First formed in the early 2000s, the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) was a coalition of hospitals and other providers which contributed significantly to raising the quality of care for orthopaedic patients in England. National vanguard funding was secured to develop the SOA model and increase membership.
In July 2017 the SOA became the National Orthopaedic Alliance (NOA). By providing a group voice for high volume and specialist orthopaedic providers, close links to the Getting It Right First Time programme (GIRFT) and additional activities such as benchmarking, mentoring and buddying, alliance members have been leading the way in delivering better care and value through improved outcomes and productivity.
The aim of the NOA vanguard programme was to create a UK-wide alliance of orthopaedic providers to deliver outstanding and consistent care in more areas. The NOA vanguard has developed a consistent benchmarking framework, describing not only ‘what good looks like’ in orthopaedic care but also the components of a quality improvement journey. The alliance partners participate in self-assessments against those standards as well as creating a standardised toolkit to drive quality improvements in other orthopaedic providers across the NHS. Forty trusts are now members.