Using the Model Health System to support 2021/2022 Operational Planning priorities

The Model Health System supports NHS teams to provide high quality patient care and continuous improvement. It is a data-driven improvement tool that supports health and care systems to improve patient outcomes and population health. The system provides benchmarked insights across the quality of care, productivity and organisational culture to identify opportunities for improvement. The Model Health System incorporates the Model Hospital, which provides hospital provider-level benchmarking. Access to the Model Health System is currently available for all NHS commissioners and providers in England.

Objectives of the Model Health System:

  • Support the NHS to eradicate unwarranted variation in the quality, safety and productivity of healthcare
  • Provide improvement and analytical insights to support local systems working
  • Support trusts, regions and systems in the restoration, recovery and transformation of services

In the table below, we have outlined where and how information and insights from the Model Health System can be used to support elective care recovery and help shape the transformation of services as outlined in the 2021/2022 Operational Planning priorities.

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Operational and planning priority area:

Where to find the information on the Model Health system:

How to use the data and information in the Model Health System:

C1 Maximise elective activity, taking full advantage of the opportunities to transform the delivery of services

  1. “Systems are asked to rapidly draw up delivery plans across elective inpatient, outpatient and diagnostic services for adults and children (including specialised services)”
  2. “Maximise opportunities to implement high impact service models in elective care at system level such as dedicated fast track hubs for high volume, low complexity care with standardised clinical pathways”
  3. To reduce variation in access and outcomes, systems are expected to implement whole pathway transformations and thereby improve performance in three specialties: cardiac, musculoskeletal (MSK) and eye care with support via the National Pathway Improvement Programme. The aim should be to achieve what was top quartile performance against benchmarks on those pathways.

Elements of the Model Health System have been co-designed as a core underpinning to the Pathway Improvement Programme. The drive to reduce unwarranted variation and continuously improve patient care is enabled by the benchmarked data and insights within the Model Health System. We also have been working closely with the GIRFT team to include insights to support the High Volume Low Complexity surgery approach.


  • The core purpose of the Model Health System is to reduce variation through benchmarked insights. Systems can use these insights to develop pathway transformations to improve performance in the priority specialty areas: The Model Health System also includes GIRFT data and features of the Pathway Improvement Programme. Opportunities for improvement have been designed to highlight areas of focus within GIRFT clinical areas, Day Case rates, Theatre productivity, Readmissions, Length of Stay and other elements of quality and productivity improvement to support elective recovery
  • System-level Acute Hospital Services compartments and gateways on the Model Health System have been developed in collaboration with the early pilots of High Volume Low Complexity work. Our Theatre productivity area captures information on volumes, utilisation and capacity which has helped to provide excellent insights to support utilisation analysis and elective recovery. The Model Health system includes a dedicated Outpatients area in the Care Settings sections. The metrics show information on activity, DNA rates, and, the uptake of appointments via video technology in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19. This data will help support the effective delivery of services.

A2: Belonging in the NHS and addressing inequalities

“Develop improvement plans based on the latest WRES findings, including to improve diversity through recruitment and promotion practices”

The Model Health System includes the latest WRES (2020) indicators at provider and system level for review and benchmarking. This information has been curated with the WRES team and People Directorate to provide, for the first time, system level insights and benchmarking regarding elements of equality, diversity and inclusion. This allows you to:

  • Understand the racial diversity of your staff populace and senior staff groups (8a+)
  • Compare the differing experience of white and BME staff across areas such as Recruitment, Staff training and development, discrimination and equal opportunities. Further information is also available in the Retention compartment. At provider level we also have further insights regarding culture and leadership and staff survey metrics.

A4: Grow for the future

“Develop and deliver a local workforce supply plan with a focus on both recruitment and retention”

Retention Analysis data in the People section allows users to review metrics such as the organisation leavers rate, turnover rate, agency spend, the demographic breakdown of leavers along with their stated reasons for leaving.

D2: Implementing population health management and personalised care approaches to improve health outcomes and address health inequalities

“Systems are encouraged to adopt population health management techniques as part of their targeted recovery strategies”

The Population Health compartment includes a range of metrics to highlight where a system (STP/ICS) has higher or lower rates of hospital admissions after adjusting for the age/sex of their population and comparing to organisations with similar population demographics. This will be expanded shortly to incorporate metrics on prevalence and detection rates for various diseases/conditions, risk factors, Primary Care activity, access, satisfaction and quality measures, Primary Care prescribing, waiting times, A&E, Outpatients and mortality rates. This will allow systems to triangulate across different elements of a patient pathway and assess links between potential opportunities to improve in different areas. Population based metrics have also been added to a range of other compartments in the Policy Priority, Acute Hospital Services and Clinical Support Service Lenses (Cancer, Ophthalmology, Urology, Gynaecology, ENT, Orthopaedic Surgery, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Endoscopy, with others to follow shortly).

F1: Effective collaboration and partnership working across systems

“Effective partnership working across systems”

To support collaboration and partnership working across systems, all NHS staff can access the Model Health System. Staff in NHS trusts and commissioning organisations can view and download their own organisation’s data, compared to other trusts, national averages, and peer groups. Within the Model Health System, users can also switch to view any other provider across their ICS or STP, and at an aggregated System-level. Staff from NHS arms-length bodies and the Department of Health and Social Care and its agencies can also access the tool.

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