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Leadership call over New Models of Care

STRONG leadership is needed in order to drive forward major changes in the delivery of health and social care, according to NHS leaders in the North.

Their comments about the New Models of Care agenda came during a special thought leadership session organised by law firm Ward Hadaway and which featured contributions from a number of NHS Foundation Trusts.

The New Models of Care agenda is aimed at saving valuable resources and improving services by breaking down traditional boundaries between healthcare delivered in hospitals and by GPs and social care delivered by local authorities.

Under the plans, more healthcare will be delivered outside hospitals by hospital consultants working with GPs either at surgeries or newly developed premises.

GPs will also be based more in hospitals and hospitals will work much more alongside local authorities on public and preventative health initiatives.

Karen Andrews, Partner and Head of Public Sector Property at Ward Hadaway, said: “The New Models of Care agenda has the potential to fundamentally reshape how patients receive a host of care services and how and where those services are delivered.

“The process will involve redesigning and reconfiguring the ways that clinical services are commissioned and tendered.

“It is a major step-change in both health and social care and has a range of important consequences for many of the NHS organisations who we work with.

“As such, we thought it was important for senior representatives from these organisations to meet up and discuss New Models of Care, to find out about the latest developments in the agenda and to compare their experiences and learn from each other.”

As well as calling for strong leadership to drive forward the New Models of Care agenda, attendees also felt that some of the initial models laid down for changes in service delivery were perhaps too prescriptive in driving the way integration is being delivered.

They also noted the cuts in local authority funding could make it difficult for councils to deliver their side of the agenda and that tensions could emerge especially where there is competition over funding.

However, as well as presenting these challenges, attendees also agreed that the New Models of Care agenda did open up a potential raft of opportunities for NHS Foundation Trusts to expand their operations.

Karen Andrews of Ward Hadaway said: “This was a really interesting and stimulating discussion which sparked a lot of thought and debate amongst the attendees.

“We will be taking many of the points raised on board as we look to advise our healthcare clients further on the effects of the New Models of Care agenda, how it could affect their operations and how they might best look to take advantage of the opportunities it presents.

“We will be tackling different aspects of the New Models of Care agenda over the coming weeks and months in a series of communications and updates so we can ensure our clients are best placed to manage the major transformations which are on their way.”

Ward Hadaway provides a wide range of legal services to more than 70 NHS clients across the country.

The firm has nationally recognised expertise in advising NHS organisations on procurement, commercial, contracting, funding and property issues and has been named as PFI Law Firm of the Year in England for two years in a row.

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