North Central London (NCL) has been chosen as one of twelve accelerated systems for elective recovery by NHS England. As an ‘Elective accelerator sites’ hospitals, GPs and commissioners will work together across NCL to design innovative and effective ways of working to help us treat patients more quickly.
As a result, NCL will receive additional support and funding over the coming weeks to put plans in place quickly, and then assess how they work for patients. During the pandemic, some services were paused due to the large number of critically-ill Covid patients, with only urgent planned care taking place. This has created longer than usual waits for appointments and treatments.
As an ‘elective accelerator system’, NCL will have access to additional funding to rapidly develop new and more efficient ways of working, with the target being to deliver 120% of our pre-pandemic activity by the end of July 2021. This includes planned surgery and procedures, diagnostic and outpatient appointments.
These innovations and learning will be shared with other integrated care systems across England. The existing recovery plan includes providing surgery seven days a week with extended hours, using all space and resources to ensure all capacity is used, and working with independent hospitals to maximise use of beds and theatre space. Plans also include developing clinical networks and temporary specialist surgical hubs where high volumes of particular types of surgery can be carried out.
It is excellent news that North Central London will be at the heart of the NHS’ recovery from Covid. The pandemic has understandably put a huge strain on the NHS, but these accelerator sites show the Government’s commitment to give the NHS everything it needs to provide the best care as we come out of the pandemic.