I wish to start this blog by sharing with you a message to NHS staff from the newly reappointed health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, shortly after the general election.

He said that he wanted the NHS to be “the safest, most caring and highest quality healthcare system in the world”. He added “my biggest priority now is to transform care outside hospital” and “all of us want every single older and vulnerable person to be treated with the highest standards of care – so we need a step change in services offered through GP surgeries, community care and social care. That is my mission and I know it is the mission of the whole NHS too”.

The health secretary’s comments were echoed by Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England. He recently said that to achieve the NHS five year forward view, a new partnership between the public, government and health service was needed.

Whilst these messages align with our priorities as a CCG, we recognise that the next five years will be a very challenging time for the NHS and we remain committed to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our local population.

Therefore, I wish to share with you some of the changes within Fylde and Wyre CCG over the past weeks and how we are working hard to make sure local health services are of the highest quality.

I am pleased to inform you that Dr Peter Bennett and Dr Jimmy Reid have both been re-elected in their position within our Governing Body. Both Peter and Jimmy bring considerable clinical knowledge and expertise that the Governing Body will continue to benefit from for a further three years.

As mentioned in my previous blog, our chief finance officer, Iain Stoddart, has now left the CCG. Iain has been appointed to a bigger CFO role with North Staffordshire and Stoke CCGs. Again, on behalf of the CCG, I congratulate Iain on his achievement and thank him for his enormous contribution.

As you may be aware, since 1 April 2015, the CCG has delegated authority from NHS England to commission primary care (GP) services. Earlier this month, the Governing Body held a special briefing to discuss and understand its responsibilities in this particular area.

The Lay Members of the Governing Body and the secondary care doctor, who will be members of this committee, have completed the required training organised by NHS England which had an emphasis on recognising and resolving conflicts of interest.

At the request of the Governing Body, Peter Tinson, chief operating officer and I met with colleagues from North West Ambulance Service to discuss the performance of the ambulance service in relation to Fylde and Wyre patients. It was a productive meeting and identified ways the CCG could become more involved in monitoring and improving ambulance provision.

Earlier on in March, I attended a meeting about the work of the Lancashire and South Cumbria Clinical Senate and the contributions they have made to service change in the region. The Senate provides independent clinical advice to Commissioners to make the best decisions about health and care services for their local population.  The Senate  has requested CCG views on topics they could consider over the next year and whilst our CCG has not highlighted any particular topic, the seminar has made us more aware of sources of independent clinical advice should we need it as part of our new models of care and neighbourhood work.

I would like to close this blog post by making you aware that following the completion of the Monitor investigation into the commissioning of elective service in Blackpool and Fylde and Wyre, arrangements are being made to meet with Monitor to reflect on the experience and mutual learning from the investigation. The meeting will take place in July and the outcome will be reported to the Governing Body at a later meeting.

As the daylight hours increase and the sun starts to make an appearance, albeit between the heavy showers, I send my best wishes to you and your family and I hope you all have an enjoyable summer.