​Chat from the Chair – April 2016

We welcomed some new faces to our Board meeting on 13 April. Our new joint locality leads for West Wandsworth, Dr Zoe Rose and Dr Rumant Grewal joined us for the first time at this, the first Board meeting in the new financial year.

I was pleased to be able to confirm that as of 1 April 2016, NHS Wandsworth CCG has taken on responsibility for commissioning GP services in Wandsworth. This responsibility has been delegated by NHS England and means that we will be better able to work with GPs to shape new and more effective ways of providing health services.

The clinical focus this month was on end of life care. This is such important work as the care towards the end of life can have such an impact on patients and families. We heard about how it still can be difficult for health professionals, carers and patients to talk about dying. Dr Stephen Deas, who chairs our clinical reference group for end of life care, gave an overview of developments over the past year. Alluding to the report on Patient and Public Involvement report due later in the meeting, he started by talking about the vital role of patients in helping us to understand what is needed.

It was as a result of patient feedback that we developed the End of Life Care Co-ordination Centre. Launched in February 2015, the aim of the centre is to improve the coordination and use of end of life care services, providing more joined-up care for patients, their families/carers and freeing-up clinical time for health and social care professionals.

About 300 patients have been referred to the Co-ordination Centre since 1 February 2015, averaging over 80 per quarter and 75% of patients on the Centre's caseload have achieved their preferred place of death where this was known.

Dying Matters Awareness Week is 9 – 15 May and our end of life care clinical reference group is holding a drop in event on Thursday 12 May from 12 – 2pm at the CCG offices. If you would like to come along you can find details here.

Andrew McMylor, (director of primary care) and Katie Denton (deputy director of primary care development) gave us an update on the Multispecialty Community Provider (MCP) model being proposed. This is how your health and care professionals work together, with you and for you.

It starts with the care you receive from your GP Practice and is co-ordinated so you get the care you need at home and in the community when you need it.

A lead provider will ensure that all agencies across health, mental health and social care are connected and co-ordinated to deliver multidisciplinary care.

 Andrew explained that the aim of the MCP will be to coordinate care initially around the needs of patients with long term and complex health conditions. The aim is for a wider group of health and social care professionals to work together to address the needs of the whole person.

Katie explained that the first phase to introduce this new way of working will be to focus on new ways of contracting and procurement. Rather than holding several contracts that tend to encourage less joined up ways of providing services, we want to award contracts that will support more joined up services. This means that a lead contractor may be appointed, who may then sub contract with other providers to ensure that a fully rounded service is available. The Board wanted to understand how this will work in practice, for example, how would any subcontractor be held to account and how will patient views be sought when subcontracting?

The Board agreed the recommended approach and also that a new sub-committee will be needed to provide support, scrutiny and assurance to the Board as we further develop the MCP. We also need a better name! Your ideas are welcome.

Hearing about the Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) annual report was a highlight of the meeting. Colin Smith, who heads up our engagement team gave us an overview starting with NHS England's assessment of our work over the past year; "good, with elements of outstanding."

We have been engaging with even more community groups this year following the introduction of "learning lunches". Held monthly, we invite groups who participate in our Seldom Heard Grants Scheme to talk about what they do. This helps us to develop productive relationships with a wide range of Wandsworth communities. We also heard about how the clinical reference groups get out into the community; a self-assessment tool to further embed PPI in the CCG and the value of patient involvement in supporting GP practices.

The closing items focused on performance, finance and the future health needs of residents in the Nine Elms development in Vauxhall. Nine Elms Vauxhall involves the building of 18,276 new homes, the creation of 25,000 new jobs and 34,707 new inhabitants, in both the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Lambeth by 2030. We are currently working with NHS Lambeth CCG and Wandsworth Council to address the future health needs of the future population of this area. 

All in all, a very busy Board meeting!​