9 April 2021 – NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

09 April 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Karen Bliss, Chair of Bridgewater Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Karen said: “It’s really important for us as NEDs to recognise that we don’t pull all the levers […]. The NHS will not solve all of the public health issues we have and Covid has shone a light on a lot of the structural inequalities out there and we can only tackle these through partnership. And the partnerships for us will be with our local authorities and our GP colleagues.

“There is a long way to go for NHS boards to assess the impact they are having on public health. Our performance reporting is very transactional – we might be looking at how many immunisations we are doing but we don’t look at the long-term effectiveness of these actions.

“The real challenge is at a system level to agree what actions we need to take as a partnership and I would envisage these conversations happening at the ICP level as place is very different and every authority will have their own ideas about what to prioritise in terms of public health outcomes.”

Also overheard during this week’s webinar:

“The prioritisation of public and population health that Simon Stevens discusses in the press is not present in the white paper or other publications so I wonder if the white paper shows the influence of Ministers and Westminster who are not convinced of the involvement of local authorities.”

“One of the most important public health matters is to provide support to our colleagues. Many of our colleagues live in a patch so they are both on the frontline but recipients of our services. We have spent a number of years changing the culture of our organisations and part of that has been based on compassionate leadership and valuing people as human beings as well as valuing them as their health care role. We have established a range of staff networks, LGBTQ, BAME backgrounds and these are being woven into the staff guardian roles. Those things that our colleagues learn about at work through these networks they can take home to their different communities in order to bring about change. This is a great way to make a different in local communities as the influence is already there.”

“One of the things I hear a lot is ‘we should do this,’ ‘we might do that’ and this is angering people as they think they’re achieving something but actually they are not. We need to think about what we want to achieve in health outcomes and then put in place the interventions accordingly. We are now in a place to design a service to match a need, we have the data, we have the technological ability but not an idea of how to use these.”

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