Welcome to the FSH news page. Here you will find FSH consultation responses, reports and other relevant comment and analysis.

  • October 2016

    Building a successful NHS workforce

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals (FSH) today publishes its latest report “Building a successful NHS workforce”. The report draws on the knowledge and experience of the Federation’s world-leading single speciality hospitals*, to chart a way ahead for this important issue for the NHS.

    With concerns about EU clinicians future eligibility to work in the UK, the prevalence of agency working and the problems of recruiting to some clinical specialities, alongside the ambition for a 7-day NHS, this report comes at a key time for the NHS needs in securing the future stability and sustainability of its workforce.

    Today, the FSH is calling for the NHS to make best use of staff to ensure they can deliver the care patients need. Key recommendations include:

    • The Government should confirm the ability of EU nationals to work in health and social care roles in the UK, including those in specialist hospitals, through mechanisms such the Migration Advisory Committee’s shortage occupation list.
    • A national body should be given explicit responsibility for addressing existing staffing shortfalls, and it should work with local Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) leaders and NHS providers, including specialist hospitals, to identify joint solutions to ongoing workforce challenges.
    • The Department of Health and its Arm’s Length Bodies should explicitly consider the workforce implications of key policies, such as plans for a ‘7-day NHS’ and the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, to ensure that providers can respond quickly and cost effectively to new policies and standards.

    The report contains case studies that demonstrate clinical excellence such as the ‘Getting It Right First Time Project’ which has realised £60-90million of savings; drive innovation in the NHS such as new clinical pathways at the Royal Brompton for children on long-term ventilation; bring services closer to home using the satellite model of Moorfields Eye Hospital; and a number of exciting new training programmes for NHS clinicians.

    The full report is available online.

    Chairman of the FSH, Professor Tim Briggs said:
    “Our report seeks to demonstrate the contribution of specialist hospitals in optimising the use of the NHS workforce and in driving innovative methods across the system. It also makes a series of recommendations which challenges government and the various NHS bodies to work closely with specialist hospitals to ensure they can deliver the care patients need now and into the future”.

    Ian Cumming, Chief Executive of Health Education England said:
    “Specialist hospitals have an international reputation for high quality training and innovative workforce management. This report highlights the valuable contribution that specialist hospitals can make to the further improvement of the NHS workforce and sets out a number of challenges and recommendations, which will repay careful study across the system.”

    For further information, please contact secretariat@fsh.uk.net.

    *Members of the Federation of Specialist Hospitals are:

    Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    Queen Victoria Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
    Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
    Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust
    St Mark’s Hospital and Academic Institute
    The Christie NHS Foundation Trust
    The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust
    The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust
    Members of the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance

    The Federation is also supported by Bayer, Medtronic and Stryker.

  • November 2015


    NHS specialist hospitals are launching a new report in Parliament today, setting out their recommendations* to enhance the NHS’s reputation as a global leader of innovation.

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals (FSH) report, ‘Driving Innovation in the NHS’, highlights the role specialist hospitals play in driving forward clinical innovation while sharing best practice through the development of new care models. Case studies in the report illustrate the local initiatives led by Federation members to improve the quality, efficiency and accessibility of patient care.

    The launch event will bring together NHS leaders and parliamentarians for a discussion about the future of specialist services in England. Speakers include George Freeman MP, Minister for Life Sciences, and The Rt Hon Norman Lamb MP, former Minister of State at the Department of Health, alongside Professor Tim Briggs, FSH Chair and National Director of Clinical Quality and Efficiency at the Department of Health.

    The report’s foreword is provided by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, who writes:

    “NHS specialist hospitals have a global reputation for clinical innovation. We must maximise the impact of these centres of excellence and spread their learning across the rest of the health service.”

    He later adds:

    “This report recognises the invaluable contribution that specialist care networks can make for the future of healthcare and for a better, more sustainable NHS.”

    Commenting on the report launch, Professor Tim Briggs said:

    “Specialist hospitals are characterised by their focus on a single specialty and, usually, by a disproportionately complex casemix. As such, specialist hospitals are often home to investment in cutting-edge innovation and are substantial contributors to clinical training and research.”

    “Today’s report launch celebrates the successes of Federation members in accelerating innovation and spreading best practice through networks of care. We are committed to working with others through the NHS to deliver the very best care as close to patients’ homes as appropriate with specialist oversight where necessary.”

