The NOA was originally established as the Specialist Orthopaedic Alliance (SOA) a membership organisation of five large /standalone orthopaedic providers which began in the early 2000s, offering benchmarking and buddying for members and a more powerful voice for the specialty.
It had strong links with GIRFT (Getting It Right First Time), working to improve productivity. It became a vanguard in 2015 and expanded the membership to become the NOA and now has 40 members. It has developed a web portal to bring together HES (Hospital Episode Statistics) and GIRFT data and is working on 120 QS within 28 areas for benchmarking and has held regular meetings to develop coding standards and training and offers buddying and support to members.
The UK Ophthalmology Alliance (UKOA) has arisen from a collaboration between Moorfields vanguard programme (MVP) and the NOA, as a key part of all vanguards is to be replicable. Ophthalmology was identified as an area likely to be successful due to the already established relationship between the NOA and the MVP during year 1 of the vanguard programme as specialty acute care collaboratives (ACCs).