Patient flow workshop 31st March 2020

operational delivery network

What's an ODN?

ODN stands for Operational Delivery Network.  ODNs are focussed on coordinating patient pathways between providers over a wide area to ensure access to specialist resources and expertise.

Success factors for ODNs are:

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

Where did ODNs come from?

ODNs were launched in April 2013 following the publication of the NHS England strategy to sustain and develop clinical networks.   ODNs are established across England within the geographical areas of the Clinical Senates.

Why do we need ODNs?

ODNs are determined by clinical need as agreed between providers and commissioners and their outcomes and outputs are included in the relevant commissioning service specifications. 


South London Neurosciences ODN is the first to be developed in the UK to improve quality of care and its delivery over a wider region.  


Other ODNs developed across England have shown sustained improvement in care.  They include:

  • Adult critical care
  • Neonatal critical care
  • Major trauma
  • Burns care
  • Paediatric neurosciences 

working together

How we work together

Members of each ODN work together to shape the operational delivery of a complex and specialist area of care, working across organisational boundaries to secure the best outcomes for patients. This collaborative approach means the right patient receives the right care at the most appropriate hospital with the right level of support and expertise at the right time.

Working with health providers

ODNs support 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 services.

Working with patients

We work closely with patients and carers, whether they are in hospital or in the community, to improve the patient journey.