14 May 2021 - NHS Non-Executive Directors webinar

14 May 2021

This week’s session opened in conversation with special guest Godfrey Allen, non-executive director at Croydon Health Services NHS Trust.

Godfrey touched on the challenges facing primary care as it aims to strike a balance between dealing with the fallout of the pandemic while preparing to adapt to the ‘transformational’ change represented by the government’s new direction. He also talked about social prescribing, which he described as ‘fantastic – if it works’. He said partners need to take a leading role and should be empowered to spend money. Having the right people around the table, being honest about funding, and developing mature relationships with providers were all crucial success factors, he added.

Also overheard during this week’s webinar:

“The status of professionals is an interesting concept in primary care. Clearly, COVID has shown the significantly increased role pharmacists could and should play. But it’s interesting that the fact that patients pay directly for optometry and dentistry creates a significantly different dynamic. The high street regulated professionals are regarded differently, even though GPs are also independent businesses. But all are important players in population health.”

“The voluntary sector contributes to joint strategic needs assessments. The problem is the commissioning frameworks which are often based on unrealistic theories of change i.e., unrealistic outcomes and outputs for unit cost. Acting across agencies together and not in parallel or sequence is also a challenge – leading to drift for service users regarding impact and sustainable change.”

“I will be honest here and say it’s been very much part of a stated strategy as an acute provider for years to work with our multidisciplinary services and GP federations and I know meetings will be happening between the services and the exec, but I don’t feel very well sighted on what the joint strategies are, so a note to myself to ask few more questions on this.”

“Much of the voluntary sector’s energy seems to be focused on survival. Cuts in funding have significantly weakened the sector and limited their ability to play a full part in the health and social care ecosystem.”

“Paternalism and reactive thinking, reparative as opposed to preventive. We talk about all these great concepts but in practice I see ICSs being paternalistically driven from central ivory towers without much meaningful dialogue with communities and end-users. The other side is communities don’t know how to play their part (because there is no effective leadership and awareness). How does one put brakes on this runaway train? The ethos is correct, but I am not sure it’s going to deliver. Alas, I am not very optimistic.”

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