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Vanguards show signs of early success, says new report

31 May 2016

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Vanguards have already proved to be successful according to an NHS backed report.

The report, New care models and prevention: an integral partnership, shows that vanguards have allowed GPs to be able to dedicate more time to frail older patients as well as a reduction in emergency admissions for the over-65s and fewer delayed transfers of care.

The report was jointly published by the NHS Confederation, NHS Clinical Commissioners, NHS Providers and the Local Government Association.

It was also reported that vanguards have given staff increased job satisfaction and financial savings from better management of medicines.

Using five case studies, the report highlights how vanguards have sought to address the health and wellbeing gap and the impact so far.

In the report, Professor Sir Michael Marmot, the director of the Institute of Health Equity said: “While much of my focus has been on the social determinants of health, I recognise that we also need to redouble our efforts to prevent ill health through the work of the NHS and local government.”

He added: “I am encouraged then that this is at the heart of the NHS Five Year Forward View and the new care models vanguard programme, including the vanguards featured in this publication.

“It’s great to see prevention being put into practice in community, mental health, acute, ambulance and care home settings.”

West Wakefield Health and Wellbeing, a multispecialty community provider, has begun directing patients to more appropriate services through initiatives like ‘Physio First’, which puts physiotherapists into practices, along with co-located pharmacists and social prescribing.

This has enabled GPs to dedicate more of their time to older patients and those with complex needs.

The report also shed a light on common themes that are emerging now that 69% of confederation members are involved in some form of new care model.

Such themes include the importance of understanding local population needs, the importance of working across organisational and professional boundaries and learning from the experience and skills of patients, carers, volunteers and third sector organisations.

This report is the first in a series of two looking at developing new models of care as part of a larger initiative to share learning points from one vanguard to another across the health and care sector.

The second report, due in June, will look at staff engagement and new models of care.