NHS England Board meeting shares operational performance updates, roll-outs, and success in promoting speaking up culture

NHS England Board met this week detailing updates from the chief executive and National Guardian’s Office, as well as on overall operational performance.

The chief executive’s update highlighted the delivery of the first “milestone” in the Elective Recovery Plan with the “virtual elimination” of two-year waits and the reduction of people waiting to receive treatment by over 90%. It also announced the “roll out of a new combination therapy to treat advanced endometrial cancer”, along with NHS England’s partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant to “roll out a new genetic blood-matching test for people living with sickle-cell disease or thalassemia to more accurately match those in need of transfusions to donated blood”.

The operational performance update highlighted reported improvements in operational delivery across urgent and emergency care services, and the reduction in length of stay over 14 days. It also noted progress on UEC recovery and early action being taken with systems to develop plans for winter, as well as in making improvements in elective care.

The National Guardian’s Office emphasised the role of local boards and leaders in “establishing and maintaining a speaking up culture within their organisations” following the reported deterioration in this area based on findings from the NHS Staff Survey. Consideration was given to “the governance in place to enable people to speak up and raise concerns relating to externally-contracted NHS services”, and work in international nurse recruitment and support provided to BAME nurses to enable them to speak up was recognised.

Back in May, we covered NHS England’s publication of the national quality improvement project, which emerged from a desire to understand how organisations can better align quality improvement (QI) and improve experiences. Findings showed the “critical ingredients for change” were co-production as default, leadership for innovation, prioritisation of reducing inequalities, and encouraging an innovation-friendly environment.

Last month, we also welcomed the first ever NHS equality, diversity, and inclusion improvement plan (EDI), which set out “targeted actions to address the prejudice and discrimination – direct and indirect – that exists through behaviour, policies, practices and cultures against certain groups and individuals across the NHS workforce”. Improving accountability and embedding inclusive recruitment processes were two of the high impact actions that the plan recommended.

To read the minutes from the NHS England Board meeting in full, please click here.