Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Engaging with Powys teaching Health Board to help shape future services

Last Thursday I attended an event in Llandrindod Wells where representatives from the Third Sector discussed the future planning of services and activities as part of Powys teaching Health Board’s three year Integrated Medium Term Plan. This plan will be used as the basis for future commissioning of the Third Sector by PtHB. The meeting was attended by several mental health charities, including Brecon & District Mind, Mid Powys Mind, Ponthafren Association and Hafal.

Carl Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations
Carl Cooper, Chief Executive Officer at Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations, introduced the day, explaining that the Third Sector is a significant partner in the process working with people in communities and organisations to help the health board plan and deliver “better health and care services” in Powys.

Carl said that “we are here today to be part of the process to shape and influence and be involved in the planning and delivery process.” He observed that there were several challenges to bring to the discussion, particularly in terms of resource allocation and budget planning in a climate where prevention and community resilience are key priorities.

Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive Officer, PtHB
Carol Shillabeer, Chief Executive Officer of PtHB followed, to describe how the IMTP emerged following a decision by the Welsh Health Minister in 2009 to set out a collaborative approach. This was during a period of major legislative reforms at the time. The IMTP aims to bring together a number of other strategies already being worked on, including the Hearts & Minds Mental Health strategy, and those focussing on Older People and Carers. Carol assured those present that the IMTP does not just sit on a shelf, but act as a guide for the population as a whole, and for Welsh Government, to test PtHB against the commitments it made to deliver services.

The overall vision of the IMTP is: “truly integrated care, centred on the needs of the individual.” This year during a staff engagement exercise (“Chat to Change”) PtHB emphasised the need to work together with other organisations alongside other specific values and behaviours.

Carol also introduced us to the 4 Aims (out of a total of 6) which were to form the basis for further discussion at our tables:

  • Improving health & wellbeing
  • Ensuring the right access
  • Involving the people of Powys
  • Making every £ count
In speaking about mental health Carol said that it is “a huge area where we can make a difference to people’s lives. We have kept the priorities of mental health services but there is a long way to go and much more do to.” She explained that the management of mental health services had been brought back into Powys in the North of the county and also in Ystradgynlais. Services in the Mid and South are currently still managed by Aneurin Bevan Health Board, but will return to Powys later in the year. On another positive note Powys has received 500,000 Euros to introduce computerised Cognitive Behaviour Therapy a service which people can access in their own homes.

PtHB want to make sure that there is effective partnership working and to engage with people to achieve a good plan. Staff are already looking at working more closely with Powys County Council, and want to use continued integration as a way of achieving objectives in the future around all areas of health service provision. Carol explained that this is already happening in terms of mental health services.

Freda Lacey, Senior Officer Health & Social Care, PAVO
Freda Lacey and her team had planned the day down to the finest detail. Once the table discussions were complete (report to be circulated later) Carl opened up the floor and asked for key issues to be highlighted. These included (just a brief sample):
  • The need for more services to be delivered locally.
  • Sharing of resources – including people, skills, premises, training.
  • Emphasis on the Third Sector not just being “polyfilla” to fill the gaps.
  • The Third Sector are asked to do more and more for less and less.
  • The vital importance of introducing and using more innovative technologies.
  • The need to remember those that are digitally excluded for whatever reason.

Hayley Thomas, Interim Director of Planning & Performance, PtHB
Hayley Thomas, Interim Director of Planning & Performance at PtHB, commented that this was to be an ongoing process and that PtHB is absolutely committed to working with the Third Sector. An “everyday” version of the IMTP will be developed taking into account the feedback given at the event and shared via PAVO.

Trish Buchan, Third Sector Organisation rep, Powys teaching Health Board
Trish Buchan, previously of PAVO and now Third Sector Organisation rep on PtHB, added that one of her objectives is to raise the profile of the Third Sector at Board level, and reiterated the commitment of the health board to work closed with the Third Sector going forward.

All in all it was an extremely interesting morning. I was facilitating some of the discussions focussing on how to involve the people of Powys. Around the various tables it really felt that there was a passion and enthusiasm for more collaborative and innovative working – if time can be set aside by all to really consider the most effective way of achieving this. And whilst there was much healthy debate on one thing we all agreed – the Third Sector is absolutely not just “polyfilla.”

1 comment:

  1. You can now read the Third Sector Feedback on Powys teaching Health Board’s Integrated Medium Term Plan here.