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Patients to benefit from new collaboration

NHS lozenge logoA proposal by Poole, Dorset County and the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch hospitals to better integrate care has been selected as one of 13 new hospital ‘vanguards’ to be announced by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens today (Friday 25 September).

The three trusts will work to develop new models of care, representing the next stage of implementing the NHS Five Year Forward View. 

Known as acute care collaboration vanguards, they are designed to spread excellence in hospital services and management across multiple geographies and explore new options for the future of local hospitals across the NHS.

The new vanguards will receive financial and practical support, and learning from their experience will be used by other areas in coming years. This is part of a joint programme led by NHS England and NHS Improvement with other NHS Five Year Forward View partners.

Under the ‘developing one NHS in Dorset’ programme, patients will benefit from a reduction in avoidable variations in care, the implementation of standardised best practice and the spread of service innovation. There will be a more equitable delivery of services to patients across the whole of Dorset, with clinical networks organised to ensure that all patients have faster access to a consistent, high standard of care irrespective of where they live. The needs of patients will consistently come first, rather than the needs of organisations. 

The decision to give the go ahead to the programme has been welcomed by the chief executives of each trust, which will remain independent organisations.

“We believe that our proposals will lead to significant improvements in patient care across Dorset,” said Debbie Fleming, chief executive of Poole Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

“By working together more closely, the three foundation trusts can share innovation and best practice, ensuring that patients are able to access consistently high quality acute care. Most importantly, it will assist us in developing clinically and financially sustainable models of care for the future, that will achieve best outcomes for patients. 

"We all strive to do our best for patients every day – this vanguard initiative will help us to work even more closely together as we seek to make best use of our collective resources”

Tony Spotswood, chief executive of The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This provides a genuine opportunity to enhance and strengthen the care we provide to patients across Dorset and in West Hampshire.

“It offers scope for the Dorset trusts to lead the way nationally in collaborating in new and innovative ways."

And Patricia Miller, chief executive of Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are all facing huge challenges in the health sector and working collaboratively is essential moving forward.

“The vanguard opportunity presents us with a great platform to build efficient and patient centred care pathways for the people of Dorset.”

At a speech in London today, Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, will say: "The era of go-it-alone individual hospitals is now being superceded by more integrated care partnerships - both within local areas, and across different parts of the country. The scale of the interest in these new vanguards from across the health service shows the NHS is up for radical reform.

"Our new approach to hospital partnerships will help sustain the viability of local hospitals, share clinical and management expertise across geographies, and drive efficiency beyond the walls of individual institutions.

"We've got some of the world's best hospitals and specialists in this country, and it’s right they should be able to extend their reach more widely, as the vanguard programme will now allow them to do."

Ed Smith, the new chair of NHS Improvement (Monitor and TDA) said: "Today's new vanguards represent the evolution from the era of standalone hospitals, begun in the 1962 Hospital Plan for England, and reinforced by the creation of foundation trusts in the early 2000s. These were right at the time, but the economic and clinical circumstances facing the NHS are now different, and our response needs to evolve."

More information on the wider New Care Models Vanguard programme can be found at:


Date:  September 25 2015

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