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.