Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership to help lead NHS Routine Care Recovery Plan

NHS teams across Surrey Heartlands will trail new ways of working to help develop a blueprint for restoring routine NHS care after the pandemic, as part of a new plan unveiled by NHS England nationally this week.

With the continuing success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme meaning that hospitals are now dealing with far fewer Covid cases, the NHS is now supporting all local health systems in England to treat as many patients whose care was unavoidably disrupted by the pandemic as quickly as possible.

To help find ways to allow the NHS in England to continue progress already made, Surrey Heartlands has been chosen to receive a share of £160m in funding and extra support to implement and evaluate innovative ways to increase the number of planned operations and other procedures locally.

Over the next three months, patients will benefit from:

  • A dedicated ‘elective hub’ which will provide highly efficient planned surgery away from acute hospital sites, providing patients with additional protection and reassurance. There are also plans to expand the hub to include referral management and one-stop diagnostic services (clinics where patients can have all their tests at the same time).
  • Additional specialist advice via GPs through the Consultant Connect programme which gives GPs immediate access to specialist clinicians to help agree the most appropriate intervention for patients.
  • Increased availability of equipment to allow patients to manage their conditions at home – such as heart rate and oxygen level monitors.  This puts patients in the driving seat and helps to reduce repeated hospital outpatient appointments.
  • Additional one-stop shop clinics where patients are able to receive a series of different diagnostic tests in one place rather than having to make several trips to hospital.

Learning on what worked well in Surrey Heartlands and other areas will help form a blueprint for reducing waiting lists which can be used across the country.

Dr Claire Fuller, Senior Responsible Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership said:

“Treating so many Covid patients over the past year, along with additional safety measures, has inevitably had a knock-on effect on non-emergency care, but with the second wave of the pandemic now receding, thanks in large part to the extraordinary success of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, our mission now is to rapidly recover routine services.

“Today’s announcement is good news for patients across Surrey Heartlands, but also for everyone in England who is on the waiting list or thinking about coming forward for care; by sharing what works well here we can help colleagues in every part of the NHS deliver care in a better way and help reduce waiting times.

“If you have been putting off seeking care for whatever reason, please do come forward now by contacting your GP – the NHS has been open throughout the pandemic and we have extra measures in place to see you safely.  All contacts are triaged so we can make sure you get the most appropriate care and treatment as quickly as possible, either face-to-face, by telephone or virtually.  Please also make sure you attend cancer screening appointments when you are invited; these are really important in helping us spot any signs of concern as early as possible.”


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Notes to editors

What is the accelerator systems programme?

The Accelerator Systems Programme (ASP) builds on the commitments outlined in the 2021/22 Planning Guidance to recover NHS planned care activity following the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme was established to rapidly trial further innovations and interventions to boost activity, which can then be scaled and adopted by others.

Elective accelerator schemes will be led by Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) to design new and improved ways of working across services that will enable them to achieve the maximum possible levels of activity by the end of July. Learning from those programmes which worked well will then be shared with the rest of the NHS to help continue the recovery of services over the Summer and beyond.

Systems in the ASP have access to a share of £160m of upfront investment to enable delivery of proposed key interventions.

How were systems chosen to be part of the ASP?

An open, regionally-led process was run across all systems in England, followed by a rapid assessment and approval process.

Which systems are part of the ASP?

At least one system per region has been identified to take part in the ASP, as well as one national programme involving all paediatric services across the country.

The systems participating in the ASP include:

  • EoE – Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICS
  • EoE – Suffolk and North East Essex ICS
  • Lon – North Central London ICS
  • Mid – Coventry and Warks ICS
  • Mid – Nottinghamshire ICS
  • NEY – North East and North Cumbria ICS
  • NEY – South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw ICS
  • NW – Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS
  • SE – Hampshire Isle of Wight ICS
  • SE – Surrey Heartlands ICS
  • SW – Bristol BNSSG ICS
  • SW – Devon ICS
  • National – Paediatric collaborative, led by Birmingham Women and Children’s Hospital

About Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership

Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership is a group of health and care organisations working together – with staff, patients, their carers, families and members of the public – to transform local services and support people to live healthier lives.

Together we are known as an ‘Integrated Care System’ – partnerships where health organisations, the local authorities and others take a collective responsibility for improving the health of the local population, managing resources (including money) and making sure services are high quality.    @SurreyHeartland