Northumbria to spearhead drive to improve the NHS

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been given the green light to establish a '˜foundation group' which will help drive innovation and improvement across the NHS.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 9:55 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:08 pm
David Evans of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

NHS Improvement has accredited four high performing NHS foundation trusts to become foundation group leaders.

Together, they will spearhead new ways of working, sharing expertise and best practice to help improve quality and efficiency throughout the NHS for the wider benefit of patient care.

Widely recognised as one of the country’s top performing NHS foundation trusts and one of only five nationally to be rated outstanding by the Care Quality Commission, the Northumbria Foundation Group has been created to help the trust share its knowledge, expertise and support to other NHS organisations across the country.

Through the group, a range of clinical and corporate support services will be available to other parts of the NHS, using proven best practice models to improve productivity and clinical effectiveness, with the ultimate goal of improving patient care, experience and quality of services.

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David Evans, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Our vision for Northumbria Foundation Group is very simple – it is about sharing our experiences and the knowledge we have gained, to collaborate with other organisations for the greater good of the NHS as a whole.

“For many years we have been at the forefront of innovation in the NHS, pushing the boundaries of excellence, pioneering new models of care and always thinking one step ahead about the challenges of delivering modern healthcare.

“The NHS is constantly changing, the needs of our patients are constantly changing and as medicine and technology advances, we must keep pace and create a healthcare system which switches our focus on prevention and keeping people well.

“We are very proud to play our part in embracing these national challenges which the NHS is collectively facing and, through the Northumbria Foundation Group, being able to share what we know to help other organisations achieve our common goals of improving quality of care, reducing costs and, ultimately, reinvesting in frontline patient services.”

Through the Northumbria Foundation Group and other foundation group leaders, the aim is to link organisations together to improve clinical and financial viability, create better and more sustainable services for patients and improve efficiency and the quality of clinical services by sharing excellent practice.

The other foundation group leaders accredited by NHS Improvement are: Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust; and Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust.

All four foundation group trusts are ‘acute care collaboration’ vanguards, part of the new care models programme led by NHS England, which is pioneering new models of care to respond to the challenges outlined in the NHS Five Year Forward View.

The accreditation process looked at each potential Foundation Group leader’s current quality and financial performance and management capacity and capability to ensure they are starting from a sound position to deliver their plans.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: “It is a big step forward for the NHS. It is a great example of how we can ensure as many patients as possible benefit from the best leadership the NHS has to offer.

“Being in a group isn’t right for everyone. The accreditation process considered not only the quality of services on offer and the management trusts have, but also the benefits that trusts will get from being part of a group and the potential risks they face.”

Minister for Community Health and Care David Mowat said: “For the NHS to continue to improve care and benefit patients, it is vital that trusts can share best practice and learn from each other. The new foundation group leaders will not only drive up standards, but support the innovative new models of care programme that is delivering positive change across the NHS.”