News

The Coffee Break 76

News updates this fortnight covers the Long Term Plan, Leadership and Innovation. The coffee break is split into sections so you can easily scroll through each area of interest.

 

Long Term Plan

Firstly this fortnight we look at a report published by NHS Clinical Commissioners “The changing face of clinical commissioning”. As work towards implementing the NHS Long Term Plan is well underway and neighbouring Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) work more closely or formally merge, the report looks at the strengths of the clinical commissioners. The unique perspective of clinical commissioners has seen new ways of working and innovative solutions to healthcare challenges. The report argues “that as CCGs merge and take a more strategic perspective, it is imperative to retain that strong clinical voice”.

With the promise of a fully digitized secondary care service from the NHS Long Term Plan and the establishment of NHSX to take the lead, the Nuffield Trust publishes their report “Achieving a digital NHS”. The report seeks to understand how national policy for digitization is working from the perspective of acute trusts by asking three questions – how national policy impacts on a trust’s approach to digitization; how it helps or hinders digital progress and what it could do better to support acute trusts on the ground.

An NHS England article announces that funding for children’s hospices will rise to £25 million a year. NHS England’s hospice grant programme currently provides £12 million a year for children’s hospices and as part of the NHS long term plan funding will increase with an additional £13 million going to children’s hospices in 2023/24.

 

Leadership

Moving on, in a blog post. the Kings Fund explores the concept of compassionate leadership commenting that “Sustaining the NHS as a culture of high-quality compassionate care requires compassionate leadership at every level and in interactions between all parts of the system”. This means leaders listening to those they lead and arriving at a shared understanding of the challenges they face and taking action to help. The article goes on to say that by imposing a dominant command and control style of leadership only suppresses innovative ways of delivering patient care. Staff complain they only see their leaders when something goes wrong and that even if they do listen nothing changes after the conversation.

Coincidentally, an opinion piece in the Health Service Journal carries on the leadership theme discussed in the Kings Fund blog post. The article reflects on the television series Chernobyl and the unfolding catastrophic events due in part to a lack of questioning and a culture of fear. Donna Hall, Chair of Bolton Foundation Trust praises their Chief Executive as a truly inspiring organisational and system leader with her person-focused questioning leadership style permeating the organisation from top to bottom.

 

Innovation

And finally in a short video the BBC looks at the work of a British inventor who has developed a prosthetic leg costing less than £100. He hopes that the prosthesis can help amputees in the developing world where young amputees may not have access to high quality prostheses.