Ask EMT

Do you have a question for the NCL CCG Executive Management Team (EMT)? Our EMT comprises of:

  • Frances O’Callaghan (Accountable Officer)
  • Simon Goodwin (Chief Finance Officer)
  • Ian Porter (Executive Director of Corporate Services)
  • Richard Dale (Executive Director of Strategy)
  • Paul Sinden (Chief Operating Officer)
  • Sarah McDonnell-Davies (Executive Director of Borough Partnerships)
  • Sarah Mansuralli (Executive Director of Strategic Commissioning)
  • Kay Matthews (Executive Director of Quality)

You can post your question directly to EMT by using the ‘Submit a question’ button on this page. Questions can be asked anonymously, if you wish.

Responses will be posted as soon as possible.

You can view questions asked by other members of staff, and EMT’s responses, below.

We are now hosting regular Ask EMT drop-in sessions. These sessions are an opportunity to come along and speak directly to members of EMT (online for the moment).

The sessions function in the same way as the HR drop-in sessions. You’re welcome to just come along just to ask your question(s) or stay and listen to other questions.

Dates, times and links to join the upcoming sessions are below:

 

Ask EMT questions and answers

Face to Face fire training

Question 13 April 2022:

Re face to face fire training. As the organisation no longer provides face to face fire training will the training module option be removed from  stat/mand and fire training be marked complete once the e-learning has module been completed?

Response:

Thank you for your question. 

Face to face fire safety training continues to be a session that needs to be completed by staff as part of their mandatory training. The sessions are delivered online via Teams. Staff can book sessions on Workforce by clicking on ‘Learning & Development – Fire safety training (face to face)’ which will give you the option for the dates available. If you have any questions, please contact nclccg.businessservices@nhs.net

Shared drives

14 March 2022

Dear EMT – can the connection to the shared drives be improved? It takes a long time to retrieve or save even small files and sometimes we are asked to complete work at short notice to very short timescales and the speed (lack of) of the systems causes a lot of stress. – Thank you.

Response:

Thank you for your question. It has been forwarded for a reply.

 

Infrastructure recruitment

1 March 2022

How will roles providing infrastructure support to the GPPA be recruited to? We have seen a senior post emerge without recruitment. Will this be the case for other posts? This doesn’t align well with an ambition to support equal opportunities.

Response:

The GP Provider Alliance (GPPA) will be supported by leads from PCs and Federations. They will also be supported by an Executive Officer dedicated to GPPA business, to ensure they have sufficient senior management capacity and expertise to deliver and shape the alliance. Paul Sinden has agreed to support the GPPA for the first nine months under agreement with the CCG. After this the GPPA will need to review the role, future requirements and undertake any recruitment on a permanent basis. We will encourage GPPA to consider equality and diversity in any recruitment process and in the composition and development of its Board, and thanks for raising this. We will also be talking a bit more about the GPPA at our next all staff event on 31 March.

Outlook capacity

28 Feb 2022

We desperately need bigger outlook capacity – 4GB is hardly anything and it means a large section of the workforce use up valuable work-time on daily basis trying to manage outlook to be able to just receive and send emails. Please can this be addressed as a matter of operational priority. thank you.

Thank you for your question. 
Every staff member has an Online Archive within their own email address that looks like (Online Archive name@nhs.net). Many staff may not be aware of how this can support their daily routines and avoid email capacity issues. The online archive folder provides 100 GB of capacity and can be used in the same way your normal Inbox has folders and sub folders for storing emails needed to be retrieved easily. Calling it an archive folder may be misleading as it’s like any other folder within your inbox, although importantly the data within it sits outside of your standard 4GB capacity and so allows for a significant amount of emails to be stored. The only downside is that this will not be accessible on other devices such as mobile phones but it will be easily accessible on your wok laptop. Most staff will find this folder at the very bottom of their list of folders on the left hand side of their Outlook Email. The simplest approach is to drag it to the top next to your main Inbox where you can replicate sub folders and then drag items from one folder to another – large numbers will take time to move. Importantly access to emails takes no longer this way and it will free up space in your normal Inbox whilst providing a significant amount of additional space for regular use and access.

Policy on leave for exams

14 Feb 2022

Hi I have a question related to time off for professional education. I have got my ACCA exams and I don’t know the policy of the CCG to grant the time off for paid and unpaid days off. Kindly Point me in the right direction or if you can share the link that shows the policy related to exams. Kind Regards.

Thank you for your question.

