Non-Executive Director Recruitment

Dear candidate,

Thank you for your interest in our Non-Executive Director role at Birmingham and Solihull Integrated Care Board.

Well over a year on from our establishment, we can look back on a time of challenge, but also of success.

We have seen integration become the foundation of our decision-making, supporting health and care across Birmingham and Solihull to innovate, transform and meet the needs of our staff, patients and communities. We saw great early success in tackling our delivery challenges, moving from one of the most challenged systems on a whole range of metrics, to one of the best performing. We have established a reputation for grip on delivery which has set us up well to respond to our current set of access challenges.

In our system, the lessons we’ve learned from the pandemic have meant services have needed to change, and general practice is a prime example of where those changes have made a lasting difference to patients and communities. Remote consultations have continued as a core part of the offer within primary care at the same time as we have increased the number of face-to-face appointments, offering patients more choice and flexibility to receive their care in ways which work for them. This is one of a number of cases where the improvements made during the pandemic have stood the test of time.

About us

We were the first ICB in the country to publish an Inception Framework, a document which set out before our formal establishment our vision for the most radical overhaul in the way health and social care services in Birmingham and Solihull are designed and delivered. We followed this with our Operating Framework, which set out our strategic priorities and new ways of working for health and care in our system. Earlier this year following an extensive period of engagement, our integrated care partnership published its vision for the future and the improvements that we want to see over the next ten years for everyone who lives, works and receives care within our system. The simple aim of the strategy is to improve life expectancy for the people of Birmingham and Solihull.

Following a call for systems to put themselves forward, we were one of two to be selected to take part in the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) pilot system inspection. Not only an opportunity to shape an emerging policy area, an opportunity for evaluation and learning right across our NHS, local authority and VCFSE partners and stakeholders in our system. It’s a source of pride for how our system welcomed CQC’s inspectors and engaged with the process openly and constructively. We expect our inspection report to be published in the new year.

Following this, we have very recently published our 5-year joint forward plan which sets out how we will achieve the ambitions set out by our Integrated Care Partnership. In it, we commit to creating a new way of delivering care and the space for a much needed greater focus on prevention as well as how we measure the impact we are having on the health of our citizens.  Our staff have never been more critical to our success and as part of the joint forward plan, we are reconnecting with staff through a system wide Open Conversation which will give an opportunity for all staff working in health and care in Birmingham and Solihull to safely, openly and anonymously share views and ideas on how we can together build a better place to work – with the promise that what is said will be heard, recognised and actioned.

Still a relatively new organisation now hitting our stride, we are creating an open, inclusive and transformative culture within the ICB. In June 2023 we held our first all staff away day, iterating on our values and celebrating long serving staff. In our first set of staff survey results, staff told us about issues of workload and a lack of opportunities for face-to-face engagement and we have openly worked with our senior leadership team to begin to address these concerns. The next year will see us relocate to new offices, creating an exciting opportunity for us to improve the working environment for staff.

Amongst system leaders we work collaboratively and support each other to reach solutions and use distributed leadership as a lever to ensure we use the talent we have available across our various organisations. We are making good progress on tackling some of our biggest challenges and the way we as a leadership group have come together has given me confidence that we can do, together, what we need to for patients and our staff. Developing an effective way of working with colleagues at NHS England has also been important as part of our improvement journey and as more responsibilities are delegated to the ICB we need to continue to have these strong relationships.

Throughout our first year, we have been presented with a number of challenges, some expected and some not and I am proud to say that throughout we have always grasped the nettle, taken the difficult decision and done the right thing for patients and staff. This comes from a foundation of a brave and confident leadership group who are comfortable working together.

Our system wide digital strategy sets our focus on creating a single adult patient record across Birmingham and Solihull, developing an integrated digital solution to support mobile technology to enable remote consultations and the streaming of citizens and the paid adoption of AI to help keep people well in their own homes and communities. Since approval in November 2022 we have been working to deliver these ambitions and more and soon we will undertake a refresh of our original strategy.

While continuing a focus on delivery that has seen BSol becoming one of the fastest improving systems for access to services, the next year will see us refocus on transformation and on developing new ways to retain our skilled workforce in our system.

All of this work and more has been underpinned by a consistent and conscious effort to tackle not only our challenges, but to address and eradicate the inequalities in provision and outcomes which we see in so many places across Birmingham and Solihull. This is not a quick fix, but something we, as a system, are committed to, recognising the importance of ensuring our diverse communities have access to services which meet their needs.

For all of our good work, we need to recognise the real difficulties that likely lie ahead. Over the next 24 months, we can expect significant challenges in access to services, quality and to continue to grapple with the disruptive impact of industrial action.

There will be a real push to deliver efficiencies across the system and a need to do everything we can to achieve financial balance at a time of rising and fluctuating cost pressures and increased scrutiny. And if we are going to realise our ambitions to transform services, we need to deliver a noticeable step change in our retention and development of front-line staff within our system.

The Opportunity

We are seeking an outstanding leader to join our Unitary Board as a Non-executive Director. The Board is accountable for our vision and strategy. Executive and Non-executive Directors share responsibility for the decisions made by the Board and for the success of the organisation in leading the improvement of services for our population and service users.

The successful candidate will work alongside the Chair, other non-executives, executive directors and partner members as equal voting members of a unitary board. They will be responsible for specific areas relating to board governance and oversight and must be able to:

  • Bring independent and respectful challenge to the plans, aims and priorities of the ICB,
  • Promote open and transparent decision-making that facilitates consensus aimed to deliver exceptional outcomes for the population,
  • Utilise digital expertise to give informed insight on key discussions and decisions.

We are particularly looking for someone with a strong background in leadership (executive and/or non-executive) drawn from complex organisations, and experience of leading transformational change through digital innovation. You will have an understanding of the emerging digital and data landscape across the NHS and wider public sector and ideally you will bring clinical understanding derived from senior-level involvement in fields such as medicine, nursing, allied disciplines, or social care drawn from academic, research, regulatory, or clinically focused experience.

A robust understanding of the impact of inequalities, experience of direct engagement with the NHS and wider health and social care, and a track record in overseeing the successful execution of major projects are highly desirable. The successful candidate will be a member of the Quality Committee and Finance & Performance Committees.

If this sounds like you then I hope you will consider applying and look forward to meeting you during the process.

Patrick Vernon, OBE