Salford and Wigan Foundation Chain

The vanguard and the people it serves

Salford Royal and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS foundation trusts are leading the design of a healthcare group that will deliver improved clinical outcomes for their local populations.

This will take place against the backdrop of the devolution of health and care services across Greater Manchester from central government and NHS control (Devo Manc).

The vanguard is being led by Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, who together serve around two million patients.

What is changing?

The two foundation trusts involved in the vanguard are working with clinical commissioning groups (those organisations that plan and buy health and care services) and other health and care partners across the region to create a new healthcare group.

This group will create a new organisation that takes overall responsibility for health and care services, helping to increase the pace of improvements to care, which will result in better outcomes for their patients and more efficient ways of working.

Currently decisions are made on a hospital-by-hospital basis but the healthcare group model will mean that decisions about the best way to use resources can be made in response to the needs of the local population as a whole. This new process will also allow crucial decisions to be made at pace, delivering benefits quicker and more efficiently.

The trusts in the group will work to standard clinical, operational and workforce processes, removing any variation in the way patients are treated across the different trusts, and this will be supported by an investment in new IT systems to support joint working.

There will also be shared back-office (finance and human resources, for example) and clinical support services, and the group will work together on developing their workforces, whilst retaining the values and culture of the individual trusts.

Key benefits

  • Reliable and consistent services will deliver an excellent patient experience and clinical care
  • Working together, the benefits of service redesign and new ways of working will be realised quickly across a greater area.

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Case studies

1.    Ensuring the benefits of the group will be shared widely

Salford Royal and Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh foundation trusts are using the vanguard programme as an opportunity to develop a north west Manchester hospital group as they believe it will help deliver improved clinical outcomes for their local populations, whilst also making significant cost savings for the group members.

Using this model, the benefits of partnership will be delivered more quickly and more efficiently than through the looser collaborations that are already used elsewhere in the NHS.

While the two foundation trusts are leading on its design, they expect other trusts to join the group once it is established, meaning the benefits will spread across a broader population.

An external business consulting company with specific expertise in supporting public and private healthcare organisations is helping the trusts develop the way the group will work, looking at a range of potential options and best practice from other group models.

The proposed design of the new working model allows trusts to join the group under a number of different membership options, with varying levels of autonomy.

Stakeholders including other health and care organisations and local people have been heavily involved in the group development, and work has also focused on ensuring the proposed model can dovetail with key local sustainability plans.

The group’s design will enable it and its members to work effectively with local and regional stakeholders to continue to improve quality of care on a continuing basis.

The model that is being proposed is both revolutionary and ambitious, but it has the full commitment from both organisations to drive its successful implementation.