Co-operation replaces competition as NHS shares best practice

Healthcare unions have given a cautious welcome to a move by NHS England that will see high-performing acute hospitals sharing expertise with smaller trusts.

But the unions have also called for more detail about how the 13 ‘acute care collaboration vanguards’, announced last week, will affect nurses and they want to see nurses involved in the planning of services from an early stage.

Picture credit: Daniel Mitchell

The 13 vanguards – the trusts that will disseminate their expertise – include leading hospitals such as the Royal Free Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital (both in London) and Salford Royal Hospital.

The plan is for these organisations to share best practice with other hospitals in their regions. The new care model vanguards, a key priority of the Five Year Forward View, were chosen from 65 bids.

There are three approaches to collaborative working that are going to be tested by the vanguards and these are:

High-performing NHS hospitals will be able to form NHS foundation groups, designed to raise standards across


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