This report provides an update on the recently published NHS White Paper on Health and Social Care reform. It will enable the Board to debate the implications of the proposed transformation of NHS services and how to ensure this process is aligned to local governance and shape future arrangements for collaboration and engagement with the proposed new NHS body for Kent and Medway.
Before introducing this report, in relation to agenda item 7 (Whole Systems Approach to Obesity Priorities for 2021/22), the Director of Public Health confirmed that the cost to society of obesity was £27 billion per year. For the NHS alone, this cost was £6.1billion with over 30,000 deaths per year attributable to obesity.
The Board then considered a report, presented by the Director of Public Health, which provided details of the recently published NHS White Paper on Health and Social Care reform. The themes within the White Paper captured some of the challenges discussed by the Board, particularly how collectively, at a local level, the system could be brought together to have a greater impact. The primary changes detailed in the White Paper were set out in paragraph 1.1 of the report. It was said that the White Paper provided a good starting point from which the Board could discuss how it could support NHS transformation and facilitate a collective effort to deliver defined outcomes for Medway’s population. It was suggested that a development session be held in the future to take this forward, which was welcomed by Board Members.
With reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, where increasingly large benefits had been attained by supporting communities where the greatest need existed, a view was expressed that a key focus area should be embedding a Population Health Management approach. This was central to the role of an Integrated Care System. The impending legislative change provided a mandate for this.
Recognising the benefit of objectivity, in response to a request that an independent facilitator facilitate the development session, the Director of Public undertook to liaise with Democratic Services to review possible options. He added that additional support may be possible through the LGA or through the NHS system.
A keenness was expressed to frame the development session in the context of work already being undertaken within the ICP and wider system to deliver a practical policy direction. Reference was also made to the role of the Kent and Medway Joint Health and Wellbeing Board.
Concerning other changes not referenced in the report, the Board was advised that a UK Health Security Agency had been established. This body brought together Public Health England (PHE), NHS Test and Trace and the analytical capability of the Joint Biosecurity Centre to address health protection. An Office for Health Promotion had also been established to address wider determinants of health. The White Paper outlined that there would be future changes to the Adult Social Care, more detail would be made available by the Government in due course.
The Health and Wellbeing Board:
a) noted the update presented in the report,
b) agreed to hold a future development session to take this matter forward,
c) agreed to request that ahead of the development session, Board Members be provided with comprehensive background information to enable the discussion to focus on the way forward, and
d) agreed that the format and facilitation of the development session be discussed at a pre-agenda meeting, noting the request made, as set out in the minute, for the session to be facilitated by an independent facilitator.