Health Business 22.03

The decision making process is final

Collaboration is certainly nothing new to the NHS, but the debate about whether another round of structural reorganisation is the best way to augment this has already been had and is happening on 1 July when 42 Integrated Care Systems come into play. They vary widely in size and structure, and at the time of writing, half have not yet selected a chair of their partnership board.

In any organisation, large or small, the decision making process is key. Some ICS will cover more than 10 upper-tier local authorities, with vast regional disparities and varied political interests to consider. Aligning these in order to address chronic workforce shortages, a huge patient backlog and the urgent need to join-up information systems (four out of five ICS are a ‘long way off’ electronic patient record convergence, according to the HSJ) is a challenge in itself. Thankfully, the frontline NHS has a long history of coping with challenges. From the get-go, the ICS boards need to be exemplary in collaborative efforts to provide it with the means to do so. Both the Health and Care Act and The Fuller Stocktake (p11) recommendations are light on detail regarding this.

Action to address NHS workforce issues is critical. In this issue, we detail CCS’s new Permanent Recruitment framework (p19) and take a brief look at how recruitment and retention premia can be used to attract staff (p15). The NHS is ahead of the net-zero game, but to get there you’ll need the right measuring tools says Stephen Lowndes of the Carbon & Energy Fund (p33).

In technology, NHS Digital Security Specialist Victoria Axon details how collaboration is key to addressing cyber security concerns (p51), we take a look at the BCS’s ideas for a ‘clinical satnav’ (p61), plus James Foster of Hill Dickinson explains how procurement changes could affect how IT contracts are awarded (67).

We welcome your feedback.

Danny Wright, acting editor