It is with pleasure this month that I welcome Dr Tom Marland, a GP partner at Over Wyre Medical Centre, to the Governing Body and also offer my congratulations to Drs Felicity Guest and Jacky Panesar who were re-elected as Governing Body members.

I also offer my best wishes to Dr Jimmy Reid following his retirement and would like to thank him on behalf of all Governing Body colleagues for his invaluable service to the local NHS in Fylde and Wyre over the past three years.

Jimmy was one of the founder members of the CCG and we will certainly miss his knowledge and expertise. Dr VG Chandresaker will continue to provide clinical leadership at Governing Body level until the next round of GP elections which will occur towards the end of the financial year.

It was an honour to host a reception in December for some of our public engagement champions.

I invited people from the local patient participation group (PPG) network, Influence Panel, Patient and Public Engagement group members and the recently launched Patient Cancer Care Improvement group to get together for mince pies and refreshments and a good chat about the work going on in Fylde and Wyre to improve NHS services for local people.

On the national stage, late last year Jeremy Hunt made a number of announcements in his keynote speech to NHS providers, including the creation of a programme to encourage more clinicians to go into management roles.

He also made the following significant comment: “Given that one of the most important roles of a chief executive is to motivate a large number of able, smart but – let’s be honest – quite often headstrong clinicians we should today ask whether the NHS made a historic mistake in the 1980s by deliberately creating a manager class who were not clinicians rather than making more effort to nurture and develop the management skills of those who are.”

We recognise the importance of clinical leadership, which is why we actively support our clinical leads to learn more about leadership as part of their professional development.

Here at the CCG clinicians are at the heart of decision-making, and it is one of the reasons for our success.