New South Tyneside NHS body meets in public for the first time
Fri 26th April 2013
The new NHS organisation which is responsible for the planning and purchasing of all healthcare and health services for people in South Tyneside has held its first meeting in public.
NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) held its first governing body meeting on Thursday 25 April since taking over the commissioning of a wide range of health services for South Tyneside.
The CCG, which is led by local doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, is made up of the borough’s 29 GP practices and has a budget of £223 million to ensure that the local population of 153,000 people have access to the right healthcare services at the right time and place for their needs.
The CCG’s governing body holds its main business meeting in public so that anyone can come along and observe the key decisions that are being made to improve healthcare and health services locally.
Important items of business included assurances that there is financial stability for health services in South Tyneside, plans to improve the quality of local health care, and also plans to help the public comment about their own experience of healthcare which will help the CCG improve the quality of the services it commissions.
Local GP and chair of the CCG, Dr Matthew Walmsley, said that this first governing body meeting was a great success. He said: “I was very pleased that we were able to highlight some of our key principles about how we want to work with local people.
“We were also able to consider a wide range of important issues including the quality of local hospital services, how we plan to implement measures to assess waiting times and also the access patients have to treatment. Other discussions included our financial plans, along with other priorities we have to improve healthcare and health services over the next year.”
The CCG, which became a new statutory body on April 1 this year as a result of the reforms to the NHS as outlined in the Health and Social Care Act (2012), also discussed the local impact of the recently published Francis Report into the failings at Mid Staffordshire Hospitals.
Dr Walmsley said: “Ensuring the quality and safety of the local health services we commission is the top priority we have. We need to make sure we are taking every opportunity to listen to patients and the experiences they have of local NHS care. This means we will be planning a programme to collect patients’ experiences and stories so we can better understand what is important to them.”
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The next governing body meeting will be on 27 June 2013, 10am at Living Waters Church on Western Approach, South Shields.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and papers will be published online at www.southtynesideccg.nhs.uk nearer the time.0