Former health secretary appointed to oversee five-year health and social care blueprint
In a move that signals the launch of a radically new approach and partnership, the former Health Secretary Stephen Dorrell has been appointed as independent chair of the board that will oversee the delivery of a five-year blueprint to transform health and social care in Birmingham and Solihull.
The Birmingham & Solihull “System Board” will set the strategy for and drive the Sustainability and Transformation Plan, the means by which Local Government and the NHS will improve health and wellbeing outcomes for local people, drive up the quality of care, and improve financial efficiency (addressing the “triple aim” within NHS England’s ‘Five Year Forward View’).
This board will also be focused on influencing the wider determinants of health and wellbeing. It will, therefore, develop an “STP Plus” approach that addresses prevention in its broadest sense by connecting reforms in health and social care to the wider devolution, economic and public service reforms being driven by the West Midlands Combined Authority.
The independent chair will work alongside the “system leader” – Birmingham City Council chief executive Mark Rogers – who has ultimate responsibility for successful delivery of the programme.
Mark Rogers said:
“The key aspect of Stephen’s role will be to enable and ensure a strong, sustainable and productive partnership ethos and practice across the local system so that the most challenging reforms ever required can be successfully implemented.
“It is well understood that we need to transform a broken health and social care system with some urgency and there is a consensus amongst the partners across Birmingham and Solihull that Stephen’s experience, authority and connections will be a major asset as we set out to deliver a revolution in prevention, care, quality and the use of significantly constrained resources.
“Working hand-in-hand with Stephen, the new board and I will also ensure that these reforms become integrated with the move to greater devolution and complement the economic and public service reforms big driven by the Combined Authority.”
Stephen Dorrell said:
“I am flattered and delighted to have been asked to perform this role. I have known both Birmingham and Solihull all my life and throughout that time I have seen great changes in the expectations and quality of life of the people who live here. But despite undoubted progress our social objectives have not always been met and the fruits of progress have not always been fairly shared.
“Across both Birmingham and Solihull we need to recognise and celebrate our successes, but we also need to understand why health inequalities still persist and what we can do about them. This is not simply a matter of public service efficiency, although that is certainly part of the story; more importantly, it is about reshaping public services to support successful and sustainable local communities.”
NHS England recently announced details of the health and care transformation: https://www.england.nhs.uk/ourwork/futurenhs/nhs-five-year-forward-view-web-version/5yfv-exec-sum/