Firstly, I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the THT summer fair on 30 May and to the GP Care Group for coordinating such a great event. I really enjoyed meeting so many frontline practitioners from across the partnership and hearing about why joined up services really matter, for both local people and staff. At the Board we often focus (rightly) on how far we still have to go to achieve our mission. What was clear from the fair is how much good work is already underway and the passion on the ground for transforming our local health and care provision for everyone across the community.
Secondly, here’s my usual report back from the latest THT Board held on 6 June. We reviewed our systems performance dashboard and agreed a plan for plugging outstanding data gaps and including meaningful narrative on trends by the next Board, to ensure we have a clear picture of what’s going on across health, adult social care and children’s services. We discussed the continued pressure for A&E services and the equality and speed of access to our Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme.
As part of our drive to strengthen community voice at Board level, we watched a film showcasing the work of Healthwatch’s Young Influencers. I asked partners to consider other examples of good practice in engagement and co-production that should be profiled at the Board and restated the intention for our action plan on community voice to come back to the next Board. We’re pleased that a lay member of the Promoting Independence workstream will be shadowing the August Board too and look forward to their feedback and ideas!
One of the common themes in my inductions with Board members, at the April workshop and from the workstream stocktake was the need for more dedicated THT resource to drive forward our work. We reviewed the current resource provided by different partners via both funding and staff allocated to THT work. We then considered a proposal to re-purpose some existing roles to support the partnership and invest in some extra resource, focussed particularly on communications and programme management for the workstreams. There were some different views about the level of resource needed and striking the right balance between system leaders and “doers”, so we’re bringing back a revised ask to the next Board.
We also agreed to replace the Development Working Group with a streamlined Chair’s Planning Group. This will be a subset of the Board, acting as a secretariat and focussed on driving forward activity agreed by the Board, more proactively managing Board agendas and forward plans, horizon scanning and problem solving, and overseeing further system development. In addition, we’ll establish an informal workstream leads meeting, to ensure those leading the enabler and lifecourse groups are supported to carry out their roles, build peer links and share successes and challenges.
We then had a brilliant update on primary care across Tower Hamlets and confirmed our support for the current configuration of primary care networks, as part of our response to the Long Term Plan. The Board were excited by the new vision for primary care, which is due to be further developed and consulted on shortly. Finally, our spotlight this month was on the Living Well workstream, where we heard about their recent in-depth discussions on: social prescribing; addressing common mental health issues such as anxiety and depression; developing a new advice and information offer; and embedding learning from the first Quality Improvement (QI) project on reproductive health. Next steps for Living Well are to more deeply explore the workstream priorities to identify transformational opportunities and address vulnerabilities across the system, follow up on social prescribing to ensure the additional NHS funding drives a THT-wide approach, and explore how to use QI methodology to innovate around the Health Checks offer.