Please refer to the NCL CCG Learning and Development Policy under the Policies page on the Intranet. The policy outlines that any study leave (including exam leave) that is required should be discussed and agreed with their line manager or director. The request will be considered in line with business needs and team commitments. For future queries around HR policies, please do contact the HR inbox at nclccg.hr@nhs.net

Updating structure charts

11 Feb 2022

Hi, there was a question some time ago about how often the structure charts would be updated. The response was ‘The structure charts were updated week commencing 18 October, and will be updated on a monthly basis going forward to reflect starters and leavers’. However the most recent structure chart on the intranet is dated November 2021. Are there going to be monthly updates as suggested?

Thank you for your question. The structure charts have been updated to January.

Four day working week

17 Jan 2022

Will the CCG consider taking part in a four day working week trial similar to other companies?

Thank you for your enquiry.
The CCG’s standard full-time working hours of 37.5 hours per week are governed and set by the nationally agreed NHS agenda for change terms and conditions of employment and therefore there is currently no local discretion to change the standard full-time working hours. A national decision and agreement will be required to change the standard full-time weekly hours that NHS staff are required to work. The CCG will support and implement any national changes to the standard full-time working hours, if and when required. In the meantime, if staff would like to consider a flexible working arrangement to support a greater work/life balance, please do review the CCG’s Flexible Working Policy and Procedure. If you would like further information, please do contact the designated HR Business Partner for your Directorate or book a HR drop-in session slot.

1-2-1 Pension sessions

04 Jan 2022

Hi,  Are we setting up some 1-2-1 Pension sessions again, for individual queries or for those coming up to retirement? Separate but related, assume first step is to contact ones line manager if one is thinking of reducing hours, etc? regards Michael Corbluth.

Thank you for your question.

At the moment there are no 1 to 1 pension sessions planned. The need for this will be reviewed. However, in the meantime it is advisable to speak to your HR Business Partner or book a HR drop-in session if you would like to discuss this.
In terms of reducing hours, in the first instance, speak with your line manager regarding this. Once the discussion has taken place, you can formally put in a flexible working request, which can be found in the CCG’s Flexible Working Policy and if agreed, the line manager will need to complete an ECP form to advise HR and Payroll of the reduction in hours.

Birthday leave

6 Dec 2021

I just wanted to say thank you for the birthday leave. I took mine last Monday after a weekend celebrating a “big’ birthday and it was really appreciated.

We hope you had a fabulous big birthday!

Promoting internal staff

3 Dec 2021

Why is it so difficult to promote internal staff? The process doesn’t seem to be equitable and it is unclear how progression can be achieved. Particularly for the more junior positions, i.e. bands 4 – 7. It is also becoming frustrating that when the limited opportunities come up they are put out to agencies for interim cover rather than via the acting up/secondment route. Managers say the process is too long to fill
vacancies with substantive staff, therefore meaning existing staff are placed at a disadvantage. The roles resulting from interesting short-term projects end up going to external interim, who then get to take that learnt skill set to another organisation once completed.

Thank you for your enquiry to the ‘Ask EMT’ inbox.

In response to the feedback from staff on access to career progression opportunities via the staff survey results and safe space conversations, the Executive Management Team (EMT) have taken a decision to implement a number of principles and actions to strengthen recruitment processes and provide career progression opportunities for staff over the last year. These principles and actions include:

  • The requirement to advertise internally for 2 weeks in the first instance, unless there are exceptional circumstances to advertise a post internally/externally at the same time
  • The approvals stage of the recruitment process has been modified to reduce the time it takes to approve recruitment requests (Establishment Control Process or ECP)
  • All CCG vacancy opportunities are advertised on the Intranet and the link is also published in the weekly staff newsletter
  • Since the lifting of the vacancy freeze last year, a number of posts that were being filled on a short termbasis have been advertised and have been or are being filled on a substantive basis

Whilst every effort is made to offer career progression opportunities internally in the first instance, it is recognised that there may be occasions where a decision is taken to fill a short term post with interim resource via an agencv. for example in situations where there mav be a capacitv or skills shortage.

 

 

Relevant questions

3 Nov 2021

Hi, I think it would be very useful to publish the date of all questions and answers to help people understand what is still relevant. I am interested in the answer to a previous question about the process for staff to get flu jabs and I can’t tell how old it is. It’s still awaiting an answer. Thank you.

Thank you for your good idea. As a result, dates are being added with the response and the web developers are working on adding a date functionality so that it is easier for people to see when questions were asked and answered.

ICS on track

28 Oct 2021

The ICS is planned to be in place in its shadow form by Q3 2122 (Oct-Dec21). Is this in place/on-track? And when will staff have the next update re timeline for progress on CCG -> ICS development?

Thank you for your question.

The North Central London System Development Plan was recently refreshed and shared with NHS England and NHS Improvement. This documents our progress towards becoming a statutory ICS. As highlighted in the System Development Plan, whilst ICSs are new statutory organisations, we have a track record of close working between partners, NHS and LA, through the STP and other collaborative programmes of work. Over the last year system partners have worked closely together, with the CCG, Councils, NHS providers, general practices, voluntary and community organisations, working to respond to the pandemic.

