29 October - non-executive directors webinar

29 October 2021

This week’s session began in conversation with Nuala O'Kane, chair at Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust.

Overheard during the discussion:

“There is such a focus on buildings within the NHS and people are always pleased to hear that new hospitals are being built but actually 90% of patient contacts are not in acute hospitals, they’re in the community, in primary and most people don’t go to hospital. The focus, however, is on those hospitals, which means the funding is also focused there; there is not enough of a focus on community services.”

“If we have learnt anything through Covid it is that sometimes the hospital isn’t the best place to be, home is always best, particularly for the frail elderly who will do much better in their own communities with their own network of support around them. We have also learnt that we can make much better use of technology to facilitate this.”

“Through Covid we have learnt that things and be done differently and I really want to seize the moment from this and take advantage of the lessons we have learnt and put more things into practice.”

“In children’s care we have a rapid response service that actually helps people avoid hospital admission. We also have electronic prescribing which makes things easier. I don’t see a lot of these good initiatives happening in the adult care world and I do think it would help.”

“I don’t feel that we’re sighted on what is actually going on in the community services. The data we get at the board is all very acute focused, so we need to rectify this. There is also how we collect the data as data from acutes is relatively easy to track and gather compared to data from staff that are out and about in people’s homes.”

“I would question why acute trusts are running community services. I think the mindset and the focus are completely different, the partnerships you make are completely different and I’m not really sure why in an ICS system we should do that. I feel the community should have its voice and the hospital should have its voice rather than be together.”

“At our trust it was only during the pandemic that the community started coming to the fore and we have only just started to get data (very limited data) about community. We are trying to decouple community from the hospital and it is starting to develop discussions at board about caseloads in the community. Our staff in the community are absolutely overworked but don’t get the profile that are hospital staff do so there is a wealth of work that we need to be doing to address this.”

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