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09.02.17

Carter review of community and mental health trusts due by late 2017

Following on from the review into the operational productivity and performance in the acute sector, Lord Carter of Coles is to lead a review into community and mental health trusts – with the findings expected to be published in late 2017.

As part of the review process, headed by a team under the auspices of NHS Improvement (NHSI), the Carter team will work with a cohort of 20 trusts (see below) to “specify the benchmarking criteria for an ‘optimal model’ NHS community or mental health care trust”.

In a letter, seen by NHE, the regulator said that it is also “looking at the scope to extend this to all remaining providers including ambulance trusts and specialist acute trusts”. This comes a week after it published the first-ever costing standards for mental health and ambulance providers, which are, again, aimed at helping trusts make savings.

The latest Carter work aims to mirror the approach taken in his previous review and will look to understand how organisations in mental health and community trusts operate; what ‘good’ looks like; what approaches to improving productivity and efficiency are already in place and what opportunities there are to drive these further; and what metrics and indicators are required to support the development of the model for these sectors.

Last July, Lord Carter told NHE that the teams for his mental health and community trust review were being put together, and he “hoped to be on the road in September”. The regulator has now stated that key members of the team are in place, as part of the Operational Productivity directorate in NHSI led by Jeremy Marlow.

The letter added: “As we develop our understanding, we will feed these into discussions with trusts. This will enable us to jointly scope, iterate and finalise the findings of the review and specify the benchmarking criteria for an ‘optimal model’ NHS community or mental health care trust.

“Some of this will take place by linking the community and mental health trusts to the ongoing implementation of the acute review, but of course there will be many areas where we will need to jointly produce recommendations and solutions that are tailored to the varied work you undertake.”

NHSI said the Carter team is still happy to meet with the trusts that are not part of the initial cohort, “and learn from examples within your organisation to feed into the review”. It also intends to provide regular updates on the progress of the work after significant milestones.

The regulator added that it aims to share early findings and “rapid improvements” where possible, and expects these to be in areas where there is a closer read-across from the implementation of the initial review, such as on corporate services, procurement and starting to make data available from the Model Hospital, where Lord Carter suggested £5bn could be made in efficiency savings.

The mental health and community cohort includes:

  • 2Gether NHS FT
  • 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS FT
  • Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS FT
  • Central and North West London NHS FT
  • Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS FT
  • East London NHS FT
  • Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust
  • Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS FT
  • Kent Community Health NHS FT
  • Lancashire Care NHS FT
  • Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust
  • Leicestershire Partnership NHS FT
  • Lincolnshire Partnership NHS FT
  • Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust
  • Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS FT
  • Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS FT
  • Oxford Health NHS FT
  • South West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust
  • Sussex Partnership NHS FT
  • Torbay and South Devon NHS FT
  • Wirral Community NHS FT

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