Devon to benefit from success regime

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens today (Weds) announced in a speech at a major health conference that Devon would be one of three areas in England where local health and care organisations worked together to make improvements for patients as part of the new Success Regime.

The NHS Five Year Forward View, published last year, set out a vision for the future of the NHS, including how it will need to evolve to meet the challenges of the future on health and wellbeing; care and quality; and funding and efficiency.

As part of this, it set out an ambition to start transforming services for the future and some organisations are already at the stage of piloting new models of care.  But it also looks at what can be done to support those areas which still face challenges and where the conditions for transformation do not yet exist.

The Success Regime aims to help create the conditions for success in these challenged areas. Its purpose will be to protect and promote services for patients in local health and care systems that are struggling with financial or quality problems, or sometimes both.  It will provide increased support and direction and aims to secure improvement in three main areas:

  • Short-term improvement against agreed quality, performance and financial metrics;
  • Medium and longer-term transformation, including the application of new care models where appropriate;
  • Developing leadership capacity and capability across the health system, ensuring collaborative working.


The arrangements in Devon will build on collaborative work that is already under way between NHS and organisations and their partners on planning strategically for the future.

Those involved include the hospital trusts, community and mental health services, commissioners and local authorities that serve the whole county except Torbay and south Devon.

The new support from NHS England, Monitor and the Trust Development Authority will provide additional leadership and resources, working across organisational boundaries to help make the changes that are needed. It will also help each of the organisations involved to tackle the underlying issues behind rising deficits.

NHS England’s Director of Commissioning Operations for the South West, Anthony Farnsworth, said the scheme would help all organisations put the interests of patients first.

“A lot has already been done locally so the new support is about building on this and adding to leadership capacity across the whole health and care system,” he said.

“We know we can do so much more collectively, working across organisational boundaries, than we can individually. That is a central message of the scheme unveiled today.”

Dr Tim Burke, chairman of NHS Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Devon has already made significant inroads to address the challenges of increasing pressure on NHS services in our area.

“We recognise that only by putting organisational boundaries aside can we truly deliver the change we need and today’s announcement helps us to continue this important work. We welcome the commitment of the NHS England, Monitor and TDA to help us in this.

“Commissioning decisions must always be based on the needs of people living here, ensuring  patients remain at the centre of our decision-making especially when there are times of financial difficulty.”

Northern, Eastern and Western Devon was one of 11 challenged health economies which received support with strategic planning in 2014/15.

In building on existing work, the Success Regime will look at the financial situation across the whole health economy. It will also look at governance and other issues, such as workforce, recruitment and retention.  It will aim to produce a single strategic plan for the local health and care system, shared by all local stakeholders.

The local community and patients will engaged in the work to improve their health and care system through the Success Regime and will be consulted if any major changes are suggested.

About the Success Regime

The Success Regime will seek to address deep-rooted and systemic issues that previous interventions have not tackled across the whole health and care economy.  It provides local organisations with the means and opportunity to work together to improve services for patients and they will benefit from support and resource to achieve this.

The Success Regime will build upon existing approaches to providing support and challenge to local systems by working across whole health and care economies in a more joined-up way to fix the current problems rather than focussing on a single organisation when trying to solve systemic problems.

As well as identifying the issues and any changes required, it will provide both support and challenge to health and care organisations, and work with them to implement any necessary changes.  This will include working with organisations to develop and strengthen leadership, with a particular focus on leaders working together to drive improvements for patients and for their organisations.


  1. Nigel May says:

    I am chair of an Umbrella Group of 11 PPGs in east Cornwall who rely on the services offered by Plymouth Hospitals Trust and as such are very much interested and concerned with the current situation in Plymouth and NEW Devon CCG.

    It has been said that patients will be key to any changes that might arise from the Success Regime – for this to happen it is essential the patients are involved at the very inception of the planning process. It is not appropriate just to use Healthwatch as the nominated patient representative but to plan how a wider representative group of patients can be involved.

  2. Sue Jones says:

    Let’s hope the focus on ‘success’ is more than just a change of words in the name of this initiative. There are some incredibly talented and committed leaders in Devon already doing sterling work as exemplified in the participants of the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Leadership Development Programme – and across the system. Join them up! Many of them don’t know who each other are even though they are developing the same ethos, reinforcing proactive transformational leadership characteristics, making differences ‘on the ground’. Rather than undermine this by parachuting in new whole system leaders who are unaware of these potentially hidden gems, bring them together across the system and encourage their required EGA projects to focus on solving the whole system challenges of Devon.

  3. Mike Bowden says:

    This looks like another re-organisation put in over the heads of those running the service. From past experience the result will be more work in the hands of private corporations. Perhaps our leaders should ask some of the old NHS staff transferred to private suppliers how things are going. They will find that work is worse, co-operation is down, and the emphasis is profit at the expense of staff and patients.
    Originally the NHS covered everything, glasses, teeth, GP’s, hospitals, convalescent homes and care homes. Overheads were minimal and care was integrated. Then it was split for political/money reasons, co-operation was replaced by competition, expenses have quadrupled and nobody knows what is happening or has control.
    It’s the railways and the energy industries all over again – both failed privatisations.
    It looks as if efforts are being made to get the NHS part way back to square one, but as the Irishman said when asked directions, `well I wouldn’t have started from here’ – and that’s where our NHS leaders are thanks to politicians who are either ignorant (however well educated) or evil.

  4. Phil MacKenzie says:

    This is welcome news. Foundation Trusts and partnering organisations have completely failed to work together over too many years, and have relied on over-generous funding to prop up their inefficient operations. I think that there should be regime changes too. Some CEOs, such as Angela Pedder at Royal Devon & Exeter have clearly been in the job for too long; exposing an ineffective board, and a management culture that allows mediocrity. Hopefully, their time is up. If they were running a private business, they would have gone long ago.

  5. Mary Hawking says:

    Could you point me to the details of/link to the “Success Regime”, the criteria for deciding that the whole of the local health economy – as opposed to individual parts of it – needs to be taken over by NHS England, what resources are provided to the failing health economies, and how the “Success Regime” affects the different parts of the local health economy (some of which may be functioning perfectly well)?

  6. Geoff Barr says:

    This rather general announcement seems to leave vague the responsibilities of each of the constituent organisations. How will the powers and responsibilities of the CCG, the hospital and other trusts and the local authorities change as a result of this plan? Who will the new “leaders” be and what powers will s/he, they have?