In June 2017, Louise Watson became director of the new care models programme at NHS England and is leading on their implementation as outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View. Louise shares her thoughts on the programme as it enters its third year.
I’m really thrilled to take on the mantle of new care models programme director in such a crucial year for the programme. I have been involved with the programme since March 2015 and it has been fantastic to be able to support the vanguards as they have grown and developed. I am also pleased that I will be continuing as the national lead for the multispecialty community provider (MCP) model, so I am very familiar with what is often a complex area of work.
I’m passionate about the NHS and I bring more than 20 years’ experience working in the service. During that time I’ve worked at board level across both commissioner and provider organisations, including commercial director of an acute foundation trust and chief executive of an organisation going through transition.
Over the past two years I have been lucky to work with a hugely enthusiastic and talented programme team that has a diverse range of backgrounds and skills. One thing I have never forgotten is how much of a privilege it is to work on a programme that aims to deliver a positive impact on the lives of people who use health services up and down the country and those who work within the heath and care system. The NHS has its challenges but the vanguards have been proving it is possible to break down boundaries and build bridges across organisations, to unite services and people around the delivery of better health and care services for the population that they serve. The sites are now showing the impact of their work and this makes our third year an incredibly exciting time for us all.
Our ambitions for 2017/18 are clear and I have every confidence that as a team we can deliver, cementing the programme as a major driver for transformational change across health and care. A key priority is to support the vanguards in delivering their care models and demonstrating a measurable impact on emergency admissions (and other key metrics) for their populations, while embedding the robust methods of evaluating our progress and ensuring this information is shared across the country. I also want to see a self-sustaining infrastructure for the continued development of new care models, meaning that others can pick up the mantle and continue the good work long into the future.
It goes without saying, however, that none of these ambitions would be achievable without collaboration and team-working. And this goes beyond those working within NHS England. It is important that we continue to build on the enduring relationships we have with staff and patients within the vanguards as well as the arm’s length bodies across the country, so we can all reap the benefits of our shared knowledge and experience.