DH Management Committee, October 2011

Summary note of the DH Management Committee Meeting held on 20 October 2011 between 10:00 and 13:00 in the Boardroom, Richmond House, London.  The meeting included discussions on DH design and functions mapping, engagement with staff, stakeholder management strategy and two key appointments in DH, made since the last meeting,  were announced.


Permanent Secretary
Director General, Transition for the Department of Health
Director General, Policy, Strategy & Finance
Director General, Health Improvement & Protection
Managing Director NHS and Social Care Workforce
Managing Director, Transition -Public Health England

In Attendance

Director, Transition Programme
Head of Internal Communications
Deputy Director, NHS Finance, Performance and Operations
Business Planning and DH Functions
Deputy Director of Business Planning and Organisational Development
Director of Provider Delivery
Director of Research & Development
Deputy Director of HR
Deputy Director – Head of Engagement & Change, Transformation Team
Chief Scientific Officer (item 2)
Director, Health Inequalities and Partnerships (item 4)
Director of Public and Patient Experience and Engagement
DH Non Executive Member
Section Head, Operational Management, CNO Directorate
Principle Private Secretary to the Permanent Secretary


Director General, NHS Finance, Performance & Operations
Director General, Chief Nursing Officer
National Director, Improvement and Efficiency
National Managing Director of Commissioning Development
Managing Director, NHS Informatics
Chief Medical Officer
Director General, Social Care, Local Government & Care Partnerships
NHS Medical Director
Managing Director, Provider Development


Deputy Director,  DH Corporate Management
DH Secretariat

Welcome & Introduction and Minutes and Action Note of September DHMC Meeting

 1.1 Members were welcomed to the meeting.  The minutes from the September meeting were agreed without comment.  The actions from the previous meeting were all in hand.

1.2 The Permanent Secretary said that the DHMC remained focussed on DH and its staff.   Approximately 800 staff currently in the DH would be directly affected by the reforms, but everyone would be affected to some extent.  It was therefore vital that senior leaders remained engaged and connected with the DH design work.  This was especially true for senior staff in the NHS-facing directorates, whose staff looked to them for their information, reassurance and guidance.

1.3 Members were informed that two key appointments had been made since the last meeting: the Chair of the NHS Commission Board, and the DH Director of Communications.

DH Design & Functions Mapping

2.1 Committee members felt that good progress had been made on DH design and functions mapping since the last meeting.

2.2 On HR-related issues specifically, the Deputy Director of HR told colleagues that all directorates had submitted SCS1 profiles for the Workforce Assurance Panel (WAP), which had met in October.   Further WAP meetings had been scheduled for November and December.

2.3 The WAP had reviewed the proposed SCS 1 posts and had decided that there would be  a total of 149 SCS posts in 2012/13 reducing to 100 posts in 2013/14.  It was not yet fully determined how many of these posts would be slot-ins but it was likely to be somewhere in the region of 70-75 people. This would be confirmed by the Appointments Panel.

2.4 Overall, therefore, the DH was planning on a reduction of 66 SCS posts by the end of 2013/14, which amounted to about a 39% reduction in posts since end of August 2011. The modelling of the paybill reduction had not been completed. The reductions would be delivered through a combination of transfers and efficiency gains.

2.5 Letters would be sent to all SCS1 staff w/b 24 October following the outcome of the SCS1 appointments process.  On professional and clinical advice

2.6 The Director General for Policy, Strategy and Finance and the Chief Scientific Officer summarised the background and key considerations from the paper that had been circulated in advance of the meeting.  In the main, DH in the future would draw on advice from the NHSCB and PHE as the new centres of excellence.

2.7  Attendees agreed in principle with the notion of a “shared service” approach.  This would avoid cost-effective duplication and potential conflicting advice within the new system.  It would also send desirable signals about collaboration and common purpose in the new world.

Engagement with DH Staff

3.1 The Deputy Director of the Engagement and Change, Transformation Team introduced this item and explained that her team wanted to get a better understanding of how the DH could communicate and engage effectively with its staff.

3.2 Progress was being made, and a lot of work was already underway.  The Head of Engagement and Change said that the vision document that had been circulated to DH staff had been well-received.  The Director General for Transition for the Department had also undertaken lots of face-face engagement sessions over the past week and had now seen over 300 members of staff in person.

3.3 From September’s face-to-face feedback and other engagement excercises, the main messages from staff were:

  • some staff were still not accessing the latest available information,
  • the SCS had a crucial role to play in ensuring that consistent messages got out to all staff,
  • a greater understanding of which channels of engagement were most effective would be very helpful but, in the meantime, there was consensus that face-to-face exercises at this time were incredibly important’
  • SCS staff should come together on a regular basis so that they all had the most up to date information and could disseminate accurate and consistent messages to staff,
  • staff engagement had to be a DG-led process, and staff would need clarity over where there was opportunity for them to influence outcomes.

3.4 A forward plan of staff engagement should be brought to DHMC in November setting out a structured approach and including month-by-month engagement objectives.

Stakeholder Management Strategy

4.1 The Director of Health Inequalities and Partnerships introduced this item.

4.2 Colleagues agreed broadly with the plan of activity proposed.

AOB and Close

5.1 The date of the next meeting was Thursday 17th November

The meeting closed at 1pm

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