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

22 October 2021

This week’s session included a discussion about rating changes and the link to system working, along with the focus on acute services and the subsequent need to review the mental health narrative.

GGI executive director Darren Grayson joined for a session about GGI’s reaction to the NHS leadership review and led a discussion on leadership in mental health, centred on the four governance outcomes set out in the King IV report on corporate governance: ethical culture, good performance, effective control and legitimacy.

Overheard during the discussion:

“There is not currently a space for these kinds of discussion, given the time and resources consumed by considering ICS implications and dealing with pandemic-related issues. I feel that, although the review is required, it is not oriented around creative thinking, and I question whether it should be on the agenda for 2021-22.”

“The downstream pressure is too great to allow for creative thinking and, in order to combat this, secondary prevention services need to share their skills and leadership and resources need to be distributed across the system more creatively. I worry that the review will put the wrong kind of pressure on those already under pressure.”

Also overheard during the webinar:

“Will the spending review provide more information on extra money for the NHS under national insurance, how will mental health be treated in the dispersal of that money, and will the investment standard apply? I hope so but I would advise caution regarding the workforce narrative, as a previous response has been that resources wouldn’t be allocated if there isn’t the workforce.”

“I was alarmed by the statement from the Secretary of State, which stated that the main focus would be on acute waiting times. Mental health waiting times are not as well publicised so they are ignored, despite being as real as any other waiting times.”

[Following the sharing of an example of using money to enhance lives more effectively, whereby restraints are not used and there are no waiting lists.] “This approach to mental health, which is based

on the principle of freedom first, is under attack and quietly being destroyed, just as themessage is gaining greater prevalence from the World Health Organisation.

“The command-and-control approach worked in the context of the pandemic but will not work for generating innovation or long-term strategic thinking. Going into the new stage, that kind of regime will stifle smart thinking.”

These meetings are by invitation only. 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