Executive Board Meeting 3 November 2011

The Executive Board Meeting took place on 3 November 2011 10.00-13.00 by Video Conferencing between Quarry House, Leeds and Richmond House Boardroom in London.  As well as standing items on the agenda members discussed the progress on Capability Review, End State Budgets, Transition, Health Research Agency, and a submission to Ministers on Porton Down Business Case.

Present

Una O’Brien, Permanent Secretary
David Nicholson, NHS Chief Executive (attended via VC in Leeds for items 1-4)
Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer
Richard Douglas, Director General for Finance, Policy and Strategy
David Behan, Director General Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships

In attendance:

Mayerling O’Regan, PPS, Office of the Permanent Secretary
Ralph Coulbeck, Policy Advisor, Office of the NHS Leadership Team
Flora Goldhill, Director General, Transition for the DH (Item 2 & 4)
Stephen Waring, Deputy Director of Mental Health (Item 2)
Bob Alexander, Director of NHS Finance (Item 3)
Karen Wheeler, Transition Director (Items 3 & 4)
Integrated Programme Office (Items 3 & 4)
Simone Bayes, Deputy Director, Head of Research Regulation & Governance
System Regulation Senior Manager (Item 4)
David Harper, Director General, Health Improvement & Protection (Item 5)
Ben Masterson, Deputy Branch Head, Capital Investment Strategy (Item 5)
David Heymann, DH Board Non-Executive Member  (Item 5)

Secretariat

Siobhan Benita, Deputy Director, DH Delivery
Secretariat Member

1 Welcome and Introductions

1.1 The minutes of 6 October meeting were agreed with no amendments.

General Updates

1.2 The Permanent Secretary said the Departmental Board held on 26 October 2011 had gone well with the focus of much of the discussion on performance. 

1.3 The Permanent Secretary requested a discussion on social care at the next Executive Board meeting.

1.4 The Chief Executive of the NHS said Monday 31 October had been the first day of the new NHS Commissioning Board as a Special Health Authority. 

1.5 The Chief Medical Officer said a HSC report on Public Health had been published on Wednesday 2 November. 

2 Capability Review

2.1 The Permanent Secretary welcomed the Director General for Transition for the DH and the Deputy Director for Mental Health to the meeting.  The Deputy Director for Mental Health had only acquired responsibility for the capability review within the last week.  He presented to the Board the aim of the capability review, the evidence-gathering process, progress to date on staff workshops and stakeholder interviews, and key dates over the next six week period.  The Future Forum was recognised as a very positive step forward and a balanced narrative was now needed to describe the challenging journey that the Department was on, including the learning from the Future Forum.

2.2 The Permanent Secretary said we were in a very different place from the previous capability review; going through an extraordinary set of changes in a very complex system.     

2.3 Summing up, the Permanent Secretary thanked the Deputy Director for Mental Health for a helpful presentation.  It was a good time to have the capability review, with the Department going through a period of transition and massive change, and it was hoped the process would ensure we had the right capability in the Department going forward. 

3 End State Budgets

3.1 The Permanent Secretary welcomed the Director of NHS Finance to the meeting.  The Director of NHS Finance led the discussion and gave members an overview of the key issues in the paper that had been circulated before the meeting.  Board members discussed and commented on the proposals.

3.2 The Director General of Finance, Policy and Strategy, and the Director of NHS Finance, would now send a submission to Secretary of State setting out the proposed end state budgets.

4 Transition

4.1 The Director of Transition provided an update to the Board on the status report for the programme, which covered three reports on: the DH Transition Programme Board; Transition Board for Cross Cutting Functions and the NHS Future System Executive. 

4.2 The first meeting of the DH Transition Programme Board had been held on 13 October.  The Transition Board for Cross Cutting Functions had focussed on HR and estates, and the Director of Transition reported that good work was being done around these areas.  The NHS Future System Executive had not yet met, and its first meeting was planned for 8 November.

4.3 The Permanent Secretary thanked the Director of Transition for the helpful update. 

Transition Dashboard

4.4 The Executive Board had requested, at its last meeting, that a dashboard be produced giving a high-level depiction of progress within the Transition Programme.  The Transition Director had produced a first draft which was circulated to the Board in advance of the meeting.  The Board discussed and commented on the draft dashboard.

Shared Services

4.5 At the 6 October Executive Board, members had requested a more detailed discussion on shared services.  A paper had been circulated to staff in advance of the meeting.  The Director of Transition set out the programme of work underway across the DH and NHS on implementing shared back office services for the new system.

4.6 In taking forward the management changes, the Director General for Transition for the DH would ensure all gateway recommendations were agreed and completed, and services and delivery plans were developed and agreed before reporting back to the DH Transition Board.    

4.7 The Permanent Secretary requested the Executive Board return to this issue in the New Year. 

Health Research Agency (HRA)

4.8 The Permanent Secretary welcomed the Deputy Director of Research Regulation and Governance (RRG) and the System Regulation Senior Manager to the meeting.  The Deputy Director of RRG spoke to this item.  The Health Research Authority (HRA) would be established as a Special Health Authority on 1 December 2011, and would take on substantive functions from its establishment.  The HRA would protect and promote patient and public interests in research, working with other bodies to create a unified approval process and promote proportionate standards for compliance and inspection.  

4.9 A draft framework agreement had been developed and the Executive Board was asked to approve and agree for it to be sent to the Departmental Board for their approval prior to formal sign-off between DH and HRA. 

4.10 The Board were content with the framework agreement as it stood, and agreed for it to go to the Departmental Board.

5 Porton Down Business Case

5.1 The Permanent Secretary welcomed the Director General for Health Improvement & Protection, the Deputy Branch Head of Capital Investment Strategy, and the Non Executive Board Member of the Departmental Board.    The Executive Board on 6 October had considered the Health Protection Authority’s Outline Business Case for its laboratories currently at Porton Down.  The Board had requested further information before re-submitting to the Executive Board for decision.  The Deputy Branch Head of Capital Investment Strategy went through the options with the Board. 

5.2 The Board were content for a submission on the Business Case to go to Ministers.

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