We had a very busy Governing Body meeting last Wednesday at Queen Mary’s Hospital Roehampton attended by lots of members of the public and staff. The full minutes are published the week before the next meeting along with the questions asked by the public and our responses.
You can read all the papers that went to this meeting here.

We had a full discussion about the developments in End of Life care in the borough, which is a very important area of our work over the coming years. We have a clinical reference group which includes professionals from all different health and social care organisations in the borough looking at how to make improvements to services.
The group has also recruited a patient rep, Lizzie Lloyd-Dehler, who is linked to a number of volunta​ry services and Healthwatch, and gives the group valuable patient insight and perspective.

Lots of progress is being made to ensure end of life care is a seven day a week service with better cover out of hours. Wandsworth buys into the Coordinate My Care programme so that information about end of life patients can be shared with all the appropriate services including a patient’s GP, the ambulance service, 111 and specialist teams in hospital. This way everyone knows the patient’s healthcare needs and their wishes.

Another important development is nursing and residential care home accreditation and education. Wandsworth CCG wants to support these homes to look after end of life patients and has funded a Nursing Home Facilitator based at Trinity ​Hospice to work with the nursing and non-nursing staff in these homes. Improvements have already been seen in the numbers of people able to die in the home and not be transferred to hospital.

We also had a very interesting and visual presentation from Dr Tom Coffey about children in Wandsworth and their health needs. Although the borough is considered affluent, the number of children living in poverty is worse than the average for England at 22.4%.

Another key challenge is around the way children’s services are currently commissioned with responsibility split between local authorities and NHS England. This will change after 2015 when Health Visiting will also be commissioned by local authorities.

There have been significant achievements over the past year and a half in children’s health services with improvements in access to mental health services, a new emotional well-being service provided through schools, a single point of access for children with disabilities, additional investment in St George’s Hospital ADHD and Autism team, a dedicated children’s phlebotomy service and speech and language therapy for secondary school children.

A huge amount of work has been done but more will be needed to ensure high quality health services for all our children in the future.

Please feel free to come along to our next Governing Body meeting at 10am to 12pm on Wednesday 9 July 2014 in Room 123 at Wandsworth Town Hall.