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New guides to transform community services

Six guides were launched today by Health Minister Lord Ara Darzi to support the NHS in delivering the highest quality healthcare services within the community.

The Transformational Guides for Community Services – Ambition, Action, Achievement! - will support NHS practitioners and clinical leaders in transforming services locally, providing local staff with the information and tools they need to modernise and improve services in their community.

The Guides focus on six key areas:

  • Health, wellbeing and reducing inequalities
  • Acute care closer to home
  • People with long-term conditions
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Services for children, young people and families
  • End of life care.

The Guides, developed with community practitioners, support the ambitions of the Next Stage Review – High Quality Care for All –  that the NHS will focus on delivering high quality personalised health services for patients as close to home as possible.

The Guides will also help commissioners to understand community services better and managers to identify areas where improvements can be made. The Guides contain a number of best practice examples, which have been shown to vastly improve patients’ experience of community health care.

A Quality Framework Guidance for Community Services published alongside the Guides, will help measure and improve the quality of community services provided. The Guidance includes more than 70 proposed quality indicators which will be tested over the coming months. These range from improvements in health outcomes and perceived quality of life to how long wounds take to heal, and waiting times to access services.

Health Minister, Lord Darzi, said: “Patients have told us that whenever it is safe, they prefer to be treated close to home. The six Transformational Guides for Community Services I am launching today will give front line NHS staff all the information they need to help them change the way care is delivered to patients.

“The Guides will firmly put quality at the heart of community services, introducing new, innovative ways of working, and fundamentally improving people’s experience of being treated in the community.”

Department of Health