26 February 2021 – NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

26 February 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Sir Norman Lamb, Chair South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Sir Norman said: “I broadly welcome the white paper. I think it is a move in the right direction but I am frustrated that it didn’t go further. […] This is NHS reform with a move towards inviting social care into the discussion but my preference would have been for a new Beveridge moment – a new settlement for health and care. […]

“The proposals clearly do strengthen the Secretary of State’s control over the NHS. I would say be careful what you wish for here as these decisions are better taken locally, in a local context by people who have democratic accountability and who know the needs of the local area. […]

“The white paper sends the signal that this is the opportunity to do more local level working. We can’t make these differences on our own, it has to be about much closer working with housing providers, getting people into work and education. This is the way we need to be thinking and this all comes down to rich collaboration and respecting and embracing the third sector, social enterprises, charities, community organisations – these are the ways we can have some impact on the wider social determinants of health. We need to be proactive on this and start thinking about a mind and body approach.”

Also overheard at Friday’s webinar:

“There are what I would charitably call ‘tensions’ in the white paper between place and provider collaboratives; between upwards NHS accountability and a wider accountability to local populations, and only ‘inviting’ local authorities falls well short of making public health the foundation on which we must build.”

“We are starting to talk about having a better and more active listening approach and engagement with the third sector. My concern is that we haven’t quite cracked it yet and what this will look like. There is a real opportunity there to make sure they have a strong voice and be truly integrated in what we do but it is a journey. In my experience they still tend to be an afterthought so there’s lots more to do.”

“The voluntary sector has a number of solutions at the place level. They are the closest to the community and understand the needs of the cohort that they serve. There are some really good practices that come out of engaging with these partners but we are simply not doing this in the way and in the numbers we should be. We are still stuck in the contracting model with the sector.”

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