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Summarising the NHS Vanguard Program

Monday 3 August 2015

If you’ve been keeping up to date with the latest health news you will be aware of the fact that as part of the ‘Five Year Forward’ initiative the NHS have announced the beginning of a further eight new vanguard sites – to pilot urgent and emergency care by providing more joined up care for patients. But what exactly is a vanguard site and what benefits can they provide?

Due to the major challenges the NHS are facing, the aim is to encourage formal shared working arrangements between clinical specialists at different hospitals, as well as health and care providers in the wider community. This should improve efficiency by sharing the back office administration activities and management between different sites.

Some of the benefits for patients envisaged by NHS England are that vanguard sites could mean fewer trips to hospitals for those suffering with cancer or dementia. Specialists may host clinics in local surgeries, resulting in patients having only one point of call for their GP’s, community nurses, social and mental health services, etc. There will be the potential for dialysis and chemotherapy patients to access these services much closer to home, favourable for both the patients and their care providers.

Chief Executive of NHS England Simon Stevens (pictured above) said at the beginning of the vanguard projects “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.”

Following the announcement of the eight new urgent care vanguard sites Stevens has gone on to say “Starting today, the NHS will begin joining up the often confusing array of A&E, GP out-of-hours, minor injuries clinics, ambulance services and 111 so that patients know where they can get urgent help easily and effortlessly, seven days a week. That’s why we’re backing our frontline nurses, doctors and other staff, in partnership with local communities, to radically redesign our urgent and emergency services.”

It is hoped that the arrangements and services provided by the vanguard sites can be replicated on a larger scale across England in order to improve quality, productivity and efficiency throughout the whole of the NHS.

The vanguard model is currently backed by a £200m transformation fund and it is hoped that the success will mirror that of the setting up of regional trauma units three years ago, which are estimated to have increased the odds of survival for patients by 50% and saved hundreds of lives.

The eight newly announced urgent care sites are as follows:

  1. South Nottingham System Resilience Group
  2. Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group
  3. North East Urgent Care Network
  4. Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge System Resilience Group
  5. West Yorkshire Urgent Emergency Care Network
  6. Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland System Resilience Group
  7. Solihull Together for Better Lives
  8. South Devon and Torbay System Resilience Group

To see the full list of vanguard sites click here

So how can Connexica be of use to the vanguard sites? Our solution CXAIR has previously been implemented in various NHS organisations, bringing many disparate systems together in a highly visual interface and with the ability to analyse and gain insight from your data in the style of a google search.

Due to the nature of vanguard sites the organisations involved may wish to collect a variety of data types from a variety of sources, one of CXAIR’s key benefits is the ability to analyse not only traditional structured data but also unstructured data such as patient letters and machine generated data. This gives health professionals and senior management teams greater visibility into the operations of health and care services in the wider community.

For more information as to how CXAIR and Connexica can work to enhance health organisations please contact us at or call 01785 339745.

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