it-alone individual hospitals is now being superceded by more integrated care partnerships – both within local areas, and across different parts of the country. The scale of the interest in these new vanguards from across the health service shows the NHS is up for radical reform.
“Our new approach to hospital partnerships will help sustain the viability of local hospitals, share clinical and management expertise across geographies, and drive efficiency beyond the walls of individual institutions.
“We’ve got some of the world’s best hospitals and specialists in this country, and it’s right they should be able to extend their reach more widely, as the vanguard programme will now allow them to do.”
Ed Smith, Chair of Monitor and the new Chair-designate of NHS Improvement, added: “Today’s new vanguards represent the evolution from the era of standalone hospitals, begun in the 1962 Hospital Plan for England, and reinforced by the creation of foundation trusts in the early 2000s. These were right at the time, but the economic and clinical circumstances facing the NHS are now different, and our response needs to evolve.”