Thursday, 5 March 2015

In the vanguard of new ways of delivering care

I thought I would do a quick blog to tell you about the latest developments with the NHS England Five Year Forward View or 5YFV as it’s now affectionately known. 

You may have read that NHS England are now looking to develop vanguard sites as part of a 'new models of care programme'.  This is being led by Samantha Jones at NHS England, with the intention of providing a ‘proving ground’ in a number of areas, accelerating development of integrated care.   

The vanguard sites then become templates from which the rest of England learns. This spread and share approach is intended to address the challenges we face in health and social care at pace and scale. Sounds straightforward enough but England faces a challenging five years ahead.

There is a detailed document online about how the 5YFV will be put into action, but look at page 9, 3.3 if you don’t have time to read the whole document, but it is worth a full read

I read through the criteria for applying to be a vanguard site, you had to apply against one of four categories - multispecialty community providers (MCPs); integrated primary and acute care systems (PACS); additional approaches to creating viable smaller hospitals and models of enhanced health in care homes.

I couldn’t see how we fit into any category. I knew we would be part of submissions in at least three of the towns we serve, as part of the partnerships in those towns. However, because I feel we are to an extent uniquely placed as an organisation and because we are pushing so much to transform and advance care, I put one in anyway on behalf of the Trust. To our surprise we were short listed to attend workshops for a final selection process.

I think the staff in Pennine Care should see this as an achievement in itself, 269 areas applied and this was short listed down to just 63. So yesterday Katy Calvin-Thomas, Henry Ticehurst, Richard Spearing and I went down to London to present to the third and final day of the workshops. 

Here is our original submission - please do read this in particular as I think it captures where we are up to as an organisation. It also shows our latest thinking and just how exciting the challenge is we face. Yes exciting. I think we are truly in the vanguard of new ways of providing care. That’s why I put the application in and it was great to be shortlisted.

I’d be surprised if we were selected to go right through to be a vanguard site, as our submission didn’t easily fit. Also, I didn’t think our ‘pitch’ (a seven minute presentation) went very well. I became a bit tongue-tied and nervous trying to squeeze a broad ambitious agenda into a few sound bites. Katy, Henry and Richard rescued it well and I recovered for the question and answer bit. 

I am sharing my experience, which was personally a bit embarrassing, because I think it goes with working outside of our comfort zone. In Pennine Care, many of our staff and leaders are working outside of their comfort zone, working hard under pressure and really pushing the delivery of new and different services. I am grateful for all the work and success to date, its making a real difference to improving care and helping people live as independently and empowered as possible.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained I suppose. And whilst we might not become a first wave vanguard site, we still have an important role to play informing the agenda for new models of care and also the new Devolution Manchester work developing care out of hospital for the city region.

As we always say though, the single most important agenda is getting it right in Pennine Care, that's with partners and working well with staff and patients to deliver new integrated models of care. After yesterday, listening to some really excellent presentations, I know we are definitely on the right tracks and in some areas ahead of the game. Our staff can rightly feel proud of what they are achieving in the pursuit of improving the health outcomes of the communities we serve.

I do think that NHS England and the new models of care programme should be congratulated for the approach taken to securing vanguard sites. There was some criticism of the process, around how the voting worked, whether it was a fair approach but it was a lot fairer than years gone by, when decisions were made behind closed doors and within networks that weren’t accessible. 

I spoke with Samantha Jones afterwards and she was open and interested in the work we are doing in Pennine Care. NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens, sat and chatted through our challenge with Richard Spearing. Jackie Lynton Head of Transformation at NHS Improving Quality wants to support our work on diversity and Rob Webster, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, has shown great support to the Trust. We are in a more open, transparent and involving era, the playing field is ever more level and I think we should applaud the positives in that.

Coming up next time, a video blog (or vlog), where I expand more on the challenges we face going forward. 

I miss my comfort zone!