One can detect a certain urgency within the NHS to get on with the implementation of key pillars in Simon Stevens ‘Five Year Forward View’. Much rests on the 29 selected Vanguard sites to demonstrate success and show how new care models deliver better outcomes at lower cost. Central to the Forward View is the aim to break down barriers between areas of care and deliver more patient-centric care. Integrated care is on the top of the list. The vision is that Vanguard sites will spearhead change, test models and mark the path for a changed NHS; eventually encouraging implementation of the most successful models throughout the country. Much is at stake; the NHS needs to identify and implement new models to ensure it is sustainable in light of an aging population, new and expensive treatments and likely on-going funding challenges.
We believe that implementation of nimble referral management and case management solutions that integrate with a number of systems will be critical to both the delivery of better, integrated care and the need to document the relative success of various Vanguard sites.
The good news is that the Forward View sensibly advocates a local approach (…no £10 billion central IT programme!) and the Vanguards have been asked to start reporting on success and outcomes from the very beginning, as opposed to delivering lengthy reports several years down the road.
It will be critical for Vanguards to ensure flexible systems that can handle data flows with ease between various areas of care. This is likely to include primary, social and mental, physical and of course acute care. The patient-centric approach promoted in the Forward View means that instead of focussing only on the injury in front of them, commissioners and care providers will look at the patient more holistically and recognise that, for example, although the injury might be physical, there are mental health comorbidities and a good outcomes can only be achieved by involving various systems and services.
Finally, in order to demonstrate that they are viable models for reform, the Vanguards will need to present evidence that they are making a difference. Eventually only two measures matter, namely clinical outcomes and the cost of delivering those outcomes.
We are the leading provider of flexible referral management and case management solutions. Together with our customers we tailor solutions that deliver better outcomes at lower cost by connecting people and processes, integrating systems and driving automation.