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New care model proposals 'must involve patients'

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Proposals to develop pioneering health and social care models will need to demonstrate meaningful clinical and patient involvement to win approval, NHS England’s new lead in the area has said.

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Samantha Jones, who was appointed last week as NHS England’s director of new care models, told LGC’s sister title Health Service Journal she hoped her new team would be able to work with health economies to remove obstacles preventing changes from being implemented.

She said this could include NHS England “working together with local areas as a team” to tackle barriers such as the way the national tariff rewards activity and information technology problems.

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones’s team will work with local leaders, she said

Ms Jones, a former registered nurse, will start a three year secondment at NHS England next week, leaving behind her role as chief executive of West Hertfordshire Hospitals Trust after almost two years in post.

Sir Sam Everington, chair of Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, has also been appointed to work with Ms Jones one day a week to help with primary care driven models and service redesign.

Ms Jones, who was named as chief executive of the year at the 2014 HSJ Awards, will report directly to Ian Dodge, NHS England’s national director for commissioning strategy.

NHS England said in planning guidance published last month that expressions of interest from providers and local health economies in developing new care models must be submitted by 2 February.

In her first interview on what her role will encompass, Ms Jones said the application process to become “vanguard” sites was still being drawn up but that key ingredients she wants want to see include “strong local partnership working across health and social care; openness and transparency, as you would expect from me; clinical sign up across all parts of the system and real patient involvement, not just ticking the box”.

She added: “There has to be the governance and assurance process but there doesn’t need to be a lot of this. It is about delivering, not tying it up in process. There is a big appetite for this to happen.”

Ms Jones said she would be recruiting a team to support her but that NHS England would not dictate from the centre, adding her hope was to work with local leaders “removing obstacles with them that prevent change such as in IT or tariff”. She said: “There are a number of barriers that we will face so this is about asking ‘is there a national solution to those?’”

She cited an example of care for frail elderly patients, which under payment by results she said there were “a number of incentives that don’t support lifetime care for an 82-year-old sitting at home. It doesn’t make sense with what we have at the moment, so is there something we can do about that?”

Ms Jones stressed this was not solely an NHS England programme, saying: “This is not just about me and not just about NHS England. To have the highest chance of success means that Monitor and the [NHS Trust Development Authority] are involved. There needs to be sign up from different parts of the system.

“The speed of change with which we need to bring about the new models of care means we do want to do this differently and I am absolutely clear this is about doing this as part of a team. There is no point in standing alone.

“Change is challenging but just because it is a challenge doesn’t me we shouldn’t start tackling it. People will clearly have to work together to make the [NHS] Five Year Forward View a reality.”

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