Operational Delivery Networks

Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) are clinically driven and operate within, and support, a culture of collaboration. ODNs rely on the engagement, interaction and commitment of stakeholders and member organisations to deliver agreed outcomes. The outputs of ODNs are dependent on clinical engagement and collaboration across the patient pathway and wherever possible ODN boundaries should reflect patient flows. 

The role of ODNs is to provide impartial clinical advice and expertise to both providers and commissioners to develop equitable, high standard services for patients and improve access to these. As non-statutory organisations ODNs do not have any constitutional rights but fit into the overall governance arrangements of a host organisation. Critical Care networks now form part of the newly restructured clinical managed networks in the NHS. Along with major trauma, neonatal, burns, neuromuscular disorders, paediatric critical care & congenital heart disease clinical networks Adult Critical Care has been designated an Operational Delivery Network (ODN).

NHS England have confirmed strong support for the concept of ODNs and appreciation of what has already been achieved by established networks such as critical care which have a significant track record of improving services for patients through a clinical network model.

National specifications for each ODN and a national template for ODN governance have been drafted and are awaiting final agreement.

Operational Delivery Networks are non-statutory organisations, our vision is summarised below:

‘Working with a wide range of stakeholders our overall aim is to improve patient experience and outcomes, reduce inequity and improve access to critical care services practising best quality individualised care. Improving communication is an integral part of our actions.’

NHS England has recognised that clinical networks are an NHS success story and have been responsible for some significant and sustained improvements in the quality of patient care and the outcomes of their treatment.

There are a range of networks performing different functions which include:

  • a small number of Strategic Clinical Networks (SCNs) that are established and supported by the NHS Commissioning Board (NHS CB) to advise commissioners, support strategic change projects and improve outcomes
  • Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) that are focused on coordinating patient pathways between providers over a wide area to ensure access to specialist resources and expertise.

Within the new national model for clinical networks, ODNs focus on operational delivery. Strategy will be set nationally. ODNs will ensure outcomes and quality standards are improved and evidence based, networked patient pathways are agreed. They will focus on an operational role, supporting the activity of Provider Trusts in service delivery, improvement and delivery of a commissioned pathway, with a key focus on the quality and equity of access to service provision. This will allow for more local determination, innovation and efficiency across the pathway. ODNs support the delivery of ‘Right Care’ principles by incentivising a system to manage the right patient in the right place.

Success factors for ODNs will be:

  • Improved access and egress to/from services at the right time
  • Improved operating consistency
  • Improved outcomes
  • Increased productivity

In Cheshire & Mersey there are currently two ODNs, Major Trauma and Adult Critical Care, although others which cover the North West, such as the neonatal ODN and paediatric critical care, also cover Cheshire & Mersey. Membership of the relevant specialty ODN is mandatory for providers of that service.


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Quality Improvement

Quality measures aim to find the most appropriate and deliverable measures that can be used nationally to help organisations improve the quality of care in their services. 

Training & Education

This section contains details of existing training opportunities available to staff groups within the trauma pathway. 

Trauma Surgeons

Patients who have suffered a severe injury often need complex reconstruction surgery and care from many professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists...

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