Against a challenging financial outlook for NHS providers, momentum has been building for transformational change to the NHS and its organisational forms. Hospital chains, mooted as an innovative, credible and collaborative model of healthcare delivery, are receiving increasing attention. So, what are hospital chains and what is their potential role in the NHS?
‘Chains’ is often used as a catch-all term but should not be confused with other models of care delivery involving multiple organisations e.g. accountable clinical networks, multi-site specialty franchises. Characteristics that describe a ‘hospital chain’ include:
The key features of hospital chains include strategic leadership, economies of scale, efficiency and a shared and cooperative culture. These are the foundations for driving improved quality outcomes and addressing operational and financial sustainability issues.
A PwC team visited a hospital chain in Germany to find out more about the model. To fully capture what we took away from our visit to Germany, we have put together an interactive guide to hospital chains. This covers: