Column: The country’s proud history of the NHS

GP Doctors NHS
GP Doctors NHS

The NHS is one of the best loved institutions in this country and touches all of us at various times in our lives.

It’s a massive, complex organisation with a huge national budget and a long and proud history that was founded on the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth.

I’m proud to work for the NHS in a dual role – as a front-line doctor in Bentley, but also in a borough-wide role as chairman of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

It’s that second role that I’m interested in writing about today. Many readers won’t understand what a clinical commissioning group is, but a great opportunity is coming upfor you to find out more and maybe see if you would like to be involved in supporting our work through local engagement opportunities.

It’s our annual general meeting in the restaurant at the Keepmoat Stadium on Thursday, September 28, starting at 6.30pm and running for around one-and-a-half-hours. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Doncaster people to come along and listen to what I and my colleagues have to say.

Importantly, there will be an opportunity for you to ask us questions and we’ll do our best to answer them.

We’ll be reviewing the year to the end of March 2017, discussing how the NHS performed across those 12 months and focusing on some of the highlights.

NHS Doncaster CCG was formed in 2013 to replace the previous Doncaster Primary Care Trust. We manage an annual budget of around £500 million and are responsible for planning, paying for and monitoring the NHS health services you rely on.

Before and after the event there will be the opportunity to visit a number of information stands in the room, which will be staffed by people who will be able to talk to you about a variety of healthcare-related matters, including smoking cessation, dementia carer support, sight problems, and much more.

With the help of colleagues from local organisations, we will also give an update on the Doncaster Place Plan, which is an exciting new development for the borough. It’s a pioneering document that sets out how in Doncaster we’re going to bring local health and social care services closer together to help people stay healthy and live at home as long as possible.

The plan outlines how local organisations will work together between now and 2021 to develop services that will help keep Doncaster people out of hospital and enable them to live independently for as long as possible. So, in short, the event is a superb opportunity to come along and see what’s happening.