Header image for the current page Supporting the national NHS RightCare programme

Arden & GEM’s experienced programme management specialists have worked closely with the national NHS RightCare team, since its inception in 2015, to ensure the evolving programme had processes in place for effective governance, robust decision-making, appropriate engagement and accurate reporting.

By establishing a coordinated, responsive and pragmatic Programme Management Office, built around strong stakeholder relationships, the CSU has enabled the RightCare programme to be successfully rolled out and embedded within local and regional healthcare transformation initiatives.

The challenge

NHS RightCare is a national programme that focuses on improving healthcare and contributing to the financial sustainability of the NHS by reducing unwarranted variation and increasing value. The programme was initiated, in November 2015, to work collaboratively with CCGs by producing data for programmes of care and providing evidence to inform the redesign of pathways, improving both value and patient outcomes.

NHS England has invested in the programme to enable every health economy in England to embed the RightCare approach in their transformation programmes, supported by allocated delivery partners. More recently, the programme has developed national priority projects which have been rolled out throughout the health and care system.

Upon its inception, NHS RightCare rapidly needed support to establish both the programme and a Programme Management Office (PMO). This saw the start of a four-year collaborative relationship with Arden & GEM to provide an effective PMO, and wider programme support, which would be responsive to the continually developing needs of the national programme.

Our approach

Arden & GEM’s experienced PMO specialists worked closely with the national team to provide the level of support needed to ensure the evolving programme had processes in place for effective governance, robust decision-making, appropriate engagement and accurate reporting.

During the initial 18 months, management support was also provided to define and initiate the overall project, and put a structure and secretariat in place, while the national team established and expanded. To enable RightCare to deliver its priorities, a responsive PMO service has been provided – by a consistent team – delivering support in the following areas:

Effective governance
To minimise project risks and maximise the chance of successful delivery by:

Robust project planning
With national programme priorities being implemented alongside local individual projects, it was essential to ensure consistency in approach by:

Accurate and timely reporting
Developing the processes and bespoke reporting templates to monitor the national rollout of priority initiatives including:

Responding to programme developments
As the RightCare programme has refreshed and restructured, the PMO has reviewed and adapted its support to continue to enable smooth and effective delivery. For example, following an update to the delivery strategy, the Arden & GEM team developed a new project gateway process to provide assurance, assess progress and ensure ongoing commitment of resources. Crucially, this process was flexible enough to balance the need for project governance with the need for timely project delivery.

The outcomes

By establishing a coordinated, responsive and pragmatic Programme Management Office, built around strong stakeholder relationships, the CSU has enabled the RightCare programme to be successfully rolled out and embedded across England, within both national and regional transformation initiatives.

In addition to ensuring there were appropriate information flows within the programme, Arden & GEM also worked closely with the client, providing fortnightly highlight reports to ensure the national RightCare team was informed and aware of the PMO’s activities and plans.

What next?

Following the coming together of NHS England and NHS Improvement, the RightCare programme has now become part of NHS Improvement and will be resourced internally. The CSU service has undertaken a detailed and thorough handover with the national team to ensure clarity and confidence with PMO systems and processes, supported by documentation, training and shadowing.

"Arden & GEM delivered all elements of PMO support to the national RightCare programme in a professional and flexible manner. The service provided all the benefits of an in-house team, with additional responsiveness, while helping to manage costs. The team was highly skilled, bringing a valuable level of expertise and experience, with a particular adeptness in stakeholder management."

Suzanne Kirwan, Programme Director at NHS RightCare (2016-2019)