Matthew Kershaw reflects on provider readiness seminars

Matthew Kershaw, Director of Provider Delivery, has taken time out to share his reflections on a series of seminars which the Department has been running in partnership with NHS Confederation across the country to discuss provider readiness for the new landscape.

I attended four out of five of the seminars for senior leaders of foundation trusts and NHS trusts to discuss their readiness to tackle the challenges of the new provider landscape.

We had interesting and stimulating debates about the current health economy and its future, looking at internal and external issues that are concerning providers.

One of the big challenges facing NHS trusts is developing a five-year business plan, which is clinically and financially robust, when so much in the system is changing.  Emerging clinical commissioning groups across the country are also at different levels of maturity and development, so NHS trusts  will need to factor this in when discussing longer-term strategies.

Commissioners will dedicate time and resources to building relationships with their local providers, so that the new approach to delivering care will really place patients at the heart of the decisions.  This will allow organisations to look beyond organisational boundaries and take account of all the options available across the system.  We will not achieve integrated services or long term clinical and financial sustainability without it.

From an internal perspective, leaders were concerned about the role of governors, how to attract people who have a wider spectrum of backgrounds.  It is the responsibility of individual organisations to build strong and effective relationships with their council of governors.  It’s a case of you get out what you put in – Governors are a connection with a trust’s local population and by building better relationships with them can support the development and implementation of your strategy.

With the Health and Social Care Bill having successfully passed through Parliament, the health landscape will begin to operate very differently.  Therefore, all parts of the health system need to look beyond their own boundaries. They must all work together to deliver care for patients which is focussed on the best possible outcomes irrespective of organisational boundaries.

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