Matthew-Cripps-nl1by Professor Matthew Cripps, National Director of NHS RightCare

It’s now six months since NHS RightCare was launched nationally. This involved 65 local health economies (‘wave one’) receiving support and facilitation to embed the approach, and we’re still growing as a programme to roll out to the 144 remaining health economies in England at the end of 2016.

Things are progressing at pace with the first 65, we’re at the exciting point now where CCGs have confirmed their big opportunities for improvement, taking Commissioning for Value insight as their starting point. This means we are now actively involved in several hundred programmes of work across these heath economies, ensuring the RightCare approach of ‘where to look, what to change, how to change’ is driving positive change and better outcomes, in what we know is a proven approach.

The data and insight that has underpinned the decisions on which pathways an individual CCG is addressing has highlighted the biggest opportunities for tackling unwarranted variation and value. Given what we know about RightCare from the past couple of years testing the approach successfully with a cohort of diverse health economies, it’s no surprise to me that MSK is a big opportunity for wave one. Just less than a quarter of the CCGs we are actively working with now have identified MSK as one of a handful of pathways to start their RightCare journey with. This provides us with a great opportunity to help CCGs deliver person-centred, coordinated care not just for the many millions of people living with an MSK condition, but potentially for all long-term conditions. Good MSK health is important to so many other things like remaining independent and in work, and speaks directly to the prevention agenda.

So how are we getting the ball rolling? In addition to bespoke support and dedicated RightCare Delivery Partners working with the individual health economies, we’re keen that those involved in implementing the RightCare approach alsorightcarelogo

  1. Learn from each other, and;
  2. Make full use of the tools and products that already exist.

We recently held a very productive workshop with our CCGs that are working on MSK under RightCare to facilitate the above actions.

We’ve been delighted to have ARMA’s CEO talk about ARMA’s clinical networks project at several RightCare sessions at national conferences recently, and learn about the MSK Knowledge Network – as well as some of the resources which ARMA members have produced, such as the MSK, FLS and physiotherapy calculators. Clearly, RightCare’s and ARMA’s work are mutually reinforcing.


We recently also ran a dedicated workshop for the “wave one” CCGs focusing on MSK. The day was very successful, and ensured a common understanding of what’s available and how peers were implementing solutions, so much so we’ll be replicating the event for CCGs working on other pathways in future. In addition, we are currently developing a series of Optimal Value Pathways, and one of these is focusing on fragility fractures, with input from ARMA members and particularly the National Osteoporosis Society.

I see raising awareness of the support and tools available to CCGs already and ensuring they can access them as being a critical enabler for ensuring less unwarranted variation and better value healthcare becomes a reality. Working in partnership with key stakeholder groups like ARMA and its member organisations is crucial to this, and we’re very pleased to be supporting the clinical networks project.

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