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Petra Westlake

BLOG: Vanguard Support Package Updated: Now includes guidance on ‘new operating models’, and ‘governance, accountability and provider regulation’


The new national support package was published on the 10 December, and the two new areas of support were developed with input from the newer vanguards - Acute Care Collaboration and Urgent and Emergency Care.

The package has been published by the NHS Five Year Forward View partners, as part of a multi-publication directory of national support on offer for the NHS and social care.

There has been widespread praise for the continual efforts of vanguards to update and evolve, with Director of the New Care Models Programme, Samantha Jones, admiring the vanguards’ "consistent appetite for change…to radically transform care”.

The previous support package was published in July 2015 and addressed the needs of the then-29 vanguards. There are now an extra 21, which have somewhat different needs.

Thirteen of the new groups are Acute Care Collaboration (ACC) vanguards, which work to improve clinical and financial viability across hospitals by encouraging collaborative working. The ‘new operating models’ aspect of the national support package has been added primarily for their benefit, by encouraging development of the right operating model.

This addition will also help the eight new Urgent and Emergency Care (UEC) vanguards to ensure integrated community models are successful and efficient.

The new ‘governance, accountability and provider regulation’ support is designed to help all vanguards, by encouraging governance models, organisational form and the impact of regulation.

A common theme with vanguards is engagement and collaboration, and these values have been carried on in the process for revising the national support package. The updates are the end result of thorough NHS and vanguard engagements, with the Five Year Forward View team visiting vanguard sites, and getting involved with cross-vanguard workshops and discussions.

The new support package also pushes forward with the concept of collaboration across different needs, having been developed to allow vanguards to maximise learning and sharing of good practice, while each individually makes their own changes at their own pace.

Explaining how useful the updated national support package is, Susan Acott, Chief Executive of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust and Vanguard Lead for Foundation Healthcare Group (Dartford and Gravesham), said to NHS England;

"We are involved in redesigning how the continuum of care works for patients from visiting their GP through to going to local hospital and specialist centres. It is exciting and ambitious but we need all the help we can get. The support package announced will provide expertise, resource and access to a host of tools to help us get the job done.”

Published alongside the support package is a directory of national support available to vanguards from all organisations, inside and outside the NHS. This directory will help vanguards develop new partnerships, and will also educate the public about the role of vanguards, enhancing future engagement and communication between vanguards and the public.

Future plans are to develop this directory even further, with local support information already being collected for publication in a comprehensive directory, due to be published in just four months’ time.

To learn more about the evolving vanguards and other healthcare topics, please view our blogs. To find out more about our in-depth, NHS knowledge solution that provides instant access to thousands of local, regional and national documents and the organisations that issue them, please email ask@nhis.comand a member of our team will contact you.

This is just one in series of blogs written by Petra Westlake at NHiS. To view more, visit

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