The Scalpel's Blog

03.08.18

Don’t just consult on an NHS 10-year plan – co-create it

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management’ published by Oxford University Press, makes the case for radical collaboration to plan for the future of the NHS.

The NHS has a new secretary of state and a commitment to a new 10-year plan. The think tanks and NHS membership bodies have already given their views on what the priorities should be and how the new money should be spent: mental health, reducing health inequalities, integrated care, social care, improving public health, and primary care.

It’s not a bad list, but how do we know it’s the right one? None of us have the monopoly on good ideas. National organisations often recognise the importance and value of engaging staff and involving patients and there has never been a better opportunity to truly engage staff and the public. Now: before a draft plan for consultation is even published.

For those of you old enough to remember, you will recall that for the last 10-year plan, in 2002, Alan Milburn, the then Health Secretary, used postcards to get the views of staff and the public. It was seen as quite radical at the time, albeit with a very short timescale. Workforce and access to services were central themes. The problems may be similar in 2018, but the technology and the world has moved on. We can do much better than postcards.

In this digital era the secretary of state has an opportunity, perhaps even an obligation, to engage directly with NHS and social care staff. Not just to consult, but to collaborate and seek to co-create a national framework and a new national plan. He can find out what NHS organisations and staff believe they need to stop, to start and to do differently, he can get real time intelligence from organisations, without filtering through intermediaries, on how they lead, how they manage and how to create workplaces that support and inspire staff. He could be brave and use this as an opportunity to re-engage with NHS trade unions to develop a truly collaborative approach to seeking views.

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of ideas could surface and then be analysed and compartmentalised to create national, regional and local priorities. These could then be developed, perhaps to validate and re-prioritise the NHS Constitution. It is an incredible opportunity.

The technology to do this is available now. It is far more effective than supporting organisations with an engagement toolkit or communication guides. It’s not expensive and the prize and the opportunity to re-engage employees and trade unions seems too big to miss.

It has often been said, as we learn from the past that national NHS plans are big on content but poor on execution. True, but I think this is only half the story.

NHS plans are big on ideas but lack the ownership and the experience of staff, who, if we can really involve in developing this plan, will be a new plan’s greatest advocates.

Top image: Neustockimages

 

Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest healthcare news

Trust to remain in special measures and issued with second CQC warning notice despite improvements

15/05/2019Trust to remain in special measures and issued with second CQC warning notice despite improvements

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital NHS FT (NNUH) is to remain in special measures and has received a second CQC warning notice despite the C... more >
London trust and CCG to appoint first joint leader in new shared working plans

15/05/2019London trust and CCG to appoint first joint leader in new shared working plans

A London trust and CCG have published new plans to increase the level of joint working between Croydon’s NHS services by appointing a new s... more >
NHS lost £212m from prescription fraud last year whilst 1.7m people wrongly fined, NAO finds

15/05/2019NHS lost £212m from prescription fraud last year whilst 1.7m people wrongly fined, NAO finds

Around 1.7 million fines have been wrongly handed out to patients and then overturned in the last five years, whilst the NHS also lost £212... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital e... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond doubt or dispute, other than in government, that the NHS is inadequately funded. Even the secretary of state has argued that it will need more mon... more > more last word articles >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care systems (ICSs) are not clearly defined, referring to STPs (sustainability and transformation partnerships), the predecessor of ICSs, in the first few lines without clarity ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >
332 304x150 NHE Callout banner.

comment

Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on environmental issues, argues that the NHS needs a national strategy for a... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (GHFT), demonstrates how cultural change has im... more >
How the new nursing associate role will break new ground

10/04/2019How the new nursing associate role will break new ground

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, introduces us to the new nursing associate role, and how it’s set to complement the NHS L... more >
A smarter approach to tackling AMR

10/04/2019A smarter approach to tackling AMR

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is estimated to cause 700,000 deaths each year globally. This could rise to 10 million by 2050 if we do nothing. B... more >

health service focus

View all News

interviews

How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to surging demand burdening acute health providers over the winter months,... more >
RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

24/10/2018RCP president on new Liverpool college building: ‘This will be a hub for clinicians in the north’

The president of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has told NHE that the college’s new headquarters based in Liverpool will become a hu... more >
Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s far from being all that matters. Duncan Selbie, chief executive of Pu... more >
Cutting through the fake news

22/11/2017Cutting through the fake news

In an era of so-called ‘fake news’ growing alongside a renewed focus on reducing stigma around mental health, Paul Farmer, chief exec... more >