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Guy's and St Thomas' Healthcare Alliance

Guy's and St Thomas' Healthcare Alliance

The Guy’s and St Thomas’ Healthcare Alliance has grown out of a partnership between Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust. Dartford and Gravesham are the founding members of the Healthcare Alliance.


The Healthcare Alliance allows us to work together formally on developing clinical services and pathways, as well as on areas including education, training and development and research.


It takes the expertise and knowledge of a major London teaching trust and develops new and innovative methods to bring this closer to patients’ homes, improving the quality of care and experience for patients.

The story so far

The Healthcare Alliance builds on the success of the Foundation Healthcare Group Vanguard collaboration between the two organisations, part of NHS England’s New Care Models programme, which ran from April 2016 to March 2018. The Vanguard tested a collaborative approach to working in three clinical areas: cardiology, vascular and children's services.


Working together, we have already achieved a significant amount on behalf of our patients:

  • In 2017, over 850 patient appointments wereheld at Darent Valley Hospital rather than Guy’s and St Thomas’, enablingpatients to receive care closer to home and saving more than 37,000patient travel miles.
  • Children and young people with epilepsy have benefitted from the closerworking between the teams at Darent Valley and Evelina London Children’sHospital, with fewer people needing to travel to London for care and the introduction ofa Roald Dahlspecialist children’s nurse.
  • Theadoption at Darent Valley of thePOPS (proactive care ofolder people undergoing surgery) approach developed at Guy’s and St Thomas’ isimproving care for older people requiring surgery, with better outcomes, fasterrecovery and moreefficient services.
  • A multidisciplinary diabetic foot care clinic at Dartford and Gravesham, which includes a Guy’s and St Thomas’ vascular surgeon, has reduced the need for multiple appointments and unnecessary referrals to London. Where urgent specialist treatment is needed, patients can be admitted to Guy’s and St Thomas’ on the same day.
  • Buildingon the expertise and networks of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ cardiology team,Dartford and Gravesham have been able to introduce a new service to offerfaster care and better outcomes for people suffering from blackouts.
  • In the first year of Guy’s and St Thomas’ delivering Dartford andGravesham’s procurement function, over £800,000 was saved. This is scarceresource that can be reinvested instead on direct patient care, stafftraining and development, orresearch.
  • The creation of new roles and the opportunities for workingwithin a wider multidisciplinary network have enhancedprofessional development opportunities and supported staff recruitment andretention.


These and many other achievements are described in more detail in Foundations for Change, our end of programme report.

Next steps

The Healthcare Alliance will take the learning from the Foundation Healthcare Group and explore further opportunities for collaboration.


In 2018/19 the focus will be on starting to deliver the Healthcare Alliance strategy (link to the strategy document). During this time, a number of initiatives will be delivered in four strategic priority areas:

  • delivering consistent, high quality care
  • developing our people
  • leveraging scarce resources
  • embracing innovation


We will continue to report on the successes and learning from the Healthcare Alliance throughout 2018/19. If the collaboration continues to prove successful in its new format, other NHS trusts may join the Healthcare Alliance over time.

For more information visit: https://www.guysandstthomas.nhs.uk/innovation/system-leadership.aspx