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How insight from senior health and care leaders can improve day-to-day working lives in the health and care sector

As a company dedicated to improvement in healthcare, we have always looked to share best practice and insight from leaders in the sector whenever we can. This is one of the reasons we set up the CHKS Advisory Board comprising experienced and well-respected leaders from across the health and care sector.

Our Advisory Board members were chosen for their unique experience in NHS finance, NHS commissioning, primary care, acute care, mental health care, allied healthcare and the private sector. The board’s remit is to explore and discuss the challenges facing everyone today, from frontline staff to managers at every level and those responsible for the direction of policy.

We have in the past used the board’s discussion as a springboard to publish in-depth reports looking at these challenges, for example focussing on the need for good quality intelligence to improve health and social care.

Going forward we will be publishing a series of shorter articles providing further points for discussion and sharing ideas. Our aim is to engage a wider audience making this insight relevant to everyone and helping to improve their day-to-day working lives.

The latest CHKS Advisory Board meeting was held virtually, and the topics raised provide a taster of what is to come in our series of follow-up articles. The board tackled the Department of Health and Social Care’s legislative changes on integrated care systems (ICSs) and implications for the role of data. Board members felt the biggest challenge for ICSs will be need for them to perform a range of functions across diverse geographies and population sizes. There was a broad consensus that accountability and financial frameworks will also need to be strengthened and the issue of how to allocate budgets also needs to be resolved whether by provider, resource, or place. The Board agreed there is still a lot of work to do on how decisions are taken collectively to avoid conflicts of interest.

As for the impact of the ICS legislative changes on data, there was agreement benchmarking and analysis will be required across the system, pathway, and place. However, the issue of Covid-19 recovery looms large. This is because systems will be recovering at different speeds which will make benchmarking a challenge.

The board considered the latest developments on provider collaboratives and discussed whether there will be further vertical collaboration, for example with mental health, third sector, primary care, sector based and specialist-based providers.

Covid-19 modelling in hospitals was the final item on the meeting’s agenda. The analyst team at CHKS has created a mortality model which incorporates Covid-19. The new model is being evaluated although coding of Covid-19 guidance is constantly changing and as a result mortality measurement will continue to be a challenge. The board agreed that the top priority for community services will be the discharge of Covid patients from hospitals and that ICSs will need to encourage a cross sector view of the data specifically around long Covid.

The themes raised in this board meeting will be revisited in greater detail in a series of articles over the coming weeks. If you would like to find out more about CHKS and its work with NHS Trusts, please contact

The CHKS Advisory Board members are as follows:

Bob Alexander, Independent Chair at Sussex Health & Care Partnership

Dr Amit Bhargava, Senior GP Partner Southgate Medical Group

Maria Kane, Chief Executive, North Bristol NHS Trust

Jim Mackey, Chief Executive, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

Martin Rennison, Director of Commercial Contracting, Spire Healthcare Group Plc

Andrew Ridley, Chief Executive, Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Charles Waddicor, Chair of F&I Committee and Chair of New Models of Care Committee, Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust

Professor Andrew Walton, Group Executive Director, Connect Health and Strategic Council Member at Independent Healthcare Partners Network

Dr Cathy Winfield, Advisor, NHS England