NHS vanguards

NHS England has launched a new programme to encourage local hospitals to work together, sharing back office administration and management between different sites.

The new ‘vanguard’ sites, are being developed as part of implementing the Five Year Forward View. On the vanguards, NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said: “Rather than automatically assuming that centralised, ‘bigger is better’ we want to test new ways of sustaining local NHS hospital services, with more sharing of medical expertise across sites, and more efficiency from shared back office administration.” The main focus – led by Monitor, NHS Trust Development Authority and NHS England – will be to support providers of acute services to develop new arrangements that can be replicated across England at scale and for the new models to improve quality, productivity and efficiency.

Invitations are now being sought from all providers of acute services – including small hospitals to become part of the programme.