New care models – frequently asked questions

  1. What does it mean for patients?
  2. When will the selected vanguard projects start?
  3. How can I find out if my local healthcare services are involved?
  4. Can services in my area still apply to take part in this programme?
  5. How is this different to what is happening already in some areas?
  6. How were the vanguards chosen?
  7. How are GPs involved?
  8. What does it mean for nurses and midwives?
  9. How much money will each vanguard get?
  10. Who will lead change in each area?
  11. How long will the vanguards receive support for?
  12. What about the vanguards that weren’t selected. What support will they get?

What does it mean for patients?

The vanguards are improving the care received by millions of people across England. Through the new care models programme, complete redesign of whole health and care systems are being considered. This means fewer trips to hospitals with cancer and dementia specialists holding clinics in local surgeries, having 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. They are also joining up the often confusing array of A&E, GP out of hours, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services and 111 so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effectively, seven days a week.

When will the selected vanguard projects start? 

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 are not vanguards.

The national new care models programme is working with selected local health systems 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. Programmes of transformation will be agreed annually but recognising that the transformation required will take time, and the aim of the programme is sustained change to health and care services.

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

Information on the 50 vanguard health and social care systems is available here. There is also a named contact 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: www.nhs.uk

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

Although at this time we are not 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 vanguards, as the first specific cohort of partners to test defined new care models, we have worked 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.

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 vanguards that have been selected.

How were the vanguards chosen?

There was an open and well-publicised application process, which saw 269 groups put forward their plans. Shortlisted teams were invited to workshops to refine and present their case; they were then asked to vote for their three preferred vanguards (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 models board meetings between March and September 2015.

How are GPs involved?

The new care models 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.

What does it mean for nurses and midwives?

The Five Year Forward View (published October 2014) sets out an ambitious vision for the future of Primary Care – including Multispecialty Community Providers (MCPs) – 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.

How much money will each vanguard get?

This isn’t about handing vanguards 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. Vanguards will submit plans for each financial year of the programme, including funding requests,

Who will lead change in each area?

Change will continue to be led by the vanguards 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. 

How long will the vanguards receive support for?

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

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

We were always clear that the number of areas 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 teams 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. 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.