Health and care leaders from across the West Midlands are coming together to help shape future services to benefit patients and their families across the region.
The Place Based Leadership for Health and Well Being Network has been set up by NHS England and NHS Improvement, with support from the Local Government Association, for Local Authority Health and Well Being Board chairmen and lead members as well as NHS Trust chairs and non-executive directors. It aims to help foster a greater understanding and develop relationships between political and NHS leaders across the health and care system in the West Midlands.
The programme has seen a series of workshops and discussions in areas where leaders can focus on the challenges and needs of their health and care systems and have included personal leadership, place-based strategy, population health management. And the final quarterly meeting will focus on the change ahead.
Alison Tonge, Director of Commissioning Operations at NHS England (West Midlands), said: “It is important for us to be able to work together and this network provides an opportunity for NHS England to work with leaders in our local authorities and NHS organisations to build constructive partnerships and alliances and to learn together.”
She added: “Everyone has key responsibilities to their respective organisations but we have a responsibility to the people we serve to collaborate and lead the wider ‘place’ challenges that underpin personal and community wellbeing.”
In their latest development day West Midlands leaders discussed how they are working in the local health systems to focus on prevention.
Tom Storrow, Chair, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust: “I have attended all three events and have really enjoyed the speakers and the reflections on our journey.
“As a participant I come to hear something new or to be reminded. It’s a great opportunity to talk informally, compare notes with other chairs, share challenges and to network. I like our slightly smaller meeting at STP level, and we (all the Chairs) often tag on a coffee before or afterwards to chat and network, to reflect or develop a theme and help each other.
“This is West Midlands wide and it’s good to understand bigger picture and hear it first-hand. The ability to compare notes and makes it a richer experience.”
Jagtar Singh, Chair Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust: “It’s a useful forum for connecting with people. It provides the reassurance that we’re working on the right things and it’s an opportunity to learn from others across the West Midlands.”
Jacqui Harris, Stratford District Councillor and HOSC Chair: “Rural communities are becoming deprived and health is worsening so for us in Stratford, we need to look at the barriers and focus on what we actually want to deliver.
“It’s important that we understand the challenges and potential blockages and then find solutions that may have worked elsewhere rather than constantly seeking to reinvent the wheel.”
The final network meeting will be held in December and will focus on the Long Term Plan and how health systems can work together to address its priorities alongside the needs of local populations.