NAO gives NHS vanguards a mixed review

NAO gives NHS vanguards a mixed review

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  • NAO gives NHS vanguards a mixed review

    NAO gives NHS vanguards a mixed review

    Monday, 02 July 2018 16:45
  • Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Scotland to expand international recruitment for doctors and nurses

    Friday, 22 June 2018 16:07
  • GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    GP trainee round 1 recruitment increases 10%

    Tuesday, 19 June 2018 17:53
  • Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Tier 2 visa cap relaxation for doctors welcomed

    Friday, 15 June 2018 18:39
  • England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    England will lose more than 600 general practices by 2022, predicts BMA

    Tuesday, 12 June 2018 12:03

a dr and pharmacist meeting imageJuly 2 2018

The NHS vanguard programme “has not delivered the depth and scale of transformed services it aimed for at the beginning of the programme.” However, “there are early signs of a positive impact on emergency admissions” and “vanguards have made progress in developing new care models,” the National Audit Office has said.

Its new report, ‘Developing new care models through NHS vanguards’, has pointed out that the programme’s chances of success were weakened as funding for the vanguards was “spent on helping to relieve short-term financial pressures in the NHS by reducing trusts’ financial deficits.”

The NAO was also critical that NHS England had not set clear national objectives or state how new care models would be spread. “While this approach provided local, individual vanguards with more freedom to design system change, it makes it harder to assess the performance of the programme overall.”

The vanguard programme was introduced across 50 sites and has developed new models of working such as joining up GP, hospital and community and mental health services in an integrated network or single organisation in an area to improve healthcare for patients.

While there are some criticisms, the NAO notes that NHS England has forecast that vanguards will make net savings. “As at April 2018, it estimated that vanguards would secure £324 million net savings annually by 2020-21, which is 90% of the £360 million that had been expected. However, it remains too early to confirm these expected longer-term savings and NHS England does not intend to continue measuring savings.”

Commenting on the NAO report, Adam Steventon, Director of Data Analytics at the Health Foundation, said: “The NHS has not yet gone as far as is needed in transforming care for patients, however, there are promising signs of improvements, even in the face of sustained funding and staffing pressures.”

He welcomed the report saying it confirmed the importance of NHS England continuing to support local teams to develop new ways of delivering patient care and promoting health. “We agree it’s crucial to continue evaluating their progress so that other areas can benefit from new ideas to improve care and understand what is working and what isn’t. 

“Our evaluations have shown mixed results from the early stages of work undertaken by some vanguards, underlining the importance of learning from the very challenging task of transforming services.”

Links:
NAO announcement     
Health Foundation comment    

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