Centre for Health Services Studies

Excellence in Health Research

Health and care services are usually provided by different types of organisations, which operate separately and do not communicate well together. This harms patient experiences and can lead to unnecessary costs.  
The 2014 NHS England Five Year Forward View saw the beginning of an ambitious programme to develop new models of care 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.
50 ‘Vanguard’ sites were established around the country piloting new ways to organise health services. They have been developed, implemented and evaluated locally, helped by a national support team. They aim to improve:

  • population health and wellbeing;
  • quality of and access to care;
  • service efficiency.

The Government has now commissioned a national programme evaluation of the Vanguards. Working with the University of Manchester (lead organisation), The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and PSSRU at the University of Kent, CHSS will be part of the evaluation team. It will investigate the overall effects of the Vanguards on the NHS. How well have they been able to implement changes? What are the major barriers and facilitators? What are effects on service users and NHS costs.
There are four stages to the evaluation:

  • explore the national backdrop, interviewing members of the national support team and regulators and build a picture of economic issues,
  • analyse the local evaluations,
  • conduct an in depth analysis of six chosen Vanguards’ experiences and carry out a national evaluation of outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness,
  • after combining data, clear messages about this approach to service improvement will emerge which the team will share to ensure rapid learning from the evaluation.

Start date: 01/06/2017 End date: 31/05/2021

Funder: Department of Health, Policy Research Programme (via University of Manchester)

Funding: £285,901

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

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Last Updated: 24/09/2018