19 March 2021 – NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

19 March 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Philip Jones, a NED at North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust.

Philip said: “How can we increase funding but also ensure we are delivering value for money? How do we get better value for money going forwards so we are well placed to respond to any increased pressures from government? For example, all of the things we have learnt from Covid around more agile working conditions and the sustainability agenda. There is the opportunity to think more radically about how we deliver services. […]

“The white paper is a major advance and the collaborative and integrated working it puts forward may be part of the solution. If we can integrate services in a more effective way, we can take costs out of the system and also deliver better care to patients. […]

“The attitude to working with others has completely changed in the last few months and people now know and accept that this is the right way to go. So the right behavioural circumstances are there to enable this to work. We don’t however have the tools yet to do this properly. We need to be more comfortable about getting transparent with each other and perhaps this means sitting on each other’s boards occasionally or have a better reciprocal sight of each other’s clinical activity and how we’re all being managed financially as this impacts on others now. We need to look at our partners and understand and help them with their financial issues.

“Numbers do matter but ultimately patients come first. You need to engage with communities and understand what they’re saying.”

Also overheard at the webinar:

“I’m interested in national thinking around allocation budget between acute, mental health and communities. Is there national data which shows, place by place or ICS by ICS, where the proportions of spend go? It’s interesting to know if there have been areas where the trend is money out of acute over time is going into community and mental health.”

“We don’t talk about productivity enough. It seems to me that productivity can lead you down silly rabbit holes and I worry that if we get fixated on productivity in a bad way it will lead us to do silly things. If we want to do things to change the way things happen for example around prevention or deal with cases earlier, they won’t lend themselves currently to our productivity measurement. We need to work with teams to ask what they would want to do better to get the most out of every pound.”

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. For further details, visit our website https://www.good-governance.org.uk/events/.

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