Help shape the future of health in Mansfield and Ashfield

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RESIDENTS in Ashfield have the chance to shape the future of health and social care in the district by becoming part of a citizens’ panel.

Under government proposals, Primary Care Trusts will cease to exist in April 2013 and their role of planning and paying for local healthcare will be taken over by local Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), led by local GPs.

Mansfield and Ashfield Clinical Commissioning Group is in the process of establishing itself and is working with NHS Nottinghamshire County, local GPs and other partners to prepare for the transition of the commissioning role.

Dr Raian Sheikh, of the Orchard Surgery in Mansfield, clinical lead for Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, said: “One of the big advantages of CCGs is the ability to engage at a practice and surgery level with patients and the public.

“We can get a better idea of what specific services are most needed in each area and what the priorities of our patients are.

“To support this work we are setting up a Citizens’ Reference Panel which will provide real communication between the CCG and the public, patients and carers of Mansfield and Ashfield.”

The Citizens’ Reference Panel will meet once every two months between 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm on a Tuesday.

Chief operating officer of Mansfield and Ashfield CCG, Deborah Jaines, said: “We are looking for members of Patient Reference Groups, or community health interest groups who want to make a positive contribution to health services for the population of Mansfield and Ashfield.

“Applicants will need excellent communication skills and the ability to analyse and interpret complex information.”

Two members of the Citizens’ Reference Panel will join the Mansfield and Ashfield CCG Board as Lay Advisors.

A copy of the job description and application form can be downloaded from www.nottspct.nhs.uk/my-voice/ways-to-get-involved.

The closing date for applications is Friday with interviews during the week commencing 13th February.