​​​July 2015 Governing Body meeting​

It was even busier than usual at our Board this month and we had a lot to get through! The meeting kicked off with the excellent and very readable Annual Report from Wandsworth Public Health Department, which focused on mental health and wellbeing this year. It's encouraging to see the issues being raised, given that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in our lifetimes and yet only 11% of the NHS budget is spent on mental health.


Graeme Markwell, one of the report authors, talked particularly about children's mental health, as 50% of lifelong mental illness is symptomatic by the age of 14.  The report laid out the importance of children getting the best start, mental health support in early years services and schools and people being supported throughout their lives in the community before things hit crisis point.


Dr Tom Coffey, who is the clinical lead for the Mental Health Clinical Reference Group, went on to discuss the work of this group in improving mental health services. He particularly wanted to thank all the patients and service users on the group who outnumber the clinicians and make a very valuable contribution with their insight and challenge.


This year we've done a huge amount of work around mental health services in the borough, including improving the IAPT therapy service and perinatal services for pregnant women. The Big White Wall online service has gone from strength to strength. Children's community mental health services are much improved, as are the school-based services, like Place2Be, which is currently offering counselling in 11 schools and will be extending into 10 more. We are focusing on those areas where the risk factors for mental health problems are highest including poverty, homelessness, addiction, domestic abuse and mental illness in the family.


There is a lot of work still to be done but we have committed additional funding for mental health services in Wandsworth over the coming year and we want to see improvements for people in crisis, more support going into schools and for young people and the home treatment teams being developed so people only end up in hospital when it's absolutely necessary.


We had our regular performance review, which included information about the new ways in which NHS services will be performance managed and we reviwed the up to date performance scorecard. We also agreed a new procurement policy and plan, which you can read here. In Wandsworth we procure £415 million worth of services from over 900 suppliers including NHS, private and third sector organisations.


We also covered the plans for commissioning primary care services which we are now responsible for jointly with NHS England and also discussed the ongoing transformation of community services in our borough. You can read all our Board papers here.


There's no Board meeting in August but we make up for it in September with two important meetings; our Board meeting, which is on Wednesday 9 September 2015 at 10am in our offices and our Annual General Meeting, which is on Wednesday 23 September 2015 at 2pm. We really hope you will join us.​