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What does successful transformation look like?

The NHS faces unprecedented pressures to improve outcomes in an environment of rising demand, funding constraints, fragmented services, and a model that is still too reliant on reactive hospital-based care. Transactional change – making improvements within the confines of current structures, processes and parameters – is in most instances unlikely to be enough to meet the scale of the challenge

Improving outcomes through sustainable, integrated, proactive services will almost certainly require transformational change. Indeed, both theory and experience tell us that complex problems and unpredictable outcomes simply cannot be addressed without transformational change.

Organisations that have successfully transformed services have done so by having a clear vision of the ‘future state of services’ and by creating a roadmap of how to get there. This roadmap addresses the transformation journey involving people, processes and technology. We believe that technology represents a major opportunity and enabler for such transformation. The NHS cannot afford to be off the pace on the digital agenda – in fact, it could be a trailblazer, whilst still maintaining a high level of care for patients and communities.

Practical points to successful transformation

  1. Transformation isn’t a quick fix – it’s systematic, incremental gains. It can be a long journey, but the gains can be substantial.
  1. Agile programme delivery is integral to this. The landscape might change, and the delivery model should be both robust and agile to support such changes.
  1. Delivering at scale is essential to turn the needle on outcomes. Whole service transformation will only be achieved in the future when change is delivered into a large enough delivery footprint to make a difference.
  1. Leadership and respecting the people within the change is critical. There is a greater need than ever to develop a truly collaborative approach across the system. This requires leaders who have the skills to influence transformational change across the system, who are comfortable with complexity and uncertainty, and have the political skills to align varied and at times conflicting stakeholder objectives

What success looks like

The outcome of a truly successful transformation is a service that has delivered its ‘future state’ with its people, processes and technology optimised and working in harmony across the transformed service.   

To guide you on the incremental steps that you could take to become an Integrated care system, we’ve created a hub of helpful of practical guides, opinion pieces and case studies, where we draw upon our experience of supporting the transition from pathfinders to vanguards and STPs to emerging integrated care systems and underline the guiding principles for supporting transformation to an integrated care system.

View our hub and use our knowledge and expertise

Photo of Gordon Shaw

Gordon Shaw

Director, Capita health and care transformation

Gordon Shaw has worked in healthcare consultancy for 20 years. He is a director within Capita’s health and care transformation team. He has an excellent track record of successfully delivering major transformation programmes across complex health and care systems. He is currently working with National Services Scotland across several national screening programmes.

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