NHS Trust gets £1.5m to take lead role

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been given a £1.15m funding boost to support work to take a national lead on radical new options for the future of local hospitals across the country.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 09:53 am
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 10:03 am
Northumbria Healthcare

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens announced in September that the trust was one of only three organisations selected to spearhead work to develop new ways of working known as ‘multihospital chains’.

The funding from the NHS’ £200m transformation fund will help the trust to spread its excellence across multiple geographies.

By creating Northumbria Foundation Group, the work will enable the trust to widen the support and services it provides to other organisations, building on the success of work already taking place.

This will involve Northumbria sharing its clinical knowledge and expertise, spreading innovation and best practice, as well as providing corporate services to other NHS organisations.

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David Evans, Northumbria Healthcare’s chief executive, said: “With many years of successfully running multiple sites within hospital and community settings across a large geographical area, we have vast amounts of experience to share with the wider NHS.”

He added: “Given this experience and our track record of delivering improvements with our work with North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, we are ideally placed to spearhead this exciting work and form a foundation group.

“This funding will help us bring our vision to life and enable us to progress our plans to share our knowledge and expertise, helping to drive up standards across the UK, while creating vast efficiencies through sharing corporate functions.”

Since 2013, Northumbria Healthcare has been in a ‘buddy trust’ arrangement with North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, providing extensive clinical and managerial expertise resulting in significant improvements in the safety and quality of patient care at hospitals in Carlisle and Whitehaven.

Arrangements to cement this relationship via a formal legal partnership agreement between the two trusts will be articulated and agreed during the summer with a view to implementation from 1 September 2016.

In the longer term, consideration is also being given to the type of accountable care collaboration arrangements possible as part of Northumbria’s work to develop the multi-hospital chain concept as outlined by Simon Stevens.

Alongside this work, Northumbria has extensive experience in supporting other parts of the NHS and leading innovative change for the benefit of patient care.

This includes buying out the Private Finance Initiative contract which enabled Hexham General Hospital to be built and launching business venture Northumbria Primary Care to offer a wide range of professional support services to primary care and further build on its strong track history on integration.

Northumbria Healthcare is also leading work with health and social care partners in Northumberland to pioneer new models of care and deliver an integrated primary and acute care system as a national ‘vanguard’ site.

The trust runs 11 hospital and multiple community sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside and delivers adult social care services in Northumberland, in partnership with Northumberland County Council, one of only a few foundation trusts to do so.