I’m told the idea behind a ‘hot house’ event is to ‘turn up the temperature’ to make sure everyone feels a little uncomfortable so that they are forced to resolve their mutual differences, and be allowed to leave the room. Recently I was lucky enough to experience this very coming together of interest groups all looking to work better together for their health economy. All to be done within 24hrs (and incentive of being allowed out for drinks in the bar by 9pm).
In the room we had the CCG, providers, local authority. The first day we all recognised the challenges in the health economy, but still there was a reluctance to show individual organisational weakness. What did become clear though was that the current ways of working are only going to propagate existing problems…providers competing for finite resources, greater strain on the system with ever growing demand. As day 2 rolled on, there was an opening up as to the parts of the system that could work better, and the organisational responsibilities to get us to where we need to be. An action plan was agreed, together, on how this health economy would work better, with the kernel being that everything would be based on what patients want the health economy to look like – that was their mandate.
Whilst this way of working was slightly unnatural for some, what was encouraging was that all players are forced to come together. Everyone working together on a shared vision ultimately saves times and unifies intent. What the commissioner set out to achieve wasn’t easy, but by the end of our 24hr stint everyone recognised this is going to be difficult together. We will now have a shared purpose which will untimately mean the health economy will be sustainable for the longer term rather than at the expense of shorter term victories for individual organisations.