Message from our Chair
It’s hard to imagine that it’s still less than a year since NHS Lambeth Clinical Commissioning Group was established as a statutory membership organisation with full responsibility for much of the health budget for Lambeth. It’s certainly been a very busy 10 months! These are challenging times, but I am certainly proud of the progress that we are making hand in hand with all our local partners. I am thrilled that we were shortlisted for Governing Body of the Year at the NHS Leadership Awards, and really delighted to see that the excellent work of our Lambeth Living Well Collaborative has been recognised at the NHS Leadership Recognition Awards 2013 as they have won the Patient Inclusivity award. You will read more about that elsewhere in our newsletter.
Our members have taken an increasingly active interested in the CCG and over the summer elected a new governing body with some new faces and some GPs re-elected to continue to build on the work that led us to being successfully authorised by NHS England.
We spent much of the summer out and about speaking to Lambeth people about their experiences and ideas for local health care services in the BIG Lambeth Health Debate. As GPs on the Governing Body we are very familiar with speaking to patients – seeing patients is what we do – but to be able to have these more detailed discussions about how our health services can be more effective, offer value, work differently and really improve outcomes for patients was extremely useful. Not only are your ideas helping to shape the way we plan, buy and monitor health services – but the debate was a great opportunity for us as GPs to step out from behind the consulting desk and step up in our new role as clinical commissioners. We’re all aware of the pressures facing the NHS and how important it is that we are spending the money meant for looking after people when they are ill, and helping them to stay well is spent as wisely as possible. The themes from the debate have helped us to produce Healthier Together, a document that sets out our strategic vision for the next five years. You can read Better Together and the full Big Lambeth Health Debate report with all the responses on our website at (add link).
This is a tough job, and it looks like it will continue to be tough for some time and we don’t have all the answers. Working in partnership with our local healthcare providers, community organisations, Lambeth Council and local people is essential if we are going to make the right decisions. Your local CCG needs you!
We intend to make involving people central to all we do as a CCG and I would encourage everyone to take get involved in a way that suits them. The CCG is a membership organisation, and all 48 GP practices in Lambeth are part of our organisation. Many of our GP practices hold regular Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) which are opportunities for you to give your feedback, share experiences and help find ways that your GP practice work better for patients. By getting involved with your PPG you are also helping us to learn as a CCG.
Healthwatch Lambeth is our local independent consumer champion for the public to promote better outcomes in health and social care for all, and they have an important role as our ‘critical friends’. Anyone living and working in Lambeth can become a member, and I would certainly recommend that you contact them to find out more.