“Care must be designed and delivered with the patient at centre” Tosca Fairchild on ICB responsibilities

In a blog post, Tosca Fairchild has shared insight into her role as chief of staff (COS) at South East London ICB. As COS, Tosca oversees a number of ICB functions including HR, equality, diversity and inclusion, sustainability, operations, emergency planning and corporate IT.

Tosca shares how the ICS is working to reach the national NHS net zero goal by 2045 through delivery of their localised green plan. She explains that a significant part of her role as chief of staff is to “ensure we are doing all we can to teach this target, alongside all our NHS colleagues.” The green plan, Tosca adds, introduces a number of initiatives around carbon reduction such as mask recycling and the introduction of car-charging points.

On diversity, equality and inclusion, Tosca notes that the ICS workforce is “largely representative of the diverse communities that make up South East London”, but there is still a need to increase diversity across senior roles.

“We need to make sure that we recruit, develop and look after staff in a way that positively impacts patients and the wider community,” Tosca states, pointing out: “When staff are looked after well, they will look after patients well.”

On her corporate responsibilities, which include measuring the organisation’s greater impact on the world around them, Tosca says: “The pandemic introduced new ways of working for many people in the NHS, and ensuring we were equipped to continue business as usual in our ‘new normal’ was extremely important – and continues to be.”

Ensuring that the workforce has the right tools to carry out their jobs effectively and also making sure that GP practices across South East London are equipped with the necessary systems in alignment with data protection regulations is a crucial part of the COS role.

In the blog, Tosca reflects how the transition from Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to an ICS was a “great moment of change for our staff”, noting that it marked a new wave of integration and collaboration across multiple organisations.

“I was truly impressed by the resilience of staff through the change process, and this was a testament to the organisational development, health and wellbeing support we commissioned,” she says.

Looking to the future, Tosca reveals her biggest hope is for the ICS to “eliminate health inequalities and provide seamless care” through the utilisation of partnerships “regardless of organisational boundaries.”

In order for this to take place, Tosca added “care must be designed and delivered with the patient at centre – taking into account patient and carer views and feedback.”