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

Struggling Cornwall trust appoints permanent chief executive to lead it out of special measures

18/01/2019Struggling Cornwall trust appoints permanent chief executive to lead it out of special measures

The Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) has announced that Kate Shields, the current interim chief executive, has been appointed to lead the tr... more >
Bradford hospitals trust fined by CQC after breaching its duty of candour

18/01/2019Bradford hospitals trust fined by CQC after breaching its duty of candour

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS FT (BTH) has been fined by the CQC after failing to apologise to a family in time after a safety incident, breaki... more >
Substantial deficits across NHS ‘do not paint a picture of sustainability’ and threaten long-term plan, warns spending watchdog

18/01/2019Substantial deficits across NHS ‘do not paint a picture of sustainability’ and threaten long-term plan, warns spending watchdog

The NHS is not financially sustainable and substantial deficits at NHS bodies, year-on-year increases in waiting lists and waiting times, and sta... 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

Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

14/01/2019Gentleness: an underrated quality in effective leadership

Dean Royles, strategic workforce advisor at Skills for Health and co-author of ‘An Introduction to Human Resource Management,’ returns to write for NHE for his blog series on effective leadership. “It is not in your top three, Dean…” The difficulty in asking for feedback is that sometimes, occasionally,... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >
332 304x150 NHE Callout banner.

comment

Sneak a peek into the world of risk

19/12/2018Sneak a peek into the world of risk

The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) asked its members what working in risk is really like and what hints and tips they’d share with peop... more >
The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

19/12/2018The NHS Assembly: A moment to reset

The development of the NHS long-term plan offers a reset moment: a chance to develop a credible, sector-owned blueprint designed to improve care ... more >
NHS Supply Chain: Driving the way forward

19/12/2018NHS Supply Chain: Driving the way forward

Jin Sahota spent two years at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) establishing the future operating model for the new NHS Supply Chai... more >
Leading the way: The Translational Research Collaboration for Mental Health

19/12/2018Leading the way: The Translational Research Collaboration for Mental Health

Professor John Geddes, director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Health Biomedical Research Centre, introduces the new... 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 >