14 January - non-executive directors

17 January 2022

Last week’s non-executive directors webinar opened in conversation with Baroness Glenys Thornton, non-executive director at Whittington Health NHS Trust, shadow spokesperson for health in the House of Lords and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health, who offered an insider’s view of the progress of integrated care legislation through Parliament.

Baroness Thornton said: “These Friday morning sessions have become part of my working week and have been fantastically useful.”

She talked about the process of getting the Health and Care Bill through Parliament and the challenge of discussing all of its amendments in the time available. She also touched on the composition of integrated care boards and the importance of maintaining focus on health inequalities as the Bill progresses.

For all the complexities, she said, the Bill remains: “…an opportunity to provide us at local level with the frameworks we need to deliver the kind of health service we want to deliver.”

Overheard during the discussion:

“The cross-working arrangement is so complex in what is termed ‘place’ and the outcome which is beneficial to our communities is what we’re all trying to understand how to get there. Michael Gove, being the minister for levelling up, and the health minister have got to start working in a different approach.”

“We need some distinction between the Camdens of the world, where you’ve got everybody round one table and It’s working really well and the rhetoric is matched by the action on the ground. But in a situation like in Stoke-on-Trent where in the current budget proposals that going to be approved in February, they will be taking £400,000 off learning disability in each of the next four years. There’s a salami slicing approach going on in local government.”

These meetings are by invitation and are open to all NHS non-executives directors, chairs and associate non-executive directors of NHS providers. Others may attend by special invitation.

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