​October 2015 Governing Body Meeting

We kicked off today talking about the growing number of people in Wandsworth living with learning disabilities and how we can improve their access to services as well as their health and social care  outcomes. In Wandsworth we are performing well in this area, however we need to respond to the Winterbourne report and make sure we identify people at risk of health issues because of their learning disability, putting care in place for them so they have a real alternative to placement in a long stay institution.

We talked about the impact personal health budgets can have on individuals. In Wandsworth they are currently only available for people with continuing health care needs, which is a really small number of people. However, from 2016/17 we are hoping to roll this out further to people with learning disabilities too. I've personally seen with my patients how personal social care budgets can help people with learning disabilities get a better quality of life for them and their families or carers. We want to ensure this is available for people with health needs too.

We had a particular focus today on performance. St George's Hospital is working hard to improve their performance with an action plan in place following our contract queries back in January and February. One of the areas where they are not hitting their targets is around people waiting in A&E for more than four hours, however as Sean our Director of Quality and Performance pointed out nine out of 10 people are still seen within four hours! Interestingly patient experience of A&E has improved and is above the national average for England. Another challenge is around people being referred by their GP to a speciality and being seen within 18 weeks. Our GPs are meeting in clinical groups with specialists in the hospital to look how they can improve performance and clinical pathways within the hospital to make sure patients are being seen within this timeframe.

Although we are focusing on long term change in the hospital, Graham our Chief Officer, was clear we need to focus on change in the short term too and push ahead with some significant work to improve performance. It's going to be a huge challenge with winter coming up and St George's attempting to get their finances under control so we know there is a lot of work to do over the next six months.

We focused on some other really important areas during the board meeting and you can read the full documents online including the annual report for Wandle area and our commissioning intentions for 2016/17. We also talked about our work across the wider area, so not just in Wandsworth, through our work with the South West London Collaborative Commissioning and the Healthy London Partnership.

The next Board meeting is on Wednesday 9 December 2015 in our East Putney offices. All Board papers are online here http://www.wandsworthccg.nhs.uk/aboutus/OurBoard/Pages/default.aspx