How do the pieces of the jigsaw fit together?
Winner of The Times Non-Exec Director of the year 2017, Hattie Llewelyn-Davies reflects on a career spanning homelessness services, housing associations, health boards and seal conservation! Hat
My career spans health, housing, conservation and I have recently added museums as well. In the past I have done a lot of work with lenders and on treasury issues also.
A simple answer to the jig saw question would be that in general they don’t fit together and therein lies the problem.
However, I know that health, housing and local government can work together brilliantly, I would cite the examples of health and housing for people who were HIV positive in the 1980’s as a model of good practice. Shared skills, resources and ideas across the sectors provided services that no single organisation would have thought of. It was one of the most inspirational periods of my working life and made me determined to work across health and housing.
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care recently tweeted that two of the biggest lessons he had learnt in his role were that the relationship between health and social care was essential for the future and that there could be no change without culture change.
I am increasingly convinced that this is right, we have to work across sectors if we are to achieve the results that we all need. My NHS Trust has a number of joint appointments at Board level with our Commissioners and with our County Council, they have saved money, achieved better outcomes and filled vacancies that we could not have filled alone. It would have been easy to say we have different legislative frameworks, different abilities to manage risk, different definitions of who our clients are etc and done nothing. Through the creation of a shared understanding and vision we have been able to see the positives as well as the problems. To embed this we need to begin the culture change or risk losing the progress we have made.
In housing, we are slower to make this kind of change. We probably all know privately that sharing resources across our services would be really sensible, but publicly we defend our independence and autonomy.
I am looking forward to discussing this on 4.10.18 and hope that we can begin to understand why we are so resistant and I would like to challenge all of you to bring any examples of good practice that you know of.
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