18 June - NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

18 June 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with Patrick Sullivan, non-executive director at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust.

Patrick said: “We’re seeing a more powerful voice of the patient or the service user, which has grown over a period of years. And I think it’s having an increasing influence.

“We’ve got to start from the point of the patient. What is all this integration, what is all this policy, what is all this rhetoric? If it has any reality it’s how the patient and their families and local communities experience services.

“I don’t think [good integrated care] is about organisational form, or particularly about management arrangements, about control of the money - although all those things are important - or a particular professional dominance. It’s about trust and respect and the ability of individual professionals to work together. But fundamentally to work with the individual who requires services.

“Integrated services have got real potential but actually the general public doesn’t have to understand how those integrated services function. They just have to understand that when they need help or remember that their family needs help actually they get that help very quickly.”

Also overheard during today’s webinar:

“Psychiatry itself is in crisis. We’re recruiting for posts the whole time. One of my colleagues yesterday was involved in interviewing one person for two posts. So we can’t even get the applicants, let alone fill the posts.

“Covid really helped to cut through the bureaucracy, the barriers, some of the treacle that is there in our system to just do what needed to be done and I think some fabulous innovative services were introduced. My sense is some of that is creeping back in.

“We’re trying to remember and crystallise what went well a year ago [with the Covid-19 response] and hold onto that.”