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The NOA: Improving Quality In Orthopaedic Care Across England

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The National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA) has a simple, yet ambitious aim – to raise standards of orthopaedic care across England. It is an acute care collaboration (ACC) vanguard project, led by Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) founder members:

Brought together towards the end of 2015 as part of NHS England’s New Care Models programme, the NOA builds on existing work that has been done by the SOA. The vanguard is based on a Quality Standards membership model founded on evidence-based descriptors of ‘what good looks like’ in orthopaedic care. It will create tools for providers and commissioners to enable them to consistently achieve quality and efficiency including a clear benchmarking system and will develop flexible contracting mechanisms to ensure that commissioners can adopt the quality assured new model of care in different local health systems. The NOA will also be seeking opportunities to support other specialties in adopting similar quality based membership models to drive improvements in care.

Fundamentally, the aim of the NOA is fourfold. The critical factor is improving clinical outcomes for patients.  Secondly, we want to improve the quality of life of patients, improve their overall experience and their confidence. Thirdly, we want to improve operational efficiency, and create savings across the orthopaedic specialty. Finally, we will create savings and quality improvements across other specialties.

It’s an exciting time for the NOA as momentum starts to build and work is underway writing our Quality Standards that will form the basis of how the vanguard works. We are also delighted to have received funding for year three of the project. We are excited to continue our work around developing Quality Standards for orthopaedic care while looking for opportunities to replicate our model across other specialties.

NOA Lead Chief Executive, Jo Chambers from the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham said:

“The NOA will be actively seeking new members to spread coverage of the standards and quality improvement approach. The quality standard will become a differentiating characteristic which we anticipate will support commissioners when determining where to commission provider services.”

NOA Lead Clinician, Peter Kay, who is leading on the Quality Standards said:

“The objective of the NOA vanguard is to improve the delivery of orthopaedics across the country and to recognise individual units for their excellence in delivery and outcomes in orthopaedic care, creating an improvement methodology to achieve excellence.

Key to achieving our objectives is the recognition of what ‘good looks like’. The Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) holds much of the best practice and delivers excellent outcomes for the patients and because of this we have involved our members in writing the Quality Standards.

To do this we will use Best Practice from across the SOA along with a comprehensive set of information packs which have been written for us by the British Medical Journal.

We are kicking off with 7 pilots:

  • Hip
  • Knee
  • Periprosthetic Infection
  • Safety
  • Theatre efficiency
  • Enhanced Recovery
  • Coding and Costing

Further information

For further information visit: www.england.nhs.uk/vanguards/noa, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow @NOA_Vanguard on Twitter.