• New assembly will  “oversee progress on the Five Year Forward View and help codesign the proposed upcoming NHS 10 year plan”

NHS England and NHS Improvement will set up a new “NHS assembly” for national and local leaders to “oversee progress on the Five Year Forward View and help codesign the proposed upcoming NHS 10 year plan”.

The new group is revealed in a board paper to a joint meeting of the two organisations’ boards today, on proposals for how they will work together.

simon stevens ii

Simon Stevens suggested creating ‘some form of NHS council or assembly’ last year

The “NHS assembly” – described as a working title – will be “the forum where stakeholders discuss and oversee progress on the Five Year Forward View and help codesign the proposed upcoming NHS 10 year plan”.

The “10 year plan” refers to the prime minister’s proposal to develop a long term plan, and provide a long term funding settlement, for the NHS this year. Over the past month, both 10 Downing Street and Jeremy Hunt have invited health and care leaders to discuss the plan. However, much of the detail may be developed later in the year.

The assembly members will be “drawn from, among others, national clinical, patient and staff organisations; the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; the NHS arm’s length bodies; and frontline leaders from integrated care systems, sustainability and transformation partnerships, trusts, clinical commissioning groups, and local authorities”.

NHSE chief executive Simon Stevens told HSJ last summer he was considering, with NHSI, creating “some form of NHS council or assembly that brings together, on a regular basis, frontline organisations and national bodies”.

It would be a “shared point of decision making around implementation of some of the things that we’ve got to get done”, he said. At that point, Mr Stevens indicated he had not decided who should chair the group.

The idea also bears a resemblance to the NHS Modernisation Board, which was set up in the early 2000s to discuss implementation of the NHS Plan.

Meanwhile, NHSE and NHSI are also launching a joint staff “engagement and organisational development approach”, called Project 70. 

This “will facilitate a cross-organisation dialogue with staff, about how we should transform our ways of working to provide effective system leadership for the NHS as it heads into its next 70 years”, the board paper says.

“We will also be asking staff their reflections on lessons learned from previous change programmes and their views on the key success factors to get this process right,” it adds.