Centre for Health Services Studies

Excellence in Health Research

Published in 2014, the NHS England’s Five Year Forward View saw the beginning of an ambitious programme to develop new models of care. The result has been the establishment of new ways to organise health services being piloted in a number of ‘Vanguard’ sites around the country. The Encompass Vanguard sits within the Canterbury and Coastal Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and involves general practices in Whitstable, Faversham, Canterbury and surrounding areas including Ash and Sandwich. Serving a population of 170,000 people, Encompass is formed into a new model of integrated care known as a Multispecialty Community Provider and is focussed on moving specialist care from hospitals to the community and in particular emphasising on integrated care for older people – a key element within the Five Year Forward View.

The new models of care aim to address longstanding problems in the UK health system. Integration of health and social care services will ultimately meet patients’, service users’ and carers’ needs more effectively. Whilst shifting services from hospital to community settings, and closer health and social care service integration are far from new concepts, developing effective new ways of community working to address health and social care demands remains a challenge.

A research office has been established as a joint partnership between the Encompass Vanguard and CHSS. The office supports research undertaken within the 16 practices that make up the Encompass group and also conducts and supports research and evaluation of aspects of Encompass’ activities. The research function ensures delivery of high quality national portfolio studies working in collaboration with the NIHR Clinical Research Network and generates and facilitates research activity within all the member practices. The aim is to make research part of the normal everyday activity of the practices and use the knowledge generated by new research to improve care quality. The research will ultimately contribute to the development of the new model of care, provide educational and development opportunities for practice staff and improve staff recruitment and retention.


Start date: 01/02/2016 End date: 31/03/2018

Funder: Encompass Vanguard

Funding: £164,000

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Centre for Health Services Studies, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NF

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Last Updated: 30/11/2018