NHS in Essex to become Success Regime and guided by national bodies

NHS in Essex to become a Success Regime.

NHS in Essex to become a Success Regime. - Credit: EDP, Archant

Health services in Essex are to be put under national stewardship as part of an attempt to turn them around.

Colchester General Hospital

Colchester General Hospital

The county is one of three new Success Regimes being introduced by NHS England and health regulators.

Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, announced the move yesterday during a speech at the NHS Confederation conference in Liverpool.

It will see a number of health bodies, including Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust (CHUFT), the North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, the ambulance and mental health trusts and Essex County Council, work together.

The regime will draw upon existing work, but will not replace it – so CHUFT will remain in special measures under the guidance of hospital watchdog Monitor.

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Specific issues being addressed in Essex will include the financial position of the NHS and staff shortages.

Mr Stevens said: “The idea here is that we are going to collectively, both locally and nationally, bring the full range of flexibilities and say ‘What is our holistic diagnosis as to what needs to change?’.

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“Hopefully you will also see it recognises that the existing models of trying to sort some of these knotty problems out needs to evolve.

“Healthcare leaders need to move from ‘compass’ to practical ‘route maps’ for action.

“This is not all about the money. It is all about the kind of healthcare system we want. We need to fundamentally redesign care.”

Work on the new improvements will begin this summer, and there is no fixed time limit for the regime.

Local people will be consulted if any major changes are suggested.

NHS England, the NHS Trust Development Authority and Monitor will oversee the regime.

Dr Lucy Moore, interim chief executive of CHUFT, welcomed the announcement and said she looked forward to receiving further details.

“We welcome any actions designed to ensure patients and the public receive high quality services which are sustainable in the long-term,” she said.

“The additional support and resource the Success Regime will bring will help the trust to build on the improvements we are already making.”

Success Regimes were introduced in the NHS’ Five Year Forward View and aim to provide increased direction and support to challenged areas to improve quality, performance and finances in the short term, new care models in the medium to long-term, and develop leadership.

Dr Mark Porter, council chairman of doctors’ union the British Medical Association, described the announcement of the new success regimes as a “dramatic intervention”.

He said: “This unprecedented move underscores the abject failure of the Health and Social Care Act to address the underlying pressures on services.

“The expensive and unnecessary reorganisation diverted attention away from real problems such as the service co-ordination and chronic funding pressures.”

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