The Vanguard new care models (NCM) programme was established following the publication of the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) (NHS England, 2014). It brought together all of the principal Arm’s Length Bodies with responsibility for aspects of the NHS in England. The FYFV set out a vision for the future development of the NHS focussing on new ways of working to improve care delivery rather than on structures, aiming to develop more integrated ways of working between different organisations and care sectors.
Commissioned by the NIHR Policy Research Programme, the aim of our overarching research is to investigate the effects of the Vanguard programme on the NHS, including its local organisations, wider partnerships and service users. There are three over-arching objectives:
- Determine the extent to which the Vanguard programme has resulted in the implementation of new models of service delivery in England;
- Identify factors that support or inhibit that implementation at the local (micro), meso (local health economy) and macro (national-level support and evaluation programmes, national regulatory context) levels;
- Ascertain the impact of the programme on relevant outcomes, including economic assessment of costs and cost-effectiveness.
Each Vanguard is situated within a complex local landscape of health and social care organisations and plans. The objective of one of our work packages was to establish the position of Vanguards within their local health economies, addressing the question:
‘How do Vanguards interact with other policy initiatives such as Integration Pioneers and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships / Plans?’
This is important because Vanguards existed in a complex landscape of initiatives, including Integration Pioneers, primary care Federations, non-Vanguard new care models (e.g. Accountable Care Organisations, Integrated Care Systems) and Sustainability and Transformation partnerships / plans (STPs). This short report sets out the results of one part of the research, a survey of Strategic Transformation Partnership (STP) Leads, to examine how the Vanguard programme has been understood and managed at the meso level.