Hello my name is Rob and welcome to this week's update

We work in a complex and often bewildering system that is changing and evolving. Understanding how things are meant to work can be helped by watching a very popular series of animations from the Kings Fund and an essential Acronym Buster app from the NHS Confederation. It shouldn’t be this way.

Recognising that we should organise ourselves around the mental, physical and social needs of local people is the best way to simplify everything. This is the approach we are constantly striving for in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (WY&H HCP). As leaders in the NHS, local government, independent, charity and third sector it’s what we have signed up for. In doing so, we want to deliver the best outcomes we can for our population and in doing so deliver the Five Year Forward View. The latter means reductions in health inequalities, tackling unwarranted care variation and managing our money.

This means collaboration at an unprecedented scale – which in my experience can be much, much harder than the clean processes of tendering and competition. Yet the outcomes of collaboration are that we reduce the likelihood of unintended consequences, and we can go further together. It sounds easy but the reality is that incentives, regulation, culture and stressed capacity all get in the way.

Collaborative leadership was a theme that I covered in some depth when I spoke to medical and clinical leaders at the Health Education England annual future leaders’ conference about working across organisational boundaries. They were an enthusiastic and inspiring bunch of people working in front line roles and likely to play a part in the future sustainability of services locally. They gave me hope that we have people with the right values and the right approach to leadership coming through into the next generation.

Which is essential at a time when our services can be stretched and NHS constitutional standards are not met. Be in no doubt that we will not let the hard fought gains of the last twenty years go easily – clinical governance; national clinical guidelines on clinical and cost effectiveness; waits in days or weeks not years; world class facilities; improved outcomes in cancer, heart failure, stroke; reductions in smoking; improvements in breastfeeding; reduced teenage pregnancies; mental health services in our communities; and children with learning disabilities in mainstream education.

The NHS turns 70 in July. The NHS is a substantial part – alongside local government, education, housing and public health – of our partnership. We all have in common the founding principles of public service and the NHS principles of universal access, delivery according to need, services free at the point of use, and care delivered for the public good guide us each day.

Our Partnership is an essential step in ensuring we deliver a sustainable NHS and a sustainable health and care system. In this febrile environment, our leaders are collaborating and engaging local politicians, communities and partners to make progress on improving care. You can also see examples of collaboration in all our partnership work – from the way our Joint Committee of the 11 Clinical Commissioning Groups work together on WY&H priorities such as stroke and mental health; our hospitals working together as a Committee in Common; the relationship between our community and mental health trusts, the closer working relationships between local authorities and community organisations.

By working in this we have attracted over £45m of national funding to support our transformation so we can move quickly on our priorities; and we continue to have meaningful conversations and effective engagement with communities – both at West Yorkshire and Harrogate level and in each of our local places.

Our work must be held to account locally through statutory Boards and mechanisms like Overview and Scrutiny Committees. This week, we held a development session with The West Yorkshire and Harrogate Joint Health and Overview Committee (JHOSC) to discuss how best we move forward together on key areas of work such as our working arrangements and public engagement. The JHOSC has a key role in ensuring our services respond to the needs of communities, that they are efficient, cost effective and easy to use. They are essential to the way our partnership works and we need to ensure we talk to our politicians early and often so they are well prepared, fully informed and involved in our work from the very beginning.

The JHOSC includes chairs of the local overview and scrutiny committees i.e. Bradford including Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven; Calderdale; Leeds; Kirklees and Wakefield. It is chaired by Cllr Helen Hayden. This is a really important forum to ensure that there is the right level of scrutiny of our work across West Yorkshire and Harrogate. In line with our principle of subsidiarity, this is designed to complement the scrutiny arrangements that already exist in each of our six places. It was a productive discussion and we talked honestly and openly about how best we continue to work alongside each other so that together we deliver the right care for our communities - a priority to us all.

My thanks to Rory Deighton (Healthwatch), Joanne Poole (Clinical Senate), Anthony Keely and Ian Holmes from the core team and Leeds City Council colleagues, including Tony Cooke and Paul Bollom for their support at the session.

Over the coming weeks what I hope you will also see is a demonstration of how our partnership is maturing in the publication of ‘Our Next Steps to Better Health and Care for Everyone’. This document describes the progress made since the publication of our initial WY&H plan in November 2016 and sets out how our partnership will improve health and care for the 2.6 million people living across the area in 2018 and beyond. It also provides a useful summary of how we will make sense of a complex and confusing world through collaboration, community and common sense.

Have a good weekend


What else has been happening this week?

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Maternity Board

The Local Maternity System Board met last Friday to discuss progress on the plan. All three co-chairs attended the meeting: Anne-Marie Henshaw, Professor Suzanne Hinchliffe and Carol McKenna. Carol chaired the meeting and updated members on the presentation given to the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Clinical Forum at the beginning of January. Communications was also on the agenda and it was agreed that colleagues across the partnership will receive information to share internally with staff as appropriate. You can find out more about the work by watching this short film.

Clinical lead webinar on working with local government

A national webinar took place on Tuesday. The session was chaired by Professor Keith Willett, NHS England’s Director of Acute Care, in conversation with Councillor Richard Kemp, Deputy Chair of the Local Government Association Community Wellbeing Board, and Councillor Johnny McMahon, Chairman of the Healthy Staffordshire Select Committee, Staffordshire County Council

The webinar – which was primarily for clinicians – explored how local government works, including the role of councils as local leaders; the role of councils and councillors in local health and care systems, in particular with regard to improving health and wellbeing. It also discussed the role of overview and scrutiny.

Working with the Kings Fund

West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership were recently accepted onto a programme with NHS England and the Kings Fund to look at different ways of gathering patient insight. Ian Holmes (West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership Director), Catherine Thompson, Programme Lead for Elective Care and Standardisation Policies met alongside other colleagues on Thursday to consider how eye care services and orthopaedics may benefit from this work.

Local Integrated Care Record Exemplars (LICREs)

Colleagues from our partnership, including clinical commissioning groups and Leeds City Council met this week to focus on how health and social care organisations can share information to improve the care journey of patients. Over a twelve month period, a number of pilots across England will test how these LICRE’s will build on solutions already in place across the areas in order to offer a more advanced level of integration of health and care information between NHS organisations and those delivering social care. We will keep you posted on how we get on.

What’s happening next week?

  • West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership check and confirm meetings will start with programme leads meeting with their peers to share updates, learning and progress.
  • The Clinical Forum, Joint Committee of the 11 CCGs and leadership group meet on Tuesday.
  • A NHS England webinar about how we can share learning and good practice around support for young carers will take place on Monday. You can also read the report from the carers event in Wakefield on 14 December ‘A vision for unpaid carers’ here.
  • The memorandum of understanding (MoU) development group will meet on Wednesday.
  • The Regional Lay Member Assurance Group for the Clinical Commissioning Groups will meet on Thursday to discuss the potential to open up the membership wider.
  • On Friday 2 February a stakeholder event to discuss stroke care will take place in Bradford. More information is available about the work on our website here