We have strong partnerships already formed in each borough to support working at a ‘place’ level. Alongside this, we have 33 thriving primary care networks across the area. There has been continued progress towards a more strategic approach to health commissioning at NCL-level, and within our borough partnerships

All of the latest information will be shared with staff via staff briefings and the staff newsletter. In addition, the intranet houses the latest documents relating to ICS development.

Corporate staff survey action plan update

19 Oct 2021

When will the corporate staff survey action plan be updated with progress? A number of deadlines seem to have been missed and that last update looks to be June 2021.

Thank you for your question.

Our corporate staff survey action plan is updated quarterly – the most recent update was in September. Please see the dedicated staff intranet page with the updated action plans on there. We also regularly update staff on our action plans at the fortnightly directorate briefings. The last update was on 6 October. The slides from these briefing sessions are also available on the intranet. The next update on the action plan will be shared with staff in December.

Structure chart updates

13 Oct 20211

When will the structure charts be updated? They were last updated in May and I think I remember seeing a commitment to them being updated monthly.

Thank you for your question. The structure charts were updated week commencing 18 October, and will be updated on a monthly basis going forward to reflect starters and leavers.

Staff claim for flu-jab

27 Sep 2021

Flu jabs. Last year there was a process by which staff could have a flu-jab in a pharmacy near their home and claim the cost via expenses. Can you inform whether the process this year will be the same?

Thank you for your question. Claim for your flu jab – see the Staff Newsletter 22 October.

 

Mid-year pulse survey results

27 Sep 2021

Will you publish the mid-year pulse staff survey results by directorate?

Thank you for your questions. The individual directorate mid-year pulse staff survey results have been shared with each executive director and discussed at individual directorate briefings.

Featuring people of colour in staff newsletters

24 Sep 2021

I have noticed that staff members who are people of colour have not been featured in any of the CCG staff newsletters that have been published this year. Can I please ask what the reason for this is and what action will be taken to change this?

Thank you for your feedback and I’m sorry that you feel like this is the case. It would be really helpful to understand a bit more about which areas/articles of the newsletter you are referring to so that we can give you a more informed response. We don’t often have a huge amount of newsletter articles that are about individual staff or teams, but where we do, we always try to make sure we include a broad range of teams and colleagues from across the organisation. The imagery we use to go alongside articles is stock photography which is free of charge and we appreciate that the image library can be quite limited. I know this isn’t specifically what your feedback relates to, but I thought it might be helpful to cover anyway. We are very aware of making sure the imagery we use is as inclusive and diverse as possible and we will continue to do this. In response to last year’s staff survey, the CCG has invested a huge amount of effort to improve the organisation’s culture and our focus on health and wellbeing and equality and diversity. Our diversity and inclusion steering group and staff networks have been instrumental in supporting this work. I will share your feedback with the BAME staff network to discuss what we can do differently in our staff communications. I hope you find this response helpful and I would be really grateful if you could share a bit more information with us, either anonymously through this portal or via the communications team on Nclccg.communications@nhs.net.

Why are only some questions published?

Hi, I submitted a question three weeks ago but it hasn’t been published/responded to. Why are only some questions being published? If it’s not possible to respond to a question promptly, please can you publish the question with a response to say you are looking into it so staff don’t feel ignored.

Thank you for your comment – questions will be published while waiting for answers.

Which directorate?

17 Aug 2021

The answer to a previous question asked for further information on which directorate the Director of System Improvement sits in – unsure but it is the post currently leading on the LTC LCS redesign for NCL

Thank you. All vacancies, including secondment opportunities, should be advertised internally in the first instance in order that CCG staff have the opportunity to apply for posts in order to support career progression. The exception to this are occasions when there may be gaps in capability and capacity within the organisation; roles of seniority or another exceptional reason/circumstance that will require a post to be advertised internally and externally at the same time in order that there is not an adverse impact on service delivery. In order to advertise a post internally and externally at the same time, approval will be required from the relevant Executive Director. There may be occasions when a recruiting manager recruits to a post on an interim basis via an agency whilst recruitment to a fixed term/permanent post is underway or to fill a very short term gap. 

Recognising that some posts are employed/hosted by the CSU, Local Authorities and other NHS organisations across the system, please can further information be provided on which Directorate the Director of System Improvement post referred to is aligned to so we can look into this further.

 

Appoint current staff

3 Aug 2021

Instead of taking in new people to roles, why not just take on the interim staff already doing the roles? Just seems like it will be easier.

Thank you for your question.

