NHS Providers to play distinctive role in supporting trusts to shape new NHS landscape
21 September 2017
NHS Providers is launching a major work programme to ensure there is the right support and a strong advocate making the case for NHS trusts as they move to accountable care structures that deliver more integrated care for the public.
NHS England has outlined ambitions for sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) in England to evolve into accountable care systems, some of which are likely to become accountable care organisations. There are eight local areas in England which are leading the development of accountable care systems.
As the NHS moves towards greater integration, NHS trusts want a distinctive voice in shaping the new NHS landscape.
As the NHS moves towards greater integration, NHS trusts want a distinctive voice in shaping the new NHS landscape. Based on extensive feedback from many of the 98 per cent of trusts that are members of NHS Providers – via the organisation’s annual member survey – trusts have recommended the organisation develop a programme of support that helps them adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the move to accountable care.
The programme, Supporting Providers: STPs and accountable care, will be developed in close collaboration with NHS trusts over the next six weeks. Elements to support trusts will include:
- Developing new and effective relationships with local authorities, primary care and commissioners
- Responding to specific challenges such as moving care closer to home, prioritising mental health, workforce strategy and getting the most out of the NHS estate
- Exploring new ways to support change, identifying “enablers” including new approaches to contracting, different financial flows, adopting risk stratification and whole population health management approaches, and developing STP level governance arrangements.
NHS Providers will also make the case for trusts in shaping the environment in which they operate. Priorities will include:
- Securing greater clarity from the national arms length bodies on the purpose of STPs and how they relate to the existing statutory framework
- Identifying how the STP rating system can be developed and improved.
Announcing the new work programme, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:
“The NHS is changing from a focus on individual NHS institutions to integrated local health and care systems.
“NHS trusts and foundation trusts are already playing a key role in this process through their STPs, by adopting new care models and by moving to accountable care structures.
“In our recent member survey, trusts told us they wanted more support in these areas. It is clear that trusts and their STPs are at very different stages of development, and have strong views on how they should progress.
Trusts told us they wanted more support in these areas. It is clear that trusts and their STPs are at very different stages of development, and have strong views on how they should progress.
“There is a strong appetite to share learning and, at the same time, national frameworks are struggling to keep up.
“Our focus will deliberately be unique and distinctive: using our in depth knowledge and understanding of providers we will support them in the detailed practicalities of making these important transformations work and representing members’ views to the arms length bodies. We will take care to avoid duplicating the work of others.
“We will work to identify what is happening in the more innovative and advanced systems, and across the wider NHS, consulting closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement through the STP advisory group.
“We will also build on existing partnerships, for example our work to publicise the early lessons from the New Care Model Vanguards involving NHS Clinical Commissioners, the Local Government Association and NHS Confederation and will consult some of the best experts in local government, primary care and commissioning to ensure our work has the appropriate cross system focus it will clearly need.
“Above all, our work is most powerful and successful when it’s done in close collaboration with our members. We will consult closely with them as we prepare more detailed plans over the next six weeks. We’re excited by the prospect of supporting them even more effectively as they move into a new landscape and effect important changes.”