Dr Tony Naughton is the clinical chief officer at NHS Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Group. He is also a practising GP at The Thornton Practice.

This time of year is always a time of reflection and when I look back I’m delighted to be able to say that 2016 has been a really successful one for the CCG.

Not only were we one of just 10 CCGs across the country to be rated ‘outstanding’ in the annual assurance assessment by NHS England, we were named the second best CCG in the country by being highly commended in the CCG of the Year category at the prestigious Health Service Journal awards.

In September, we held our very first joint annual general meeting with NHS Blackpool CCG and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It was great to come together and promote our joint Fylde coast working.

We also received praise from key national figures within the NHS with regards to our ‘new models of care’ – these are the different ways in which you can be treated or access services depending on whether you have multiple complaints, a single long-term condition or you’re just occasionally unwell.

The top tier of our new models – extensive care – is now available across the whole of the Fylde coast and makes sure people over 60 with two or more long-term conditions receive more coordinated support closer to home and less in hospital – it’s had some fantastic feedback from patients.

The roll-out of our enhanced primary care model has also begun which will see neighbourhood care teams helping people with one or more long-term conditions to stay well for longer – and hopefully keep them out of hospital or from needing urgent medical help.

And we’ve seen some really great work being carried out under our episodic care model, perhaps most notably the launch of our Pharmacy+ Clinic scheme in April. The scheme allows people living in Fylde and Wyre to receive treatment and advice for a minor illness at their local participating pharmacy, instead of having to make a GP appointment.

Whilst we’re on that subject, I should urge you to consider visiting your local participating Pharmacy+ Clinic this festive period if you’re suffering from a cough or cold or other minor illness, and while you’re there don’t forget to stock up your medicine cabinet so that you can look after yourself at home where it’s appropriate.

By doing your bit, you’re freeing up valuable NHS resources for those who really need them.

Finally, I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year… let’s hope for even greater success in 2017!