In a major new initiative designed to tackle the challenges set out in the Five Year Forward View, NHS England has announced 29 ‘vanguard’ sites across England that will take the lead in transforming standards of patient care.
From April 2015, the vanguards – which involve nurses, doctors and other health and social care staff – will redesign care in their areas and unite home care, mental health and community nursing, GP services and hospitals for the first time since 1948.
“The first wave of vanguard sites represents a practical start to transforming the NHS”, said David Bennett, chief executive of Monitor. “We will use our expertise in areas such as pricing and system economics, alongside our oversight of foundation trusts, to help local areas develop the new models of care that are essential for the NHS and the people who use it.”
According to NHS England, the vanguards will take the national lead on the development of: (i) multispecialty community providers (MCPs) – moving specialist care out of hospitals into the community; (ii) integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS) – joining up GP, hospital, community and mental health services; and (iii) models of enhanced health in care homes – offering older people better, joined up health, care and rehabilitation services.
“The NHS now has its own long term plan, backed by just about everybody, and today we’re firing the starting gun”, said Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive. “Instead of the usual top-down administrative tinkering, we’re backing radical care redesign by frontline nurses, doctors and other staff – in partnership with their patients and local communities. From Wakefield to Whitstable, and Yeovil to Harrogate, we’re going to see distinctive solutions to shared challenges, which the whole of the NHS will be able to learn from. ”