10 March - Mental Health Network webinar - governance during the COVID-19 pandemic

11 March 2022

Last week’s discussion opened with a conversation about the impact of the Ukraine conflict on staff, particularly those from a BAME background who felt that the help and support being offered was not provided following the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

One speaker highlighted a recent report from the Race and Health Observatory: Ethnic Inequalities in Healthcare: A Rapid Evidence Review, which focused on ethnic minorities groups being disadvantaged when accessing mental health and maternal and neonatal healthcare, in particular seeing a GP, accessing primary care and fears regarding secondary care in terms of higher likelihood of being restrained and more strongly medicated.

They also highlighted a recent report from the Mental Health Foundation and London School of Economics and Political Science, The economic case for investing in the prevention of mental health conditions in the UK, which includes a cost benefit analysis regarding prevention for mental health and found that mental health problems cost the UK economy at least £118 billion per year. Regarding prevention, the report talks about investing in parenting and anti-bullying programmes, along with group CBT.

Overheard during the webinar:

[On tackling health inequalities]: “Introducing things that don’t feel like a priority with exhausted staff can be very tricky. We are focusing on small steps and concrete actions to prevent staff from feeling overwhelmed. One issue with ICSs is a lot of circular discussion, which includes support for health inequalities, but very little action. Committees are set up which mirror trust quality commissions, resulting in duplicate discussions.”

“There is a perpetual challenge of managing the here and now whilst also considering longer-term views regarding prevention, health inequalities and the population health agenda. After some initial frustration, I have sensed more engagement in the ICS for health and wellbeing boards. There is more active engagement with the voluntary sector and wider social enterprise groups, including ensuring a percentage of money for new initiatives goes to the voluntary sector too, to enable more effective collaboration.”

“I have noticed some struggles to ensure local government are properly involved within the ICS. My

ICS is doing ok; it is small and there have been good relationships from the start. The struggle is to stop people focusing on structures and instead focus on relationships and people.”

“Leaders in my ICS want mental health to be dealt with at place level. Behaviours and trust are so important, with a significant issue being that ICSs are not coterminous. One of the biggest inhibitors of making progress on prevention is public health and the prevention budget being decimated by central government.”

“The triple aim relates to effective working and using population health management tools like digitization and care coordination. The three benefits are lower cost, better population outcomes and better care and experience. The NHS has two further reasons: reducing health inequalities and the wellbeing of healthcare providers. Population health is about addressing many things, including helping to run a sustainable healthcare organisation. This can be done by not funding certain things, putting efficiency measures in place, substituting care in terms of setting or provider, addressing the care issue upstream, maintaining the patient’s independence to avoid costly care and working with the patient so they use the service in the most effective way. Those at the top of the list are of least benefit to service users, and those at the bottom of the list are of most benefit.”

These meetings are by invitation only. For further details, visit our events page.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions about these webinars, please contact: events@good-governance.org.uk