Lisa Henschen has worked in the NHS for many years and has been in Harrow CCG since 2018.
At the time of the Lansley Reforms she took a 18 months out and went to Australia. Based first in Sydney, she eventually travelled across the country, evaluating their national health IT systems.
Ten years on, the NHS is changing again but she is staying; moreover, leading the change, as the recently appointed Managing Director.
Lisa, 41, lives in Chesham with her partner and two daughters (aged two and five). Her surname, she has discovered, has real German roots , “My granddad was in care so we never fully knew his background but a relative discovered our Great Grandfather was from Germany.”
Born in Kent, where she still has family, she tries to go cycling at a weekend but really enjoys, “seeing my friends and family, face to face.” She’s an early adopter too, watching the whole of Squid Game some weeks back!
Graduating from York University in Sociology she also completed a Post Grad Diploma in Commissioning and holds an MSc in Healthcare Leadership.
“I was always interested in strategy but enjoy more the doing.”
She worked at Bexley Council and joined the NHS in 2002– at Westminster Primary Care Trust, to work on patient involvement, something still important to her. This led her eventually to a joint-role between Westminster City Council and the PCT on the Health strategy. Resolving health and social inequalities remains at the top of her ambitions today.
Throughout this time, she says, “service integration always felt like the right thing to do and no one disagreed. I was involved in one of the Vanguard Pilots 2016 but the changes sought didn’t have the momentum there is now - so I really feel this time it is purposeful to lead.”
“The Harrow Partnership is a joy to come into. We had real commitment amongst all organisations around the covid work and we will carry that on from here.”
What is it different now? “covid working has demonstrated where good cooperation leads. We intend to maintain that. I recognise that there were some commissioning barriers to this in the past – like price setting, competitive processes – and this needs to be rebalanced.”
“Change may take a while and won’t happen overnight. So instead of competitive processes, we will be looking at which organisation, or collection of organisations, can best deliver the thing needed – something that will help us utilise the expertise of the voluntary sector, who might not be able to ‘compete’ with large organisations, but actually provide great supporting services, much better for patient care.”
“Harrow has a passion for working on frailty so this might be where we’ll see that approach more.”
“Success will be when I see and hear of teams discussing it, working it and making it happen. The time is right.”