The national evaluation of the New Care Models Vanguard programme

This research project is funded by the NIHR Policy Research Programme and will run from June 2017 - May 2021.

A nurse writes notes while patient lies in hospital bed

In 2014 the Five Year Forward View set out NHS England’s vision for the NHS. A centrepiece of this document was the establishment of 50 pilot ‘Vanguards’, designed and supported to test new ways of providing services. The focus of the pilots was on integrating care, between different sectors of the NHS and between the NHS and social care.

Our overarching study aim is to investigate the effects of the Vanguard programme on the NHS, including its local organisations, wider partnerships and service users. Our objectives are to:

  • Determine the extent to which the Vanguard programme has resulted in the implementation of new models of service delivery
  • Identify factors that support or inhibit implementation at the micro, meso and macro levels
  • Ascertain programme impact on a range of outcomes, including economic assessment of costs and cost effectiveness 

The following research questions are being addressed to meet these broad objectives:

  1. What are the factors that support or inhibit successful implementation of new models of care?
  2. How do Vanguards interact with other policy initiatives such as Sustainability and Transformation Plans?
  3. How are Vanguards responding to the national support and evaluation programme, and how has this influenced Vanguard activity?
  4. What does a comparative outcomes analysis tell us about costs and cost-effectiveness?
  5. What do the findings tell us about this approach to programme implementation?

We will do this in four ways. First we have explored the national backdrop, interviewing people from the national support team and regulators, and start building up a picture of economic issues. Secondly we have analysed the local evaluations commissioned by each Vanguard. Thirdly we have chosen six Vanguards to explore their experiences more in depth, and finally we will do a national evaluation of outcomes, costs and cost-effectiveness.

We will combine all of the data in order to give some clear messages about this approach to service improvement. We intend to share the results as soon as they are produced to make sure we can rapidly learn from this investigation.

Project team

Further information

You can find out more about this project on The University of Manchester's Research Explorer website.