Acute care collaboration vanguards

13 vanguards were selected in September 2015 to develop Acute Care Collaborations (ACC). The aim is for NHS trusts to take the lead on developing ways they can work together to improve clinical and financial viability, to find solutions to shared challenges.

  1. Salford and Wigan Foundation Chain
  2. Northumbria Foundation Group
  3. Royal Free London
  4. Foundation Healthcare Group (Dartford and Gravesham)
  5. Moorfields
  6. National Orthopaedic Alliance
  7. The Neuro Network (The Walton Centre, Liverpool)
  8. MERIT (Mental Health Alliance for Excellence, Resilience, Innovation and Training) (West Midlands)
  9. Cheshire and Merseyside Women’s and Children Services
  10. Accountable Clinical Network for Cancer (Cancer Vanguard)
  11. East Midlands Radiology Consortium (EMRAD)
  12. Developing One NHS in Dorset
  13. Working Together Partnership (South Yorkshire, Mid Yorkshire, North Derbyshire)

Where we are now?

In the first year of the new care models programme (2015/16) the focus was on supporting the vanguards with their innovations to deliver more integrated care. They also looked at building and strengthening collaborative relationships and exploring new ideas for contracting and payment.

The ACC have made huge progress, learning from each other to make improvements in the quality of care. This has meant that savings of over £13 million have been made over the second year of the programme (2016/17). For the third and final year the vanguards will highlight the impact of their work and ensure their learnings are shared across wider health and care services.

Learning from the collaborative vanguards

The report No Hospital is an Island sets out learning from these collaboratives. It was published January 2018.
It highlights how vanguards are finding new ways to:

  • Standardise clinical practice, pooling expertise, sharing vital patient information and analysing patient care across hospitals.
  • Make better use of clinical support services, such as imaging and pathology.
  • More creatively and flexibly use the skills of their healthcare professionals, reducing reliance on agency staff.
  • Build innovative external partnerships with, for example, the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Support more integrated health systems that champion person-centred care.
  • Consolidate corporate support functions to generate efficiencies.

Watch this film on the Royal Free London’s collaboration.

Listen to NHS Providers Chief Executive Chris Hopson explain the value of the report.

Working together for better care – learning from acute care collaboration vanguards

Watch a short film about the work and achievements of the Cancer Vanguard’s as they implement the ACC model in their first year as a vanguard. You can read more about the vanguard on their website at

Moorfields launched their online toolkit for sustainable single specialty services in April 2017.

Moorfields have used their experience of providing a specialist service over multiple health providers as an inspiration for their toolkit, which consists of many handy tips in the ‘how to’ guide, complete with supporting documents to help other organisations implement the model more easily.  It gives advice on establishing similar networked care plans and outlines the factors needed to put this model in place quickly and effectively.