Winter 2022 issue
Est. Reading: 2 minutes

Chair Final Word

I feel honoured and privileged to have been named as substantive Chair at ELFT from January 1, but also, as the new Chair at North East London Foundation Trust (NELFT). It is called a “joint chair” role. NELFT are our neighbours in the North East London (NEL) Integrated Care System (ICS) and an important partner. ELFT and NELFT work together on CAMHS, Forensics, Perinatal mental health, just to name a few areas.  As ELFT has out of London services in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes (BLMK), NELFT provide services in Kent and Essex.

How will it work? The two trusts will continue to maintain their boards and executive teams. I will simply be the chair of each of the boards. I say simple, but I have an awful lot to learn about NELFT and my diary commitments will be multiplied x 2. At ELFT I am already supported by two Acting Vice Chairs- Aamir Ahmed for NEL and Deborah Wheeler for BLMK. They are experienced non-executive directors with strong knowledge of ELFT and are known to our ICS partners. They already deputise for me when I am not available and I am sure I will be calling on them more in future.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2022, we have a duty to collaborate. I mentioned areas above where we already collaborate with NELFT and additional opportunities were being explored even before my appointment. In November we held the first meeting of the NEL Mental Health, Learning Disability and Autism Committee and a Committee is also under development for community health services. Those committees will not be talking shops, but tasked with delivery.

The executive teams of both trusts met in November and the full boards will meet together in January. I will challenge the boards to identify additional opportunities to work together to improve outcomes and equity of access for the populations we serve. In just the few days since the appointment was announced, I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of people at both trusts and I am very excited about the possibilities. In the summer I wrote about embracing the integrated care systems and what they aspire to. We now have a new angle to explore to further our aspirations.

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