In discussions about ‘systems’ and ‘places’, where does scrutiny and assurance fit in?
In the run up to our annual health scrutiny and assurance conference being held on 18th July at the King’s Fund, I’ve been reflecting on the important role that people with scrutiny and assurance roles can play. Earlier this year, jointly with NHS Clinical Commissioners, we published ‘Governance and Accountability for Integrated Health and Care’. If you missed it at the time, you can read it here:
Reflecting the way local systems are increasingly coming together to deliver integrated approaches to health and social care, the paper is an ‘explainer’ for the NHS and local authorities that outlines some of the key governance and accountability challenges that these organisations may face when seeking to work more collaboratively and potential solutions. As well as recognising some challenges, we were also keen to highlight some of the key enablers from those systems that have already progressed on this journey and what they need to go further. As you’d expect, the roles of CCG lay members and councillors, along with local Healthwatch, feature as part of the some of the enablers and solutions.
The extent to which ‘systems’ developing and recognised in the NHS – STPs, ICSs and Primary Care Networks – relate to ‘places’ recognised by local government is a topic that was featured in a recently reported LGC roundtable, which coincidently featured some the contributors to our July conference, Professor Kate Ardern from Wigan Council, Jim McManus from Hertfordshire County Council and Jacquie White from NHS England. You can read the report here:
It strikes me is that the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan are more likely to be achieved if local government can play it’s full part, not just through its public health and social care roles but also through the engagement of councillors through the scrutiny function. This is a space where there is the opportunity to hear from others who have a local assurance role – CCG lay members and provider non-executives. Of course local Healthwatch can bring valuable insight too.
So I’d urge you to check out the latest programme for our event and come along to hear from key speakers, join topical workshops and discuss with colleagues how you can use your scrutiny or assurance role in relation to ‘systems’ and ‘places’.
If you are from a local authority and have recently appointed councillors to your health scrutiny committee at your annual meeting, why not reserve a place or places now as the conference is an excellent way to keep up to speed with current issues and network with other colleagues.