Improving system focus on inequalities and development

31 October 2022

GGI’s new board assurance prompt is designed to help integrated care boards ask the right questions in two key areas of responsibility

GGI’s newest board assurance prompt will help integrated care system boards to focus on the right things when considering two important areas of responsibility: tackling health inequalities and making a contribution to the social and economic development of their area.

System boards face many challenges that NHS trusts never had to. GGI’s new board assurance prompt – Inequalities and the broader determinants of health – will help focus attention on the right things when addressing one of those fresh challenges in particular: the system’s responsibility to make a social and economic contribution.

Principal consultant Dr Amanda Harrison says: “The need for this BAP emerged from conversations we had with some of the system leaders we’ve been working with. They understood what sort of questions they should be asking about quality and outcomes-related areas of activity. They have lots of experience in these areas and they understand their responsibilities in relation to money, productivity, performance and so on.

“Many of them also have some experience of addressing health inequalities, through working on CCGs, for example – although they’ll need to refresh their thinking in this area because responsibilities have changed. But when it comes to broader social and economic development, they feel as though they’re in uncharted waters.

“Integrated care boards will usually be significant employers, and consumers and commissioners of goods and services in their areas, as well as one of the principal community actors. As an ICB, they need to think about what they want their organisations to do in those three key areas. What employment practices do they need to support economic and social development? How are they supporting those members of their own staff who are experiencing hardship? And what opportunities are they taking to improve access to employment opportunities? This BAP will help them do that.”

GGI’s new board assurance prompt – inequalities and the broader determinants of health – is free to use and available to download now.

What is a board assurance prompt?

It’s the job of any board to develop strategy and seek assurance from its organisation that the strategy they develop is being properly implemented.

GGI’s board assurance prompts (BAPs) offer peace of mind for boards around whether they’re addressing the right areas and asking themselves the right questions about their organisation’s performance.

A GGI BAP will throw light on how to seek the assurance a board needs – what areas to focus on, what questions to ask, what answers to seek. It will reflect the fact that assurance comes from three corners: the data you collect to check progress against your chosen metrics, the more detailed evidence revealed when you dive deeper into your organisation’s performance, and external measures from regulators or external auditors.

It will help you answer three important questions. Why should we be interested in this area? What is the board’s responsibility? How do we seek assurances that the area is heading in the right direction?

Prepared by GGI Development and Research LLP for the Good Governance Institute.

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