Agenda item

Update on Communications and Engagement / Empowering Communities

Mary Bewley, Head of Communications and Engagement, North East Commissioning Support will provide the Joint Committee with a verbal update on this issue.


Mary Bewley, Head of Communications and Engagement, North East Commissioning Support provided an update to the Committee.


Mary advised that since the last update to the Committee she had been liaising with Healthwatch organisations across the patch with a view to facilitating their involvement in future engagement work.


Mary advised that she had talked to Healthwatch organisations about seeking expressions of interest for one of them to act as a Facilitation Lead to start a dialogue in relation to the ICS as it progresses. Mary advised that she was now about to issue the formal document seeking those expressions of interest.


Mary also advised that there would be four events early in the new year which would lead up to a regional summit event to engage local authorities and the third sector regarding the key priorities for the ICS with a view to creating a Strategy for the ICS.


Healthwatch organisations from across the patch had been invited to the events.


In terms of work to link up resources relating to the patient and public voice and those who work in patient experience roles they were also looking to set up a Network to take this forward. A further development was that funding had been gained for CCG lay members and Trust non-executive directors to be involved in patient voice.Mary advised that the aim was to link architecture that might support some regional work. Mary indicated that a long-term plan is emerging nationally and the expectation was that engagement around that plan would then need to be put in the context of the NE and Cumbria. Mary stated that she would be liaising with NHS England around this in the new year.


The prevention work programme is now looking at developing a public facing campaign to support engagement around ICS messages.


Mary explained that in relation to the aspirant Integrated Care System there was a need to be clearer about priorities so that a Strategy could be in place for April 2019.


Mary stated that she would be issuing another bulletin shortly.


Councillor Green noted the reference to prevention and considered that this should be top of the agenda for the ICS and look at health and wellbeing and prevention.


Mary agreed and considered that this was at the root of other issues.


Councillor Taylor stated that her concern was that she did not know what a Shadow ICS involved and who would be making decisions. Councillor Taylor considered therefore that deciding what to do therefore appeared to be the wrong way round.


The Chair noted that this was an issue for Alan Foster when he came to update the Committee on the development of the ICS.


Councillor Spillard stated that she was pleased to note the engagement work with Healthwatch. Councillor Spillard felt that this was the one of the achievements of this Committee so far. However, Councillor Spillard stated that she was horrified that the priorities for the ICS were still not known given that work on the ICS had been taking place now for three years and the plan was to have a Shadow ICS in place from April 2019. Councillor Spillard considered that this was a massive concern. Councillor Spillard considered that there had been very little information shared on what the ICS would be and look like.


In terms of priorities Councillor Spillard felt that prevention should be one of the top priorities.


Councillor Spillard also stated that she would like further information on what comes out of the regional summit.


David Thompson from Northumberland Healthwatch stated that he would like to confirm to the Committee that Healthwatch is being engaged and the situation was very much improved on the situation a year ago. David stated that he would also like to reiterate the points made throughout the meeting by others around the lack of clarity in relation to the ICS and its governance and accountability arrangements and the need for scrutiny of the ICS to be more effective. David stated that he saw this Committee as having a crucial role in scrutinising the ICS. David stated that whilst he welcomed information on the various workstreams he considered that more time should be spent on examining the development of the overarching ICS and what it was planning to do.


The Chair agreed and advised that the Committee was waiting to have something to scrutinise. The Chair noted that the Committee had agreed to change the work programme for the January meeting to allow for an update on the development of the ICS to be provided