It’s been an inspirational year of change

As the New Care Models Programme marks its first anniversary, the NHS England Director leading the project reflects on the scale of work undertaken by the 50 vanguards working to create a new blueprint for the future of the NHS: 

Since the new care models programme was launched in March last year we’ve gathered a huge amount of momentum and it’s an incredibly exciting time for everyone involved.

The scale of the work – and the ambition of the vanguards – has been absolutely inspirational and I’m incredibly proud of all that has been achieved in such a short space of time.

Local health and care systems across the country have been working together to radically redesign care for the populations they serve, which so far include more than five million people in England – that’s around nine per cent of the total population.

The individual programmes have succeeded in engaging a wide range of partners from across health and social care, and enjoy support from more than 1,000 GP practices and more than 40 clinical commissioning groups.

Also crucial to our success moving forward is that all the vanguards have been working very closely, not only with health and social care organisations, but also with patients, carers and local communities, including organisations outside the NHS such as councils and voluntary groups.

I’ve been proud to see our frontline clinical and professional leaders working together across different care settings, and sharing their expertise across organisational boundaries. One look at the partners involved in each vanguard makes clear just how inclusive this programme is proving to be – from Age UK, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Carers Trust to local fire services, housing associations and faith groups.

To mark the anniversary, over the next week we are publishing blog posts from individuals involved in each of the five vanguard types, including My Life A Full Life (Isle of Wight), Cheshire and Merseyside Women and Children’s Services and Connecting Care – Wakefield District. These give an excellent overview of the kinds of changes being made across the country and I urge everyone to take a moment to have a read.

While our programme is locally-led, the vanguards are being given national support to help them make the changes they want and deliver them at pace. Our job at ‘the centre’ is to move the blocks out of the way rather than to exercise command and control.

What makes this point in time so exciting is the real sense that we are now moving from the planning stage to delivery. Significant change is happening on the ground and this is making a difference to the lives of thousands of people.

It’s important that we all focus on the delivery of the new care models, not only those within the vanguards, because the aspiration expressed in the NHS Five Year Forward View is that the majority of the country will be covered by the care models in the future.

The progress we have made in the last year wouldn’t have been possible without the fantastic support, hard work and dedication of every partner, organisation and member of staff involved in the programme. I would like to thank each and every one of you.

Shared decision making should be our default, and it is central to the values that guide the new care models programme and the 50 vanguards. The vanguards are fundamentally changing the way they work with patients and local people. They are also focusing on narrowing health inequalities. Identifying and involving people with the worst health outcomes in order to improve their access to, and experience of, services.

I hope you will help us celebrate the anniversary of the new care models programme being launched.  The 50 vanguards are doing this locally – you can join the conversation via social media using the hashtags #vanguards365 or #futureNHS.

I hope you enjoy the short video we filmed to mark the anniversary.

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones is NHS England’s Director for New Models of Care.

Samantha Jones was appointed as NHS England’s New Care Models Programme Director in January 2015 leading the implementation of new models of care as outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

She started her NHS career as a paediatric and general nurse and was a national management trainee. Having worked in a variety of operational management roles, and in the national clinical governance support team, she became the Chief Executive of Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust.

Following this, Samantha worked in the independent sector before she was appointed Chief Executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust in February 2013.

In 2014 she was awarded Health Service Journal Chief Executive of the Year and the trust’s “Onion” was highly commended in the patient safety award.