Developing the role of the ICS Chair requires equal amounts of ‘looking in’ and ‘looking out’.

By ‘looking in’, I mean focussing on those matters which are important to the development of our ICS, not least the significant recruitment which seeks to shape our leadership team. This work is progressing well, and we remain on course to have our Integrated Care Board (ICB) in place by the end of March.

The ICB will operate in shadow form until the July 1st when legislation will mean our ICS becomes a statutory organisation. Alongside the recruitment for our ICB, we are also now working to appoint our six place-based leaders and our six NHS place directors, as well as our four Collaborative Leaders. As this sequential recruitment programme moves on, we are turning our thoughts to how best to develop our Integrated Care Partnership, in as inclusive a way as possible.

In addition, I have been pleased to meet with VCSE leaders, with local government leaders and with fellow ICS chairs and provider chairs: all these interactions add to my learning and understanding in relation to our geography, our priorities and our future direction. I am grateful to everyone who has given their time to help me increase my understanding.

By “looking out”, I mean ensuring that our ICS is contributing to the national conversations which surround the development of our ICS. This includes, the vital role we play in health and social care as ‘Anchor Organisations’ and how best, as Anchor Organisations, can deliver proper value to our communities: it includes national briefings on health inequalities in particular the national focus on the NHS England, Core 20PLUS5 initiative, an approach to reducing health inequalities which seeks in particular to focus on maternity, cancer diagnosis, mental health, respiratory illness and heart disease: it includes our approach to offender health, and the way in which good health is a way of reducing reoffending.

In particular, I am keen that our ICS contributes to the Messenger Review led by former Vice Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Gordon Messenger and Dame Linda Pollard, chair of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, due to report back to Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Sajid Javid in early 2022. This is a significant review of the leadership of health and social care in England, in which the review team will consider how to foster and replicate the best examples of leadership and seek to reduce regional disparities in efficiency and health outcomes across the country.

Sue Symington

Designate Chair: Humber, Coast and Vale Health & Care Partnership