NHS England review of 2016

We take a look back at a few of the highlights of our work over the last twelve months.


Back in January we announced that the first NHS hand transplants to be performed this year and by July the BBC were reporting how Chris King from Doncaster, who lost both his hands in an accident at work, was the successful recipient of a double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary.

There was more good news on the innovation front as NHS England announced major trials to improve patient care with older patients and people with long term conditions and mental health problems being among the first to benefit from a major new drive to modernise how the NHS delivers care. Speaking at the World Economic Forum NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens launched the first wave of NHS Innovation ‘Test Beds‘.


In response to the final report of an independent taskforce, set up by the NHS as part of its Five Year Forward View to build consensus on how to improve services for people of all ages, the NHS committed to major transformation of mental health care with help from over a million people.

NHS England kicked off work to Improve GPs’ Access to Mental Health Support commissioning NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands CSU to carry out market engagement work to look for potential providers of services. You can find out how this progressed on our GP Health Services page.


In March we launched a new CCG improvement and assessment framework which will include ratings published online to show patients how their local health service is performing. Find out more about CCG improvement and assessment for 2016/17.

We also launched initiatives aimed at improving the health of the nation, including the announcement that thousands would benefit from the rollout of the first wave of the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme and Simon Stevens speaking to the King’s Fund about a plan to support ten healthy new towns covering more than 76,000 new homes with potential capacity for approximately 170,000 residents.


Continuing the focus on patient care, April saw plans for three million patients benefit from new innovations in a pioneering programme giving access to new apps, safety devices, online networks, and a host of other new technologies and nearly two million patients to receive person-centred support to manage their own care.

We launched the General Practice Forward View, backing general practice with a multi-billion transformation plan designed to get it back on its feet, improve patient care and access, and invest in new ways of providing primary care.

We announced that tens of millions were to be reinvested in patient care thanks to a new nationwide system for purchasing expensive medical devices and implants which will see savings of over £60 million ploughed back into specialist care in its first two years.


May saw a lot of activity around Cancer. The NHS pushed forward with an ambition to create world class cancer services, including a fund to find new ways of speeding up diagnosis with the potential to save thousands more lives every year. The number of patients benefiting from advanced brain tumour treatment was also set to double as a concrete step towards the implementation of NHS England’s Cancer Strategy.

It was a busy month for innovative doctors and entrepreneurs who got together to kick off first-ever Clinical Entrepreneur training programme, and NHS England launched the Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards which were held at Health and Care Innovation Expo in September. The awards are named after Kate Granger, the terminally ill doctor who worked tirelessly to raise awareness around compassion in the NHS through her #hellomynameis social media campaign. Kate sadly passed away in July.


The NHS Equality and Diversity Council published the inaugural report of the NHS Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES), showing results of the workplace experiences of BME and white staff published for every NHS trust across England. This is the first time the WRES data has been collected and published nationally.

The Sustainable Development Unit for NHS England and Public Health England announced good news for the environment and the NHS. We could save over £400m and cut 1 million tonnes of carbon emissions every year by 2020 through making changes that can also benefit people’s health.


In July we announced that thousands are to benefit from the kick-start of mental health services transformation as work starts on a major transformation programme for mental health care.

And there was more good news for cancer patients as thousands are to benefit from early supportive care as an innovative programme to improve the care and experience of patients with incurable cancer was rolled out across the country.

People with long-term conditions in 37 areas across England also benefited with the rollout of tool to deliver person-centred care.


Over the summer holiday season NHS England were busy strengthening clinical leadership in urgent care and specialised services with the appointment of Dr Clifford Mann, as Clinical Lead.

NHS England made a statement on Sustainability and Transformation Plans, saying that “This is a unique exercise in collaboration”. Read more about the progress of STPs.


An extra £25m for NHS organisations in England to improve mental health services for children and young people and NHS England and NHS Improvement set out next steps to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View with the publication of the NHS Operational Planning Guidance 2017/18 and 2018/19.

September was an exciting month as Health and Care Innovation Expo took place in Manchester. The packed agenda included a host of high-profile speakers across two main stages, four specialist feature zones, more than 100 expert-led workshops and an array of satellite events enabling deep, peer-to-peer discussion on priority areas. It also gave the new digital leadership team an opportunity to set out their stall for delivering a paperless NHS.


October was another busy month, with the announcement of six maternity pilot sites to shape midwifery supervision and help improve maternity services.

NHS England launched the biggest upgrade to NHS cancer treatment in 15 years and also announced a Pharmacy Integration Fund of £42 million to support pharmacy to transform how it operates across the NHS for the benefit of patients over the next two years


During November NHS England set out steps to improve mental health care for pregnant women and new mums and help those attending A&E in crisis. £40m is to be allocated to 20 areas of the country to fund new specialist community mental health services for mums in the immediate run up to and after birth, and help reach 30,000 more women a year by 2021. A further £20m will be allocated next year.

The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) sign up to NHS England’s Workforce Race Equality Standard in a renewed effort to address racial inequality across ambulance trusts.

We also reported the NHS united to tackle sepsis as Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS England Medical Director, issued a rallying call to healthcare professionals across the country to focus on improving early recognition and timely treatment.


In the run up to Christmas our Chief Executive Simon Stevens welcomed eight health innovations joining NHS Accelerator a scheme designed to help with the adoption of promising new treatments and technologies. Last year, the programme selected 17 innovations and supported their roll out across over 380 NHS organisations, benefiting millions of NHS patients.

As Mencap’s Learning Disability Work Experience Week kicked off NHS England took new steps to improve learning disability employment calling on more trusts and hospitals to join the growing list of organisations pledging to employ more people with learning disabilities.

Simon Stevens announced the full list of nearly 300 GP premises upgrades across England as part of NHS England’s Estates and Technology Transformation Fund. This announcement follows 560 schemes around the country that have already been completed with patients and staff already benefitting from new facilities. Another 316 schemes are also close to completion.

NHS England wishes you a happy New Year!