Health leaders have given a strong vote of approval to the NHS Leadership Academy – one of the bodies whose future is in doubt amid an ongoing review being conducted by NHS England.

HSJ’s survey, in conjunction with advisory firm FTI Consulting, found that 34 per cent of CCG bosses and provider trust chiefs believed the academy was having a “very beneficial impact” in their area, while a further 52 per cent said it had a “slight beneficial impact”. Only 15 per cent said was not beneficial.

The NHS Five Year Forward View set out plans to review the Leadership Academy along with a number of other organisations whose remits could cover the implementation of new models of care.

“The NHS is currently spending several hundred million pounds on bodies that… could support this work, but the way in which improvement and clinical engagement happens can be fragmented and unfocused,” the document said. “We will therefore create greater alignment in the work of strategic clinical networks, clinical senates, NHS Improving Quality, the Leadership Academy and the academic health Science centres and networks.”

Annual lecture survey

The review began last month and is being led by NHS England deputy chair Ed Smith.

The other bodies fared less well in our survey. Thirty-eight per cent of CCG and trust leaders surveyed believed an academic health science network or centre was not benefiting their local area. Just under half said NHS Improving Quality was having no beneficial impact, while less than half had anything positive to say about clinical senates.

NHS Improving Quality’s managing director Steve Fairman said: “NHS Improving Quality was set up in April last year with two priorities - to build improvement capability across NHS England and to help implement the NHS Outcomes Framework through effective improvement programmes.  Going forward, we need to look at how we can support the entire health and care system to change and improve in line with the Five Year Forward View. 

“We are keen to learn from the review that is underway, which will take into account opinions from right across health and care. It will help shape our future direction and determine how we can best use our skills and expertise to be of great value to the wider NHS.”