Mandy Ansell, Accountable Officer Thurrock Clinical Commissioning Group, provided the following updates:
• Interviews were held on Wednesday 22 January 2020 for the post of the Joint Accountable Officer. To which no result was known at this time.
• On the merger there was work being undertaken with stakeholder engagement and a vote would be required between member practices in Mid and South Essex on that merger.
• The documentation for the stakeholder engagement, for patients and community, was under consultation and out for comment. To which two comments had been received from two general practitioners stating that the consultation information appeared too positive.
Kim James, Healthwatch representative, stated that the survey had now been updated to include the local focus rather than just requesting views on the whole STP.
Roger Harris, Corporate Director of Adults Housing and Health, reiterated the committee’s concerns of opposing the establishment of a single Clinical Commissioning Group and had written on behalf of the Chair to Ann Radmore, NHS England, putting forward that the Managing Director post proposed for Thurrock should be a jointly appointed post. That the response received back from NHS England had been unclear with no view either way on the appointment but stated that would be a matter for the Joint Accountable Officer when appointed. With Thurrock’s view remaining that having that post for Thurrock as a joint appointment between the NHS and Thurrock would be positive. A Memorandum of Understanding on the Wider Governance Model had been prepared to identify what should be undertaken at system wide level in Mid and South Essex and what should be undertaken at Thurrock level. With a separate governance group being established to ensure agreements could be reached.
Ian Wake, Director of Public Health, stated that a draft Memorandum of Understanding had been prepared which had been signed by the Integrated Care Partnership and expected the governance group to report back by March 2020. That it was now a strategic opportunity and important to get the finances right to ensure the system addressed health and inequality to direct resources to the areas of greatest need. There was also a strategic risk for Thurrock where local programmes reduce demand at hospital level and where another area increases demand where the savings would have historically come back to Thurrock may disappear into another deficit elsewhere in the system.
The Chair thanked officers for the update and questioned when the structures would be known and when people would be in place. Mandy Ansell stated the Joint Accountable Officer would need to be appointed first and then the second tier. All directors across the Clinical Commissioning Groups had already received letters informed them that they would be the next tier. The start date for the Joint Accountable Officer would be immediate if an internal candidate was appointed or where notice may need to be given it could be as much as six months before the successful applicant could start.
Members agreed to include a further Verbal Update and to invite Mike Thorne, Independent STP Chair, to the 5 March 2020 committee.