Practical Focus for Regional Service Planning
The National Health Board (NHB) is supporting District Health Boards (DHBs) to put in place regional plans. These plans will be at the heart of increased collaboration by DHBs.
Regional meetings between NHB staff and DHBs to provide feedback on draft regional service plans have now been completed in advance of the NHB receiving finalised regional service plans by March/early April 2011.
NHB Acting Director Planning and Analysis, Michael Johnson, says an emphasis on partnership and working together has been the aim of the regional meetings and feedback process.
"We've refined our process as we've gone along, providing DHB regions with a draft assessment of their plans ahead of meeting with them. This has ensured that the discussions have been as constructive as possible, and that the feedback provided is accurate and relevant."
Michael says each of the regions has been asked to focus their regional service plans in 2011/12 on practical actions that will lead to tangible change and resolve service vulnerability issues for an agreed number - between three and five - clinical services.
"Each region has identified the key service areas it intends to address, and we've asked each region to provide more detail on the actions they intend to take, to ensure that actions are linked to and supported by IT and workforce planning. Regions will also ensure that clinical leaders are engaged in planning and support the agreed actions.
"Additionally regions are outlining their regional governance, decision-making and implementation arrangements, including how they will resolve problems when they can't reach a decision."
He says the process will establish a sound foundation for collaborative DHB working during 2011/12, with the expectation that regional service planning will continue to develop, with a step increase expected in collaborative working in 2012/13.
"I think the DHBs have appreciated how we've gone about the process. We've asked them to consider things instead of being prescriptive.
"But we've also challenged them, and senior DHB managers have told us this supports them to communicate the importance of regional collaboration to their peers."