We held our monthly Governing Body meeting last Wednesday at Nightingale House. It was a really constructive meeting, and I felt like we covered a lot of ground and made some important decisions. I have summarised the event here in my blog, but if you want to read the full minutes then you will be able to find them in the ‘About Us’ section of our website.

Clinical area of focus: Out of Hospital Strategy

We focus on a particular clinical area each month, and this month we approved the next steps for the CCG’s Out of Hospital Strategy. We always encourage contributions from members of the public at our Governing Body meetings and one contribution this month about someone’s elderly neighbour really brought home to me how important this area of work is. We heard that this lady had been discharged from hospital without proper support which meant that the very next day she had to be readmitted. The elderly patient was not ready to be at home without proper support and an ambulance had to be called to take her back into hospital. As well as being a terrible experience for the individual concerned, this story also perfectly represented some of the problems we are trying to address.

That is why we have created the new ‘five-year plan for out of hospital care for adults’ that we considered at Governing Body. We had some really in-depth discussions  about how our plans will allow us to have a long-term and joined up approach to planning services for people in Wandsworth. If we succeed then it will result in more care being delivered in the community, better coordination of people’s care, and will ensure people are able to stay out of hospital for longer. It would mean that services would be designed to ensure that the lady we heard about would be less likely to be admitted to hospital as an emergency patient. Instead she would have more support from physiotherapists, social workers, nurses or mental health experts and her care would be coordinated by someone she knew and trusted.  ​

Governing Body agreed that this plan had lots of potential, but we also looked at some of the challenges including linking up IT services and the importance of changing the culture in local health services. This strategy will now be considered by our finance committee and we will be doing a lot of work in the coming months to make sure people have the chance to play their part in the development of this plan.

Healthcare Provision for the new Nine Elms and Vauxhall development

The current development plans for the Nine Elms and Vauxhall area suggest an increase in population of around 35,000 over a fifteen year period. This will have an impact on health services in the area, and we are working with England, Wandsworth Council and our partners in Lambeth to ensure that the healthcare needs of local people, both newcomers and existing communities, are met.

As part of this the Governing Body heard about the work that has been done scoping the various different options for healthcare provision for the Nine Elms development. We agreed that we have to make sure that the services in and around the development provide the best possible level of​ care for the people moving into the new developments, and our existing communities. The Governing Body will continue to monitor the plans to ensure that the right healthHI services are provided to support this development.

The papers for this month’s Governing Body meeting can be downloaded here. ​