    View FSH Driving Innovation in the NHS Report PDF

    *The recommendations of the Federation’s report are:

    1. The contributions specialist hospitals make to clinical research and the rapid deployment of innovations should be recognised and supported by national policy across the board, including the Accelerated Access Review.

    2. Policymakers and commissioners should work with specialist hospitals to identify and roll out local initiatives which can make a significant contribution to meeting the NHS financial challenge.

    3. Specialist hospitals and their partners should create incentives to encourage cross-institutional collaboration and research, and explore the opportunity to strengthen joint working with industry and international organisations.

    4. The Government should protect science funding over this parliament, with a ring-fenced budget for clinical and translational research programmes.

    5. The national New Care Models programme should formalise the quality improvement methodologies established by specialist providers and share them more broadly across the NHS.

    6. The national New Care Models programme should work with specialist providers to explore how digital technology can be harnessed to support care coordination and improve outcomes across network sites.

    7. The national New Care Models programme should work with specialist providers and their partners to develop a formal evaluation tool to assess the impact existing networks have on the quality and efficiency of care delivered and how this has been achieved.

    8. The national New Care Models programme should consider lessons learned from existing specialist care networks and incorporate them into the vanguards support package.

    9. Monitor and NHS England should work with specialist providers to explore and test innovative contracting and payment approaches which can support further improvements in specialised care.

    10. Monitor and NHS England should consider new reimbursement models to support the development and early adoption of new treatments and devices within specialist trusts and across their networks.

    11. NHS England should work with specialist providers to assess the effectiveness of clinical engagement in specialised commissioning and reinforce the role of Clinical Reference Groups.

    12. NHS England should work with specialist providers to develop a national strategy for specialised commissioning, setting out a clear direction of travel for specialised services during the next five years.

  • September 2015

    FSH members selected as new NHS Vanguards

    NHS England has today announced that 13 hospital vanguards will become part of its national New Care Models programme. A number of Federation members have been chosen to take part, including The Christie, Moorfields, The Walton Centre, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and other members of the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance. They are described in NHS England’s press release as “some of the best known and best run hospitals in Britain”.

    The Federation welcomes this announcement and the ambitions of the broader New Care Models programme, which demonstrates the role specialist hospitals play in driving quality and efficiency through specialist care networks. Federation members are committed to building on the success of these networks to deliver local care to patients where possible with specialist oversight where necessary.

    Over the coming months, the Federation will complement the work being done by individual members through its ongoing dialogue with the New Care Models programme. We will also be launching the Federation’s report on innovation this autumn, which will set out the role specialist hospitals play in facilitating clinical innovation while sharing best practice to improve the quality, efficiency and accessibility of care delivered across the NHS.

    The NHS England announcement is available here.

  • April 2015

    Specialist hospitals call for robust approach to investing in specialised services

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals has submitted a response to NHS England’s consultation on investing in specialised services. The response covers a range of issues, including the role of Clinical Reference Groups and the need for a more transparent and efficient prioritisation process.

    The framework by which NHS England makes investment decisions is of critical importance in enabling the Federation’s members to pursue the the highest patient outcomes supported by clinical innovation. A robust and timely decision-making framework is essential to the role of specialist hospitals in sustaining the NHS’s position at the cutting-edge of global innovation.

    The FSH’s consultation response is available here.

  • September 2014

    FSH submission to the Dalton Review

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals has submitted a response to the Dalton Review, which seeks to explore how the quality of care provision in the NHS can be levelled up.

    The response outlines the Federation’s vision for networked care, and highlights a number of barriers which should be addressed to harness the full potential of specialist hospitals in developing future care models, with a view to delivering the very best care as close to people’s homes as possible.

    The FSH’s submission is available here.

  • August 2014

    FSH urges strengthening of the National Tariff to support service improvements and patient outcomes

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals’ response to the 2015/16 National Tariff Engagement highlights the contributions specialist hospitals make in delivering high quality outcomes and effective models of care, while calling for accurate reimbursement for complex procedures.

    In the light of recent financial pressures on the NHS, there have been concerns that the payment system will be used as a means of reducing spend without proper regard to the outcomes and sustainability of services. However, funding that allows investment is essential in underpinning a sustainable provider sector. The Federation looks forward to continue working with NHS England and Monitor to support the delivery of innovative service models, ensuring the best possible care for patients.

    The FSH’s response can be read in full here.

  • May 2014

    NHS England "steps back" from plans to concentrate specialised services in between 15 and 30 centres

    Following calls from the Federation of Specialist Hospitals to ensure hospital reconfigurations focus on enhancing service quality, we welcome reports that NHS England is to reconsider its previously-announced intention to reduce the number of specialist providers from 270 to 30 or fewer.

