Oral Question: NHS Success Regime

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Andy Burnham (Leigh) (Lab) (Urgent Question): To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the success regime.

Hon. Members: Where is he?

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Ben Gummer): I welcome the success regime, details of which were published by Monitor yesterday. The purpose of the success regime is to improve health and care services for patients in local health and care systems that are struggling with financial or quality problems. It will build on the improvements made through the special measures regime, recognising that some of the underlying reasons may result from intrinsic structural problems in the local health economy. This will therefore make sure issues are addressed in the region, not just in one organisation.

The regime is designed to make improvements in some of the most challenged health and care economies. The first sites to enter the regime—North Cumbria, Essex and North East and West Devon—are facing some of the most significant challenges in England. They have been selected based on data such as quality metrics, financial performance and other qualitative information.

Unlike under previous interventions, this success regime will look at the whole health and care economy: providers, such as hospital trusts, service commissioners, clinical commissioning groups and local authorities will be central to the discussions. It will be supported by three national NHS bodies, whereas existing interventions tend to be delivered by individual organisations and to concentrate on one part of a health economy—for example, the commissioning assurance framework led by NHS England that concentrates solely on commissioners, or special measures led by NHS England, the Trust Development Authority or Monitor, which focuses on providers.

Together, Monitor, TDA and NHS England, with local commissioners, patients, their representatives such as Healthwatch England and health and wellbeing boards will aim to address systemic issues. The national bodies will provide support all the way through to implementation, with a focus on supporting and developing local leadership through the process.

John Stevenson (Carlisle) (Con): I welcome the announcement, which I see as an opportunity to review the whole health economy in north Cumbria. It is a chance to review the strengths and weaknesses of health care and patient care in and around Carlisle and north Cumbria. However, will the Minister confirm that this will not hinder other developments, such as the acquisition of the Cumberland infirmary by Northumbria NHS Trust?

Ben Gummer: It is such a pleasure to see my hon. Friend return to the House. I know that he has been a tireless campaigner for the people of Carlisle. The success regime, as I said in answer to previous questions, will look at every single part of the local health economy, and every single partner in those discussions will be locally based or national regulators and NHS England.

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