24 June - Mental Health Network - Governance during the COVID-19 pandemic

28 June 2021

Overheard during this week's webinar:

“How innovative are we being about workforce? And what can we do to ensure a more proactive approach to communities and to support them to be part of the NHS workforce? We have a moral obligation to use the public services for the benefit of the public, and this goes beyond just providing care and into career pathways. The impact of the pandemic will have a real impact on children and young people whose career opportunities may have been affected because of this.”

“It seems to be younger staff in community settings who aren’t getting the vaccine – many for valid reasons – and it feels like a stretch target of 100% was always too high. We have been working with the new south Asian network in the NHS, which developed a vaccine hesitancy toolkit, to help support people in these communities to feel more confident to get the vaccine. We have also held talking sessions with staff and encouraged a ‘power of one’ approach for people to understand and listen to people who are hesitant.”

“We can spend a long time looking at reducing waiting times by a week or so, but there are often high thresholds which means many young people don’t get referred to services. I believe there is a case for looking into wider reform of youth mental health services. A primary care-based response shaped around young people’s needs, easily accessible, non-stigmatised and supports young people with the wide range of issues they face. An example of Australia’s headspace model could be one to consider adopting.”

[During a discussion about board development]

“Having regular reinductions seems sensible, especially as people get recruited for a second term. I would welcome clarification on why associate NEDs in non-FTs are typically being paid the same as NEDs when associates are engaged for less responsibility and time.”

“There is a wide range of ways that associate NEDs are used, especially in comparison between FTs and non-FTs. In non-FTs, when associate NEDs are working to the same time and level as NEDs, they will be paid the same, but they don’t have voting rights. The Next Director programme is more of an internship role, for a maximum of six months, but I am concerned about lack of engagement from NHSEI with this programme.”

“Professor Mervyn King suggests a model of young people being paired/twinned with a board member, and they will receive the paper and review the questions they would ask together. This is a way of bringing more perspectives onto the board in a situation where young people may not reach the threshold to be a non-exec. GGI has a log book where board members can record their training activities and mark how useful it was to the individual, to the board and to the organisation, which can be a useful check of the balance of activities.”

These meetings are by invitation only. For further details, visit our events page.

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