    In a recent interview, the new Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, described the organisation’s previous guidance on reducing the number of specialised centres as merely “a conversation opener”. While supporting the reorganisation of specialised services where appropriate, the Federation recently published a report on the outcomes achieved by specialist hospitals and publicly cautioned against centralisation of services in a small number of large centres.

    In welcoming this new approach, the Federation looks forward to working with colleagues throughout the NHS to bring fresh thinking to bear on the challenge of combining specialist excellence with maximum accessibility.

  • May 2014

    Top hospitals say reconfiguration must put clinical outcomes first

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals report published today (1st May) highlights the impressive clinical outcomes achieved by its members in both complex and more routine procedures. The report will be an important contribution to the debate on hospital configuration in the NHS, particularly following NHS England’s announcement that it plans to reduce the number of providers of specialised services from 270 to 30 or fewer.

    View FSH Outcomes Report PDF

  • March 2014

    FSH position on the future configuration of centres providing specialised services

    The Federation of Specialist Hospitals has been invited to take part in NHS England’s Provider Reference Group, which has been formed to gather the views of providers on the development of NHS England’s five-year strategy for specialised services.

    This position paper sets out the context of the five-year strategy and the core concerns of the Federation as a voice for specialist hospitals in the UK.

    View Provider Reference Group position paper PDF

  • December 2013

    NHS England publishes planning guidance, Everyone Counts

    NHS England has published its planning guidance for 2014/15 to 2018/19, Everyone Counts: planning for patients. This contains significant announcements in respect of specialised services. The planning guidance states as one of its six main aims the concentration of specialised services in “centres of excellence”. The document gives a figure of specialised services concentrated in just “15-30 centres”, with close links to Academic Health Science Networks.

    The Federation urges NHS England to provide further clarity on the meaning of this element of the planning guidance as soon as possible. As NHS England develops its five-year strategy for specialised services, the Federation looks forward to further engagement to ensure that concentration of expertise proceeds along sensible lines.

    View Everyone Counts PDF

  • October 2013

    National service specifications come into force

    From 1st October, national service specifications come into force for all providers of specialised services. Federation members provide a significant number of these services and are therefore at the frontline of implementing their requirements. While members welcome the opportunity to eliminate unwarranted variation in the quality of care across the country, there will be risks if service specifications are unrealistic or level down quality.

  • July 2013

    FSH welcomes NHS England's Call to Action

    NHS England has launched a Call to Action, which seeks to develop proposals for meeting the challenges facing the health service over the next decade and beyond. A core part of this Call to Action is the pledge to develop a five-year strategy for specialised services, to be published within a year and to contain hard-edged commitments for the first two years of its duration.

    Members of the Federation are at the forefront of delivering specialised services and, as such, look forward to engaging with NHS England as it develops its plan for the next five years. The Call to Action is an opportunity to address many of the challenges that specialist hospitals face and to ensure that links with the wider health service are fostered and improved, to disseminate quality more widely.

    View Call to Action PDF

  • February 2012

    Tariff Paper

    In anticipation of responsibility for tariff prices transferring from the Department of Health to a combination of the NHS Commissioning Board and Monitor, the Federation produced this paper to emphasise some of the important issues surrounding tariff for specialist hospitals, including the need to compensate providers according to the complexity of the work they undertake and the results they achieve.

    View Tariff Paper PDF

  • November 2011

    ABHI Conference

    In November 2011 the Federation presented at the ABHI conference. These slides set out the significant changes to specialised commissioning as a result of the Health and Social Care Bill and some of the key opportunities for specialised services and specialist hospitals.

    View ABHI Conference – November 2011 PDF

  • August 2011

    Innovation Review Consultation Response

    The FSH responded to the NHS Chief Executive’s call for evidence prior to the publication of Innovation Health and Wealth: accelerating the adoption and diffusion in the NHS in December 2011. The response draws attention to the importance of specialised services for innovation in the NHS, concerns regarding national tariff and the potential for an innovation fund for specialised services.

    View Innovation Review Consultation Response PDF

  • December 2009

    FSH Report 2009

    Right Patient, Right Reason, Right Place: the added value of the UK’s Specialist Hospitals was published in December 2009 to introduce the Federation of Specialist Hospitals and the major role that specialist units play within the English NHS.

    View FSH Report 2009 PDF