Improving the experiences of people who use services

This briefing looks at what the vanguards have been doing to improve the way people experience and interact with health and care services, and shares the lessons that other organisations and partnerships can take from the vanguards’ experiences | NHS Providers


This final briefing in the Learning from the new care models series highlights how the vanguards are improving the experiences of people using services and their families.

The briefing looks at the work of the vanguards in the following areas:

  • Coordinating care around peoples’ needs
  • Ensuring people receive high-quality care wherever they are
  • Specialist care closer to home
  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Directing people to the right care, faster
  • Supporting people to manage long-term conditions
  • Supporting people to develop self-confidence
  • Tailoring care for people with the greatest needs
  • Making access to urgent care as simple as possible
  • Promoting health and wellbeing among people and communities
  • Helping people connect
  • Supporting carers to stay well
  • Working with people to design services that work for them

Full briefing:
Learning from the vanguards: improving the experiences of people who use services

Review of children and young people’s mental health services

This report describes the findings of our independent review of the system of services that support children and young people’s mental health | Care Quality Commission (CQC)

This CQC report indicates that many children and young people experiencing mental health problems don’t get the kind of care they deserve; the system is complicated, with no easy or clear way to get help or support.

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The report makes a number of recommendations to organisations responsible for making sure that the problems with mental health services are dealt with, including:

  • The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should make sure there is joint action across government to make children and young people’s mental health a national priority, working with ministers in health, social care, education, housing and local government
  • Local organisations must work together to deliver a clear ‘local offer’ of the care and support available to children and young people
  • Government, employers and schools should make sure that everyone that works, volunteers or cares for children and young people are trained to encourage good mental health and offer basic mental health support
  • Ofsted should look at what schools are doing to support children and young people’s mental health when they inspect

Full report: Are we listening? A review of children and young people’s mental health services

See also:

Improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services

This guideline covers the care and support of adults receiving social care in their own homes, residential care and community settings | National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)

This NICE guideline aims to help people understand what care they can expect in residential and community settings, and to improve their experience by supporting them to make decisions about their care.


The guideline has been developed by a committee of people who use services, and carers and professionals. It has used information from a review of research evidence about people’s experiences of care and support, and from expert witnesses. The committee also gave consideration to the potential resource impact of the recommendations. The recommendations are considered to be aspirational but achievable.

It includes recommendations on:

It is for:

  • Practitioners working in adult social care services in all settings.
  • Service managers and providers of adult social care services.
  • Commissioners of adult social care services.
  • People using services (including those who fund their own care) and their families, carers and advocates.

Full reference: People’s experience in adult social care services: improving the experience of care and support for people using adult social care services | NICE guideline [NG86]

See also:  NICE interactive flowchart – People’s experience in adult social care services


Long-term sustainability of the NHS and social care

Government response to the report on long-term sustainability of the NHS and adult social care | The Department of Health and Social Care  

This paper responds to the Lords Select Committee report stating that significant efficiencies will be needed to make the NHS and social care system sustainable for the long term.

The original report made 34 recommendations in the areas of:

  • service transformation
  • funding the NHS and adult social care
  • innovation technology and productivity
  • public health, prevention and patient responsibility
  • lasting political consensus


Full document: Government response to the Lords Select Committee report on Long-Term Sustainability of the NHS and Adult Social Care| The Department of Health and Social Care


Improving access to psychological therapies


NHS England has published the following case studies relating to Improving Access to Psychological Therapies:


Learning from vanguards

The NHS Confederation has published the following briefings sharing learning from vanguards:

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Successfully Scaling Innovation in the NHS

In Against the Odds: Successfully scaling innovation in the NHS, the Innovation Unit and The Health Foundation identity 10  different UK innovations.  The authors look at various case studies to explore how these insights build on, and challenge, existing wisdom in the NHS.

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The key findings of the report include:

  • The ‘adopters’ of innovation need greater recognition and support. The current system primarily rewards innovators, but those taking up innovations often need time, space and resources to implement and adapt an innovation in their own setting.
  • It needs to be easier for innovators to set up dedicated organisations or groups to drive innovation at scale. Scaling innovation can be a full-time job, and difficult to do alongside front-line service delivery. Dedicated organisations are often needed to consciously and strategically drive scaling efforts, including when innovators ‘spin out’ from the NHS.
  • System leaders need to take more holistic and sophisticated approaches to scaling. Targets and tariffs are not a magic bullet for scaling; while they can help, they don’t create the intrinsic and sustained commitment required to replicate new ideas at scale. Different approaches are needed, including articulating national and local health care priorities in ways that create strategic opportunities for innovators, and using commissioning frameworks to enable, rather than hinder, the sustainable spread of innovations.


The full report can be found here