It was a pleasure to hold a joint meeting between our Governing Body and that of Blackpool CCG in February to talk about working in a collaborative way to address the NHS priorities in 2016/17 and beyond.

Part of our working together has already seen our chief finance officer Andrew Harrison take on the role at Blackpool, while Blackpool’s CFO Gary Raphael has taken on the financial leadership of the Healthier Lancashire project.

We have also been informed of changes to the management at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals and I have conveyed our commitment to working with the new interim chief executive, Wendy Swift, and new deputy chief executive Tim Bennet to further build our good relationship with the Trust.

There have been a number of reports published recently, including the NHS England Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which provides a long-term approach to improving mental health outcomes across the country. There are a number of recommendations within this report which may be tough for the CCG to implement but this is an important challenge that we will take very seriously.

Other recent reports include ‘Future in Mind – Promoting, Protecting and Improving Our Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing’ from the Department of Health, while Health Education England published its Commissioning and Investment Plan 2016/17.

Finally, the CCG has been invited to join Trinity Hospice for a celebration of 30 years’ service to the community at a service at St John’s Church in Blackpool on Thursday, 21 April, from 7pm. This is something I am very keen to support and I hope to be joined by a number of my colleagues from the CCG to mark this important event.