14 October - Mental Health Network - governance during the COVID-19 pandemic

15 October 2021

Overheard during the webinar:

During a discussion about system leadership with guest Marie Gabriel, Chair, North East London Health and Care Partnership: “The purpose of integrated care systems is to build partnerships that improve people’s access to and experience of health and care services, through integration, transformation and sustainability. The system as a whole can only achieve its outcomes if it meets parity of esteem and prioritises mental health. With the current five priorities facing the health system, many don’t focus on mental health or it takes time to ensure mental health is a priority.”

“We need to be involved in conversations about physical health, so that we’re not just in a silo of mental health. For example, people with mental health problems use A&E three times more than the general population, and account for 19% of people admitted into hospital. When considering integrated care, 48% of people with mental health problems also have a long-term physical health condition. When it comes to health inequalities, people with serious mental illness die up to 20 years earlier.”

“I am concerned about the health of prison populations – there are nine prisons in Kent. I feel there is no talk of offender health, yet these are populations at risk of mental illness and low users of services. There is also limited discussion about people on probation.”

“There is high demand for mental health and communities services but there doesn’t seem to be a reflection that this is something that needs to be tackled nationally via reducing health inequalities and poverty. Which are the inequalities we want to work on and how are these decided?”

During a discussion about governance in the voluntary sector: “We hold a monthly forum for charities to come and engage with the trust and understand more about collaboration and shared working. We recognise the need to work with the voluntary sector, and we are just scratching the surface of what could be possible in managing demand with a properly funded and supported voluntary sector.”

“One ICS is taking an interesting approach to engage and partner with the voluntary sector. They propose to create a paid post which is resourced beyond the pay of the person and the role will be knowledge and experience of the local voluntary sector. They then won’t be beholden to one organisation but instead can be more focused on engaging with and representing the voluntary sector.”

“ICSs have an ambition around population health management, and the NHS has a lot of understanding about people who walk through their door, but not always of community and individuals beyond limited sector or geographical areas. The three things need to come together in an ICS, and joining these three partners is the only way we will achieve population health management. We are considering as an ICS how to engage with the voluntary sector, they will have a place at all times for discussions at all stages, rather than just be brought in when the NHS thinks they are needed.”

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