Agenda item

Healthy Conversation

Presentation by the Chief Officer Lincolnshire CCGs (East, South, South West & West), John Turner.



The Chairman welcomed John Turner, Chief Officer Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) (East, South, South West & West), to the Committee. 


Mr Turner introduced the Healthy Conversation item which looked at health through the district and Lincolnshire.   


Background information


He then gave the Committee some background information.  There were approximately three quarters of million people in the county of Lincolnshire which is currently covered by four Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), which from 1st April 2020 were being merged to one CCG, which was to be known as NHS Lincolnshire CCG, which was to be known as NHS Lincolnshire CCG.  The NHS was regarded as a vital and important institute across the Country and was a defining part of the UK.   As the Committee were aware the NHS had been struggling in recent years, notwithstanding the brilliant work carried out on a day to day basis in Lincolnshire (and across the country) the quality of care was not always what we would wish it to be.  


Current key issues nationally include recruitment challenges, with 100,000 vacancies (including approximately 50,000 for nurses and 6,000 GPs), alongside the ongoing financial challenges.  With specific issues for Lincolnshire being the size of the areas covered, population dispersal and significant areas of depravation. 


Nationally the long-term plan for the NHS was to work collaboratively with partners and in the coming months it was anticipated the long term plan for Lincolnshire would be published, which was consistent with the national plan.


Healthy Conversation Consultation


The Healthy Conversation took place between March and October 2019. Engagement took place with staff, residents and partners looking at the direction of travel for the health and care system in the County.  Events had taken place in Grantham and Sleaford and a range of meetings that had taken place across the County, alongside consultation via Facebook and Twitter.    The findings would be written up and presented to the governing bodies and the County Council Scrutiny body in the coming weeks.


In broad terms the document looked at the health of the population in the County and South Kesteven area and what could be done to help and support people most effectively.   Key themes from the document are a focus on prevention – enabling people to remain within their own homes, better integration of services (both NHS and partner provision) and a focus on reduction of health inequalities. 


The strategy recognised that to achieve its aims a more combined, integrated and proactive effort was required.


The average life expectancy (and therefore age of the population) was increasing together with a range of conditions such as diabetes, asthma, multiple myeloma hypertension and early on set dementia.  Specialist staff would always be required in hospital, but proactive ways were needed with a reshaping of the health sector – particularly through prevention work to reduce hospital admissions.


In relation to Grantham Hospital, there were a number of options currently under consideration, which include a 24/7 urgent treatment centre and the creation of a surgical centre of excellence with broader thoughts on the location of hospitals.


The use of digital technology across the generations had increased and some areas within the health sectors were already using the technology to confirm appointments and get test results and it was technology could be used further to improve outcomes.


The findings from the Healthy Conversation were being written up during the following weeks and would be available in a public document. 


A question was asked about how far down the CCG’s covered.    The South Lincolnshire CCG covered a population of 165,000 across the south of the county, with most people from the area including Stamford and the Deepings accessing hospital care at Peterborough City Hospital.    Mr Turner stated that he did work closely with the other health trusts and held regular meetings with the Chief Executive of the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (which runs Peterborough, Stamford and Hinchingbrooke Hospitals).


A further question was asked about GP Hubs.  GP practices were contractors with the NHS, they were independent, and it was for practices to come together similar to the Lakeside practice at Stamford to offer a wider range of services and have a more sustainable approach.  Unfortunately, there was a well-documented shortage nationally of GP’s.


A discussion followed on computer systems software that failed to integrate with other software which caused fragmentation and frustration – work was being done on looking at a more integrated system, Lincolnshire was taking the lead in the Midlands Region on having a care portal in place but this was some way from completion.   More discussion followed on 24/7 care provision, services at Grantham, building condition and new hospitals, land value and proceeds. 


A Member asked if there was a timetable to which Mr Turner replied that there was not a precise timetable, but the new CCG would be in place from 1April 2020.


One Member referred to his GP surgery in the Deepings which already used technology.  It was noted that many larger GP surgeries benefitted from the technology which had been utilised to improve their approach to appointments, however as individual businesses it was for each practice to decided how best to utilise technology.  It was noted, however there were a lot of GP surgeries helping with digital innovation work.


Another Member questioned about the links with the District Council in relation to strategies and NHS/CCG input specially in relation to a leisure strategy. Mr Turner stated that he met regularly with District Chief Executives and certain areas such as housing and use of the public sector estate had more joined up working but he felt that a lot more could be done with more integration between partners.


The Chairman thanked Mr Turner for taking the time out of his busy schedule to attend the meeting and for an interesting presentation and the Committee looked forward to an update in the future at a time convenient to Mr Turner.


An adjournment took place between 1:23pm and 1:28pm.