Nearly half of NHS acute trusts do not have a transformation plan

7th Mar, 2019

Research from Transforming Healthcare Consultancy highlights resourcing and funding challenges required to develop meaningful programmes that support NHS Long Term Plan.
Forty four per cent of NHS acute trusts lack a formal transformation plan, according to research by a network of NHS transformation specialists.
Transforming Healthcare Consultancy, (THC) a team of individual specialists who provide health service improvement, change management and digital transformation services, conducted the research in November 2018.
The research suggests that whilst national initiatives such as the NHS Long Term Plan and the launch of the new digital transformation quango NHSX are setting the direction of travel, there are significant challenges for local organisations in delivering sustainable change. 
Commenting on the findings, Stephen Seagreen-Bell, managing director at Transforming Healthcare Consultancy said that the absence of transformation plans at provider level was not surprising:
“In our experience the reason many NHS providers do not have a transformation plan in place is because they are working towards a wider strategic roadmap to improve services and patient care. Although useful for setting a vision for change, these tend to be aspirational and do not address the practicalities of on-the-ground transformation” said Seagreen-Bell.  
Seagreen-Bell cited funding and resource planning as two of the main challenges for trusts working to develop and deliver transformation plans:
“The Long Term Plan is essentially saying we need to do more with less to make the NHS sustainable. In our view, trust-level transformation plans are essential to provide direction, but to be meaningful and deliverable, they must include resource plans, funding considerations and appropriate scheduling. Otherwise they are at risk of becoming ‘wish lists’ that will not affect change.”
Many strategic roadmaps which include improvement programmes and digital transformation projects are impeded by funding constraints or capacity limitations when dealing with changing or urgent organisational priorities such as winter pressures.
The presence of a transformation plan, Seagreen-Bell argues, allows for more accurate and realistic planning capabilities helping NHS providers meet their improvement ambitions:
“Transformation plans help trusts adequately plan for the delivery of high-quality improvement programmes and digital transformation projects in line with their strategy. We’ve seen this approach work time and time again. Our experienced financial leads, IT experts, strategists and operational planning specialists have worked closely with NHS colleagues at all levels to help take the pressure off delivering improved clinical outcomes and deliver productivity gains in the short and long term” concluded Seagreen-Bell.
Transformation plans cover a wide range of initiatives and programmes including service development, system implementations and consolidation of services delivery. They focus towards delivering improvements in patient outcomes, increases in service efficiency and reductions in service delivery costs.
All initiatives must be outlined in the strategic roadmap of the trust and be developed around the key principles of:
·         patient safety
·         better patient outcomes
·         reducing cost variation of service delivery
·         standardisation of service quality
·         increased financial control
·         improved financial return on investment and service delivery.
Dean Mawson, a THC associate specialising in clinical safety, added that provider level transformation plans can play an important role in patient safety improvements:
“Patient safety is the prime driver for change at NHS trusts and whilst it is important to aim for long-term, sustainable improvement, we must tackle the immediate issues being faced by those working in the frontline, which is what a good transformation plan will do.
“Poor infrastructure and endless paper processes, for example, are common barriers to delivering better clinical outcomes, and without a fully resourced plan in place will result in a disjointed approach to digital transformation and improvement,”
concluded Mawson.
THC brings together a pool of associates to offer a wide range of consultancy services from executive strategy to daily working practices, from large-scale deployments to roll-outs to individual users. Armed with a combined 150+ years’ healthcare experience, THC has worked with a wide range of healthcare providers, including Global Digital Exemplars, to support areas of transformation.
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About Transforming Healthcare Consultancy
Transforming Healthcare Consultancy (THC) works with NHS and private healthcare providers to improve the safety, effectiveness and experience of care through change management projects or programmes.
Healthcare leaders and managers regard THC as a safe pair of hands to deliver clinical transformation, patient safety, change management, system implementations and business improvement programmes, based on the team’s 150+ years’ experience of healthcare programme delivery.
THC brings together high-quality, results-driven contractors under one team to offer a range of consultancy services from executive strategy to daily working practices, from large-scale deployments to roll-outs to individual users.
West Suffolk NHS FT, North Bristol NHS Trust, Colchester Hospital University NHS FT and Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust (now both East Suffolk and North Essex NHS FT) are just some of the healthcare providers THC has worked with.
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Media contacts
Chris Marsom, Elemental, on behalf of THC
Mobile: +34 678 333 892
Skype: chris.marsom

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