10th September 2014

New Chair appointed to lead Better Care Together, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland

Better Care Together, the five year strategy to transform health and social care in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland is to be led by a new independent chair from next month.

Kaye Burnett, who is currently the chair of Health Education East Midlands, (the body responsible for the training and education of the healthcare workforce in Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the rest of the East Midlands), has chaired senior NHS organisations in the area, and will replace interim chair Phillip Parkinson.

Ms Burnett has a long association with Leicestershire having attended Loughborough University and previously worked with University Hospitals Leicester. Kaye has a strong background in the public sector, having held senior roles in the NHS and Police Service, and worked extensively with local government, the wider public and private sectors, as well as the voluntary and community sectors.

The appointment comes following a rigorous assessment and recruitment panel involving service user representatives, senior health and social care leaders, doctors and nurses from Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

Philip Parkinson said: “We had an incredibly strong field of 21 candidates from our initial advert and in the end four top class candidates were interviewed, all of whom showed a desire and drive to work in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and make real difference. However, Kaye demonstrated exceptional qualities and there was universal agreement from the panel that she was the right person for this hugely important role.”

“I’m truly delighted to have been appointed to this hugely exciting and challenging role,” said Kaye. “If the people of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are to have the health and care that they deserve in the future, we need to change the way it is delivered. People are living longer and we are finding new ways to treat conditions and look after people. This all puts a strain on the public purse, so we have to find different ways to provide health and social care that will ensure high quality, sustainable and affordable services now and for future generations.”

Better Care Together is the biggest ever review of health and social care in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland which has produced a route map for how services can be transformed. The programme is a partnership of NHS organisations and local authorities across the area with the aim of improving the health and experience for patients and service users by focussing on community-based prevention and care – while at the same time addressing major financial challenges.

An outline plan was launched at the end of June with a much stronger emphasis on providing the support and care people need in the community, away from a hospital setting.

Since then work has been underway to identify what needs to change, and by when, over the next five years. In August Healthwatch in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland held two public events to encourage patients and service users to get involved in the next phase of planning any changes to health and social services.

Jennifer Fenelon, Chair of the Better Care Together advisory group, welcomed the appointment and added: “It’s great to have someone as experienced and dynamic as Kaye overseeing this huge programme of work. I would appeal to everyone who has an interest in the health and social service to get involved now. We really want to see patients and service users to get involved and influencing how services will change.”

The challenging programme is looking at a number of crucial areas: urgent care (including A&E); long term conditions (such as diabetes and respiratory diseases) frail older people, maternity and newborns; children’s services; learning disabilities, planned care; and mental health provision.

More detailed planning is taking place this Autumn, however, it’s highly likely that any formal consultations on major changes won’t take place until after the general election in May next year.

Partners in Better Care Together are:

  • Leicester City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)
  • Leicester City Council
  • West Leicestershire CCG
  • Leicestershire County Council
  • East Leicestershire and Rutland CCG
  • Rutland County Council
  • University Hospitals of Leicester
  • Leicestershire Partnership Trust
  • NHS England Local Area Team
  • Healthwatch (across LLR)
  • Health and Wellbeing Boards for Leicester City, Leicestershire and Rutland