Posts with a permanent/fixed term contractual status hold a different contractual status to those held by interim agency workers. Advertising posts with a permanent or fixed term contractual basis supports a fair, equitable and transparent approach to filling roles and opportunities across the CCG in accordance with the CCG’s Recruitment and Selection Policy and the CCG’s diversity and inclusion priorities.

Staff involvement group

3 Aug 2021

I’m on the Barnet Borough staff involvement group. Is there any budget available for us to plan and carry out events/activities?

Thank you for your question.

The Engaging our People Forum (EoPF) Representatives can provide suggestions and ideas at the EoPF meetings. Alternatively, suggestions and ideas can also be sent to Courine Stewart, Senior OD Lead via the generic OD email address (NCLCCG.OD@nhs.net) or the Borough EoPF representatives (Tasha Chiew, Haider Al-Shamary, Naa Akle Noi or Tori Awani) for discussion at the next EoPF meeting.

 

 

NEL CSU in-housing

30 Jul 2021

Is the NELCSU consultancy arm included in the in-housing process? There has been significant external recruitment to this function recently. What does this mean for the security of CCG staff moving into the ICS i.e. if a large number of staff are moved into the CCG, many of whom are fulfilling consultancy roles on pieces of work of strategic importance to the ICS, in advance of a restructure.

Thank you for your question.

NEL CSU colleagues recently participated in a consultation exercise. On 1 November 2021, following this process, NEL CSU was disaggregated into two parts:

  • London staff services, which are being hosted by NHS England and NHS Improvement London region as ‘NHS London Shared Service’
  • Out of London services, which are hosted by NECS (North of England CSU) as ‘NEL at NECS directorate’.

The next stage in this process will be the transfer of staff from the NHS London Shared Service to individual ICSs (North Central London, North East London, South East London and South West London) or host organisations (in the case of Healthy London Partnership and NEL Healthcare Consulting colleagues). The proposed changes will be the subject of further engagement, consultation and transition processes, and it is anticipated that affected staff will transfer to their future end destinations from 1 April 2022. is anticipated that affected staff will transfer to their future end destinations from 1 April 2022.

Are all questions being published?

30 Jul 20211

There are only 5 questions shown online as having been asked of EMT. Are they all being published?

Thank you for your question.

We are publishing all the questions we receive through the ‘Ask EMT’ intranet portal on this page. So far, there are only five but more are coming in. The questions asked at the ‘Ask EMT’ drop in sessions to which all staff are invited, are not being captured or published. The dates of the next sessions are on the intranet

Anomalies with recruitment

22 Jul 2021

Can EMT address some anomalies with recruitment? There is an insistence on advertising all roles internally, even where there is an urgent need and an acting up arrangement would be possible. Yet we also see new roles introduced and external individuals appear in those roles with no advertising: example Director of System Improvement.

Thank you.

All vacancies, including secondment opportunities, should be advertised internally in the first instance in order that CCG staff have the opportunity to apply for posts in order to support career progression. The exception to this are occasions when there may be gaps in capability and capacity within the organisation; roles of seniority or another exceptional reason/circumstance that will require a post to be advertised internally and externally at the same time in order that there is not an adverse impact on service delivery. In order to advertise a post internally and externally at the same time, approval will be required from the relevant Executive Director.
There may be occasions when a recruiting manager recruits to a post on an interim basis via an agency whilst recruitment to a fixed term/permanent post is underway or to fill a very short term gap.
Recognising that some posts are employed/hosted by the CSU, Local Authorities and other NHS organisations across the system, please can further information be provided on which Directorate the Director of System Improvement post referred to is aligned to so we can look into this further.

Impact of reducing debt

5 Aug 20201

What is the impact of the reduction in Acute debt on the 20% savings required by the system? – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nhs-debt-write-off-regional-breakdown/regional-breakdown-of-nhs-debt-that-will-be-written-off-from-1-april-2020

Thank you.

Several months ago the Government announced that debt that had built up in NHS Trusts would be written off, i.e. would not need to be paid back by those Trusts. Separate to that, there is a requirement for CCGs to reduce their running costs by 20%.

Working from home - HMRC claim

21 Apr 2020

Whilst required to work from home, employees can claim £6/week from HMRC. Can you (a) advise staff in a staff bulletin and (b) advise whether the organisation will organise centrally or everyone have to fill in their own P87 form and send to HMRC?
Info here: https://blog.moneysavingexpert.com/2020/04/martin-lewis–working-from-home-due-to-coronavirus–claim-p6-wk-/

A range of discounts and money saving offers are available to NHS staff during Covid-19. The HR team is regularly publishing information and guidance on the staff intranet. Please keep checking back on this page: https://intranet.northcentrallondonccg.nhs.uk/news/covid-19-hr-information.htm