2 July - NHS non-executive directors webinar

02 July 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with Anita Day, vice-chair at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.

Addressing the integrated care changes Anita said: “My concern is that when you do look at the detail, there is a permissiveness but not as much permissiveness as we wanted. This was supposed to be about subsidiarity and recognising the need of local populations but the guidance is starting to stray into this idea that every system must have the same things. I’m still optimistic that our systems will be able to craft the structure they need based on what the local communities need. But there are already guidelines that suggest for example that every system must have certain committees which isn’t promising.

“I think non-execs have a really important role to play. What we’ve done is bring together our execs and NEDs and identify what the centre is telling us and then how we need to adapt this to fit our system and populations.

“ICS leadership is to enable the providers to do the best job they can. I see the providers being responsible for quality and not the ICS. For sure, the ICS can make sure the providers are accountable for this but they shouldn’t be responsible for these areas. […]

“The appointment of the new NHS executive leader will be hugely important. We will either have a keen ICS advocate who believes this is the future and empower us to make the change that we want to. Equally we may have someone who isn’t as keen on ICSs, or someone who wants us to focus more on learning from abroad.”

Also overheard during today’s webinar:

“A major problem is that the NHS has been an ivory tower for years. I was at a recent meeting talking about public participation and there was such an enthusiasm for it – people really wanted to contribute their skills and experience and were quite surprised at being welcomed.”

“When looking at the content of the draft Bill it seems that the ICS has two functions, to provide another accountability mechanism but also a more succinct mechanism for the government/Department of Health/Treasury/No 10 to control finance within the NHS. It is potentially a great opportunity missed for local systems to really grasp the health management of their local population and jointly grasp the issues across health AND social care.”

“The requirement for NEDs in the ICS Structural guidance is the minimum. I’d suggest the NHS Body Board should have more NEDs and appoint from the existing NED base, not new NEDs to the system. In this way we can have and exert the desired influence we see in the provider world.”

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 events page.

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