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Making quality count

Ensuring that the health and care services that we commission for Lambeth people are of the very highest quality is a job that we take very seriously. 

Quality is a hot topic in the NHS with challenging recent reports from Francis, Keogh and Berwick all putting the spotlight on quality and patient safety, and highlighting the importance of involving patients, carers and members of the public as equal partners in the design and assessment of their local NHS.  While significant changes within the NHS and Local Authorities have brought challenges, there are also significant opportunities, and an appetite to work more closely together to deliver high quality health. 

NHS Lambeth CCG, along with organisations we commission and work with have been discussing the Francis recommendations and the Department of Health response and developing plans to make sure recommendations are translated into actions.   In order to open up some difficult but important discussions we held the Lambeth Quality Summit in partnership with Healthwatch Lambeth on 2nd October 2013.  This was a multiagency event with a main purpose of considering how we could as individuals, groups, organisations, providers and commissioners work together better to improve the quality of health in Lambeth. 

The objectives of the summit were to:
  • Develop a shared understanding of what actions others are taking to implement the Francis Inquiry recommendations and identify areas where by working with partners there could be a greater impact.
  • Identify areas for working together across boundaries to co-produce high quality health involving – individuals, groups, organisations, health providers and commissioners and agree next steps.
  • Agree how we can develop and embed ongoing relationships across organisational boundaries. 

Around 90 participants engaged in a lively debate – and we made some great progress exploring how primarily we can prevent problems from happening, while equally ensuring that when issues do occur they are detected and acted upon quickly – and that we learn from any mistakes made across the system.

Marcia Dillon, Healthy Lifestyles Manager, at Lambeth Council said of the day:

“I gained a greater understanding of the work Healthwatch do in the borough, the ideas for improving quality within our service and how I can support other NHS services”.

A comprehensive report of the event is currently being drafted and will be shared widely.  People were very keen to continue the dialogue and NHS Lambeth CCG are planning to continue to work with Healthwatch Lambeth to ensure this happens.