Developing a shared purpose

I’ve realised it has been a while since my last blog and I wanted to start this one off by acknowledging the great work that has gone on behind the scenes.

The Leeds CCGs undertook a review called ‘One Voice’ to explore a single commissioning approach for health and care services in the city. I wanted to say thank you to all staff for their work in making the ‘one voice’ approach as seamless as possible. I have seen the continuing effort and commitment of all staff to make changes that can help us make the transition to this simpler citywide approach to commissioning.

As a result the three CCGs have formed the NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership. We want to build on this and as a result we are considering putting forward a formal expression of interest to NHS England to create a new commissioning organisation, to take effect from 1 April 2018. As GP membership led organisations, CCGs need to ensure they engage with members. We will be seeking agreement from them at our forthcoming membership engagement events. If agreed we will then have to prepare a formal expression of interest, which follows a clear process outlined by NHS England.

Developing a shared purpose is not something which is restricted to the way we work internally. We are making good progress on delivering the Leeds Plan as well as the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP). For the STP I’ve been leading on work around specialised commissioning looking at vascular, neuro rehabilitation and bariatric surgery.

We’ve been working with partners in the city to see how we can make improve resilience in urgent and emergency care. The way we have come together is really commendable and shows a real willingness to understand and address areas of system pressure.

We’ve now developed a solid escalation policy in place to help us quickly mobilise plans when we experience extreme pressure. To do this we’ve held board to board meetings between ourselves and Leeds City Council as commissioners and our providers. Our A&E delivery plans have been shared with Richard Barker, NHS England’s Regional Director for the North.

This means we’ve been able work on areas such as reablement so that we are encouraging people to live at home with personal care support. With the support of colleagues in adult social care we also have an improved discharge process for patients in hospital who are ready to move on.

We have a shared vision in Leeds to improve mental health services. One of the areas we’ve been rapidly developing is support for children and young people. I was lucky enough to get a chance to see the work of the community mental health team on the Mindmate single point of access.

MindMate is our co-produced approach to mental health and emotional wellbeing for children and young people. As a city we should and are really proud of the work that has gone into Mindmate which I know is drawing attention from national bodies.

I’m pleased to announce that we have appointed a deputy director of integrated commissioning who will take up the post in October. One of the areas that they, along with other colleagues, will look at is neighbourhood centred care (you may hear some people refer to this as ‘population health management’).

In other exciting news for the city we have made significant progress in setting up an academy for health and social care. The Leeds Academic Health Partnership is developing the academy with a programme manager and project manager now in post.

I am a trustee for the Foundation of Nursing Studies which, as a registered nurse, gives me a chance to highlight the fabulous work nurses do in healthcare. The Foundation recently celebrated its 30th anniversary recognising how they have influenced nursing practice over those years.

It is important to be assured that the work we’re doing in the CCGs is built on solid foundations. Therefore I was pleased with our quarter one assurance feedback from NHS England. This is the first time we were assessed as a CCG partnership rather than three CCGs. So again I want to say thank you to every member of staff for their efforts and commitment.

On a personal level I’m counting down to 20 September when my girls return to university. Although I will miss them it will be nice to have the house back to ourselves and food in the fridge!


Philomena Corrigan is the Chief Executive for NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Groups Partnership