South West London NHS organisations have asked to join the ‘success regime’, the national programme of directive support for struggling health economies, but have been turned down.

An NHS England spokeswoman told HSJ no further announcements on success regime sites would be made in this financial year.

South West London Collaborative Commissioning, which is made up of the six clinical commissioning groups in the area, asked to join the regime in the hope the national arm’s length bodies would provide “whole system support and ownership at a senior level” to address the “complex issues” in the area.

The six CCGs are Sutton, Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Wandsworth and Richmond. The collaborative has estimated it would face a £210m “savings challenge” by 2018-19 if nothing was done to change services.

In a paper to Sutton CCG’s September board meeting, the collaborative outlined what it had asked the national organisations for. This included:

  • advice and support in “breaking through political and cultural barriers” to introduce “difficult service changes”;
  • support to “resolve regulatory, contractual and commissioning obstacles” and “systemic issues”; and
  • funding for new initiatives.

The aim of the success regime is to provide directive support to a struggling health economy to improve finances and performance against targets, introduce new care models and develop strong leaders.

Northern eastern and western Devon, Essex and north Cumbria were all put in the success regime earlier this year. There is one in each of the four NHS England regions except London.

A previous attempt to reconfigure services in south west London was scuppered last year when Surrey Downs GPs voted against the proposals. The proposals included the possible downgrade of either Epsom or St Helier hospitals.

Four acute trusts in south west London recently applied to become a vanguard site but their bid was unsuccessful. The trusts are continuing their work and aim to share back office functions and bring down emergency admissions by developing ambulatory care.

A spokeswoman for NHS England (London) said: “A case for South West London to be considered as part of the success regime was put forward. However, we have been advised that no further announcements on additional success regime sites will be made this financial year.”