An open discussion to be led by the Chairman.
The Chairman stated that at a time when all partners were facing challenging budgets, it was timely to consider assets and the physical locations that services were being delivered from and to consider how these may be shared to create greater economies of scale or provide services in a better way.
He stated that the Board had a key role to play in this in terms of taking an overview of assets and resources within the health and care system as a whole as well as steering and driving this work.
The Chief Executive reported that a lot of work had already been undertaken in this area, a bid had been submitted earlier this year for £50,000 by the six Berkshire unitary authorities, CCG federations, Police and Fire organisations. This funding would allow these major public sector organisations to work up a business case proposing how One Estate might work in Berkshire. If this bid was successful, £0.5m could be secured to take the work forward.
He reported that by working together in this way, it was possible that surplus assets may be generated which could then be sold. Consideration would need to be given as to how the estate would be managed and whether it could be managed by an external provider.
Work was already underway locally to consider opportunities where partners may be able to work together and where synergies could be achieved. The Chief Executive stated that it would be key to ensure that the governance of the estate was right. The Board could then be updated periodically on progress.
Board members stated that the bid was an excellent piece of work and showed the demands that would be faced by Berkshire in future years. It was agreed that this document be shared with all Board Members.
Dr Tong reported that each CCG were currently looking into transforming primary care based on mapping of future housing. It was clear that the expansion of the population would be significant over the next 15 years and the mapping of primary care premises and workforce was critical.
The Public Health Consultant asked that the promotion of active lifestyles be promoted within any mapping work, for example, encouraging walking wherever possible.
The Involve representative stated that he would be interested to consider how the voluntary sector could play its part in this work. The regeneration of the town centre had reduced affordable property and as a result pushed charities out. He would be interested to see any opportunities for co-sharing premises. The Healthwatch representative added that it would be useful if property could be reserved for voluntary groups in the town centre.
The Chairman stated that once the outcome of the bid was known, this work could move forward. It would be important to take an evidence based approach and ensure that resources/funding were not being duplicated. Consideration needed to be given to joining together community plans with the Council’s Development Plan. In addition, partners would need to plan for changes in health activity such as integrated care. Growth of neighbouring authorities would also need to be considered.