New care models – FAQs

  1. What will this mean for patients?

This is all about making health services more accessible and more effective for patients, improving both their experiences and their outcomes. This could mean fewer trips to hospitals as cancer and dementia specialists hold clinics local surgeries, one point of call for family doctors, community nurses, social and mental health services, or access to blood tests, dialysis or even chemotherapy closer to home.

  1. When will the selected vanguard projects start to work? 

The local health and social care systems selected for Vanguard status are already demonstrating much innovative and important work, a high level of ambition, a good understanding of population needs, a clear vision for improvement and effective partnership working. In that sense, they are already working hard to deliver significant change and improvements for local patients, as are many other localities which at this time will not be within the initial vanguard cohort.

The national New Care Models programme will be working with selected local health systems during the next few months to develop together the shape of the programme, and ensure that we are helping them to overcome barriers that they need to in order to deliver significant improvements in outcomes and experience of their populations. The programme for this initial cohort will agree programmes of transformation initially through to April 2016, but recognising that the transformation required will take time, and the aim of the programme is sustained change to health and care services.

  1. How can I find out if my local healthcare services are involved?

Information on the first cohort of Vanguard health and social care systems is available here. There is also a named contact link for each system who you can contact directly for more information. If you have any queries about health services in your area, you can visit:

  1. Can services in my area still apply to take part in this programme?

Although at this time we are no longer accepting further expressions of interest to join the vanguard programme, the New Care Models programme aims to support all those with an ambition to deliver care in new ways for patient benefit. We intend to provide advice and support across as many local health economies committed to change as possible, and to encourage sustained transformation for improved outcomes and experience. To do this, in addition to providing focused national support to the vanguard sites, as the first specific cohort of partners to test defined new care models, we are working in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders to develop a support package that will be available to other localities committed to and able to demonstrate capability to deliver the changes required.

  1. How is this different to what is happening already in some areas?

This is about celebrating, supporting and accelerating some of the great progress that has been made in the sites that have been selected.

  1. How were the sites chosen?

There was an open and well-publicised application process, which saw 269 sites put forward their plans. 63 shortlisted sites were invited to workshops on 2-4 March to refine and present their case; they were then asked to vote for their three preferred sites (themselves excluded) based on level of ambition and the three they would most like to work with. That vote then informed the recommendations put forward by the observers to the New Care Model Board meeting on 9 March.

  1. How are GPs involved?

The New Models of Care programme provides great opportunities for GPs and other care staff to work in new ways fit for the 21st century whilst retaining their crucial responsibilities for individual patient care. GPs will continue to deepen their influence and engagement with social care and other public services in the interests of patients.

  1. What does it mean for nurses and midwives?

The 5YFV set out an ambitious vision for the future of Primary Care – including Multispecialty Community Providers – with nurses at the centre. As part of that we want to see:

  • The number of community nurses in training increased;
  • Nurses taking on leadership roles within MCPs, and;
  • Senior nurses brought in – alongside other specialists – to work alongside current community nursing staff in providing an enhanced service.
  1. How much money will each site get? Will they share the whole £200m?

This isn’t about handing sites pots of money, although some may need funding for specific changes they want to make, but about providing practical support in order to help them realise their plans to improve services for local people.

  1. Who will lead change in each area?

Change will continue to be led by the sites themselves – frontline clinicians and NHS staff, working with their local partners. NHS England’s role will be to provide them with the support they need to make the changes they want to make. 

  1. How long will the vanguards receive support for?

This is an intensive programme, but we are not placing a limit on the timeframe – each site will be different.

  1. What about the sites that weren’t selected. What support will they get?

We were always clear that the number of sites chosen to be vanguards would be limited so that we could focus resources on them and ensure that they could develop their ideas quickly and effectively. There are lots of sites doing very positive work in this area, and we want to see this continue even though they haven’t been selected to be a vanguard site. A wider programme of support is being put in place for some of the health and social care systems that applied to be part of the programme, supported by the King’s Fund.