Roy Lilley chats to Jim Mackey

I watched this NHS Chat on Periscope. If you want to witness the whole super open frankness from Jim Mackey, you can catch it on NHS Managers You Tube channel by clicking on the coloured link…

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Jim Mackey

Jim Mackey – Chief Executive at NHS Improvement.  Geordie.  Newcastle supporter (and thinks they will be relegated). Commutes. Gets peace and quiet on the train.  And was just so unbelievably straight. As ever, these are my views – and one step removed as I couldn’t physically be there.  But hey, that’s what technology is for.

Best bit?  Roy kept trying to get Jim to talk about the Junior Doctors strike.  His final answer.  “You’re very persistent aren’t you?”  Just not answering at all.  Wry giggles all around…but we really got some other strident and out there quotes.  It felt good.

Yes, he has been there and done it.  Accountant, and been chief executive of a Foundation Trust.  Now, from April 1st, NHS Improvement “brings together Monitor, NHS Development Authority, Patient Safety, the National Reporting and Learning System, the Advancing Change Team and The Intensive Support Teams”. This makes the job of Chief Exec sound onerous in the extreme. But if Jim’s answers in this chat are anything to go by, then he will cut through the crap.  His core drivers and beliefs make me feel he will make a big difference and fast.  Simplify seems to be the core message.  Here’s some tasters:

“You need firstly to create the circumstances for people to have a good chance (of succeeding).  Then have a clearer framework – people like rules. Then get behaviours right”

“Regulators?  Get it right for one, then you fall foul of another.  I just ignored them”  (I cheered when he said that).

“Need to think more as a team. We decided to ignore the 1 to8 (nursing to patient ratio) and worked with our staff on each ward to come up with the plan.  Great nursing Director made it happen”

“We need to all be working with one set of figures.”

“If the A&E crisis – 20% more this February to last – and the problem is caused because people cannot access Primary Care, then you need to fix that. You can’t pretend it’s not happening.”

(My idea for this?  Set up a GP surgery, manned by JDs – who are there 24/7, as we all know.  And let the patients come.  And cross charge each visit back to the GP surgery they are registered with.  I would think Out of Hours services would improve rather swiftly. As would not having to wait a week for an appointment…)

“You can’t fix anything if you don’t talk to each other”

“The NHS is the best in the world – especially viewed £ for £”.

He is a practical man.  Jim Mackey will make change happen.  His ideas for fixing the most complex problems is as obvious as it is difficult.  Break it down.  Measure the right things.  Talk.  And get the front line to design the absolute best ways to ensure excellent patient care.  That’s what we are there for.  That’s what Jim will make happen, as the Geordie Catalyst.

(And I think Newcastle will stay up!)

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