Local Hospitals to follow in the footsteps of ‘The Vanguards’

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive announced last week the excellent practice demonstrated by ‘The Vanguards’ (a group of some of the highest performing UK hospitals) will be rolled out across wider parts of the UK. This strategy is the natural development of the NHS Five Year Forward View which points to different models of care that could be provided in the future.

‘The Vanguards’ are sites which focus on collaboratively working with local hospitals to drive quality and efficiencies upwards. This next stage will involve trialling the following three approaches:

Highly performing NHS Hospitals to collaborate to form NHS Foundation Groups to increase performance across the group;
Specialists from centres of excellence to run individual clinical services in local hospitals; and
‘Accountable clinical networks’ to be established to provide an interdependent group of services across key services in hospitals with a focus on mental health and cancer- the aim of which being to successfully diagnose sooner and provide support throughout the health journey regardless of the prognosis.
Simon Stevens said the following of the new strategy: –

“The era of go-it-alone individual hospitals is now being superseded by more integrated care partnerships – both within local areas, and across different parts of the country.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 its right they should be able to extend their reach more widely, as the vanguard programme will now allow them to do.”

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