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NHS boss launches hospital vanguards


20 May 2015

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Today NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has announced he will be launching an acute hospitals vanguard programme, at the fifth annual leadership and management summit at the King's Fund in London.

He said that far too often smaller hospitals who are struggling are simply told to talk to their next door neighbours and that while integration is key, this is not necessarily the solution.

Today NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has announced he will be launching an acute hospitals vanguard programme, at the fifth annual leadership and management summit at the King's Fund in London.

He said that far too often smaller hospitals who are struggling are simply told to talk to their next door neighbours and that while integration is key, this is not necessarily the solution.

"Many hospitals are being ripped off by staffing agencies. We need to tackle that by hospitals acting collectively to set limits… If we don't do that we cannot sort out many immediate pressures in the NHS," he said.

"The big argument I want to make is that we can't buy ourselves a few more years of status quo," he said.

The aim of the vanguards will be to enhance the viability of local hospitals through new formal shared working arrangements of different hospitals. The idea is that they'll be improving efficiency by sharing back office sites.
 
NHS England will be inviting expressions of interest and proposals from any hospital in England to show how it will improve patient care and the closing date for this will be the end of July.
 
NHS England will be announcing a small amount of vanguard sites by September.

He also indicated that he is presently in talks about how to devolve more power for primary care highlighting the devolution of budgets which has taken place in Greater Manchester, so called Devo Manc.

"The interesting point about Devo Manc proposal is that it is not just about a potent for pooling decision making… its broader than that… We've got incredible fragmentation when you think of the totality of what we're doing. It is an ambitious expansive propention that holds great promise. But prior conditions had been worked on for a while," he said, and suggested that this precise model would not be broadly suitable to implement.

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