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NHS England Board Meeting

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NHS England Board Meeting

I had the unforgettable pleasure of attending the newlyselected NHS England committee’s board meeting today (13thSeptember 2013). The meeting was fairly concise and highlighted the followingissues:

-         Patient and Public voice

-         Clinical Quality and Safety

-         Performance and Assurance

Today’s board meeting chaired by Professor Sir Malcolm GrantCBE did not allow audience interaction but rather allowed us the public to viewat close proximity how the board interacted and the issues they discussed. Themeeting began with the Chief Executive’s report, Sir David Nicholsonhighlighted the need for ‘Strategy’, i.e. a strategic response for the NHSmoving forward and a ‘call to action’ which will set out the kind of directionthe NHS is to go in. http://www.england.nhs.uk/2013/07/11/call-to-action/.Tim Kelsey, national director for patient information then outlined a series ofinitiatives that have already come into fruition. One example of which is thefriends and family test where patients give feedback about the quality ofservice they received, and whether or not they’d recommend that service totheir friends or family members. The rationale behind this is to ‘consumerise’the NHS where patients are treated as customers as to provide accountability inservice. The response rate is currently about 15% of all patients. Anotherinitiative named ‘’Care Connect’’ aims to incorporate social media for patientsto offer live feedback at their convenience regarding a service they werereceiving/ had received. The aim of this is to keep participation at the heart ofNHS England. David Nicholson added ‘what makes a good clinical team was thosewho set themselves goals, and compared themselves to colleagues at otherhospitals’. He also added that, paraphrased, ‘schemes such as ‘care connect’are really significant as it changes how you think and act.’

                Theboard also discussed potential winter pressures to which the government hasapportioned an extra £200 Million to the NHS to aid with A&E demands. Otherfunding issues were also discussed in brief as well as the dismissal of certainmedia claims around excessive spending. The public meeting was followed by aprivate meeting with board members only, where matters which did not affect thepublic were discussed.

So what did I glean from today’s Board meeting?

                Thenewly named NHS England appears to be highly concerned with transparency andmaking the NHS more ‘customer focused’, i.e. with initiatives such as ‘You said– we did’. They also outline some ‘5 domains’ they wish the NHS to achieve suchas patient satisfaction, commissioning high quality healthcare and drivingimprovements. For further information see;

http://www.england.nhs.uk

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