The NHS is one of Britain’s greatest achievements and for 72 years its dedicated staff have been there for us all. A lot has changed since it was created in 1948, and today the NHS is continually responding to changes in society that were never expected, let alone planned for.
From 1 April 2019, NHS England and NHS Improvement are working together as a new single organisation to better support the NHS to deliver improved care for patients.
As local health systems work more closely together, the same needs to happen at a national level. Our new single operating model has been designed to support delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Local health systems are supported by our seven integrated regional teams who play a major leadership role in the geographies they manage. They make decisions about how best to support and assure performance in their region, as well as supporting system transformation and the development of sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems (ICS).
Our revitalised culture of support and collaboration will be underpinned by a new approach, including:
- a move away from relying solely on arm’s-length regulation and performance management to supporting service improvement and transformation across systems and within providers
- strong governance and accountability mechanisms in place for systems to ensure that the NHS as a whole can secure the best value from its combined resources
- a reinforcement of accountability at Board, Governing Body and local system ICS level for adopting standards of best practice and making their contribution to critical national improvement programmes, on a comply or explain basis
- making better use and improving the quality of the data and information that local systems and providers have access to improve patient services.
Although we represent as one organisation, we are three separate legal entities in order to meet our statutory responsibilities. We are made up of NHS Commissioning Board, NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor. NHS Commissioning Board is the legal name for NHS England and you’ll come across this when dealing with processes such as contracting and procurement. NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor merged together in 2016 to create NHS Improvement.
To better support the NHS system, remove any overlap of responsibilities and primarily deliver improved care for patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement came together on 1 April 2019 as one organisation.
Aligning processes and policies across the three organisations continues within the constraints of our three legal entities.
NHS Long Term Plan
The NHS Long Term Plan, published on 7 January 2019, sets out an ambitious 10-year vision for healthcare in England to deliver integrated care to patients at the local level. It was developed in partnership with frontline and health care staff, patient and their families, and national experts.
The plan sets out a service model where we take more action on prevention and health inequalities, where we improve quality of care and health outcomes across all major health conditions, where the NHS harnesses technology to transform services, and where we get the most out of taxpayers’ investment.
Our approach to delivering the NHS Long Term Plan will balance national direction with local autonomy to secure the best outcomes for patients. Local implementation will be led by the clinicians and leaders who are directly accountable for patient care and making efficient use of public money. This will ensure local health systems have the ability and accountability for shaping how the Plan is implemented.
Our Operating Model
Our new operating model represents a strong shift to regional delivery supported by expert corporate teams. Local health systems are supported by our integrated regional teams who play a major leadership role in the geographies they manage.
We are jointly committed to creating and maintaining a fair and supportive working environment and culture, where contributions are fully recognised and valued by all and staff feel empowered to carry out their duties to the best of their abilities. As employers we are committed to promoting and protecting the physical and mental health and well-being of all our staff. This underpins our values as set out in the NHS Constitution, supports us to be an Employer of Choice and ultimately enables our employees to support the effective care of our patients.