A few moments with Sue Gallagher, Governing Body lay member
Tell us about your role
I am a lay member responsible for oversight with the other board members of the governance of the CCG. I give a lay perspective on ensuring achievement of the CCG's strategic and annual objectives. From a governance perspective, on behalf of the public, I help to ensure that the CCG is using the money granted for the population of Lambeth wisely and achieving good value for money; that the stewardship of the resources stands up to the scrutiny expected of all public bodies; that the CCG is responding to challenges creatively and with effective involvement of citizens, practices and partner organisations; and that we are constantly asking ourselves what more we can do to improve delivery against our targets and goals, to adhere to the values we have publicised such as honesty and transparency, and to improve the health and wellbeing of the population.
My current responsibilities include chairing the Integrated Governance Committee, the Primary Care Programme Board, the Employment and Remuneration Committee and attending the Committee in Common for Mental Health and Older people, and when possible the Community Based Care programme Board.
What are the big challenges the CCG faces at the moment?
Two challenges affect everything the CCG tries to do. Firstly, scarce clinical and managerial time for the must do items and the priority objectives to respond to constant changes from elsewhere in the NHS and social care system. Secondly, shortages of staff and funding in many of the community based services which makes it difficult to change pathways and innovate, even if there are very good "out of the box" creative ideas.
If you could change one thing about the health service what would it be?
The NHS should be the best employer in the UK but there is much evidence that in many places it is not. The consideration, kindness, resourcefulness and commitment shown by very many staff to patients are not always, regrettably, demonstrated to staff by employers or the government.
What is the one thing that you have learnt in the last year that has surprised you and why?
I have to regularly remind myself how few primary care and community based staff have been helped to really understand the different component parts of the local health and social care system within which they work. So much can be learnt from the often difficult journeys of patients through the system but rarely is more than a glimpse of this actually heard.
What are you most proud of in your working life?
Having had the opportunity to have worked with so many values driven, highly committed and able people trying to do very difficult jobs as well as they can.
What activity/hobby helps you escape from work life?
Walking and seeing new sights and sounds, chatting with friends and family, and books and films.