This episode is with leading health and care expert Nigel Edwards. Nigel recently stepped down as the chief Executive of the Nuffield Trust, a leading health think tank, after a wide-ranging career in the sector, which included a stint at NHS Confederation.
This episode is very timely. Health and care services are adapting to a new structure at the same time as being under huge pressure and Nigel brings fantastic insight into what is currently happening within the system and what might change. We talk about the emphasis on “place” and “neighbourhoods” and the ambition for local services to be more co-ordinated, driven by local priorities and ultimately more focused on keeping people healthy and out of hospital. We ask the question – are leaders able to make time to build the relationships which are needed to enable this type of high trust working.
We take a deep dive into children’s health and discuss the ambitious plans Integrated Care Boards have for children’s health and the fact that the NSH cannot possibly achieve them without working very closely with councils and other partners. We ask, what enabling leadership and conditions need to be in place to achieve these ambitions for children?
None of these changes will have any effect unless the change permeates down to middle management and front line staff. We challenge the notion of the “frozen middle” or “permafrost” which is a criticism sometimes aimed at public sector middle managers and look at the potential of regional working and ask what the right level is for different activities.