Blog February 2020

2020-02-07T15:39:57+00:007th February 2020|Latest blog|

Welcome to my first blog for some time. It’s great to be back in work, albeit on a phased return. Thanks to all my friends, colleagues and patients for their get well wishes during my absence, it’s much appreciated. While what happened was not the way I would have chosen to do the testing it is reassuring to know that the contingency actions within the CCG and Practice helped keep everything running smoothly. I also now have a greater awareness of the NHS as a patient and while not perfect the service I received when it mattered was excellent.

I am back in my practice in Heywood and back at the helm as Chair of the CCG, a role which has been covered by the clinical leads, in particular, Dr Aggy York, the Execs, and many others, all of who I wish to thank.

It’s been a busy start to the year here at the CCG. As seems to be the norm, we are in the midst of an intense period of change in the NHS, not least due to the changes that are happening in general practice with the establishment of primary care networks that are still very much bedding in. We are moving at pace towards delivering some of the ambitions of the networks by making best use of resources, knowledge and skills but it is still very much work in progress.

You can keep up to date with all the developments around primary care by attending our Primary Care Commissioning Committee which is taking place on Friday, 14th February at 11.30am in the training & conference suite, Number One Riverside. Alternatively you can follow our live twitter feed at @NHSHMR

We can’t reflect on last month without mentioning our exit from the EU, which eventually happened on 31st January. After months of the NHS gearing up for the exit only for it to be delayed, we were at a good state of readiness for the eventual exit. We now need to remain vigilant throughout this transitional year to ensure there are no negative impacts to our services or supplies.

Across Greater Manchester, all localities have refreshed their locality plans which set out our narratives for how we have delivered transformational change to health and social care services to date and how we intend to continue our journeys towards improving health. For the last few months we have been in the midst of ambitious programmes of change working together with all our partners and stakeholders to deliver real and meaningful improvements to our services. There’s a feeling locally that we are on the cusp of achieving better services by removing barriers that have for so long hampered us operationally and organisationally. I’ll be keeping you briefed on these exciting changes as we go forward.

As you’ll be aware we are in the grip of a global health crisis, coronarvirus, which thankfully to date has only had a minimal impact in the UK. We are fortunate that Public Health England and our regulatory bodies operate the most robust of processes in order to contain cases and prevent further infection. Any one interested can keep up to date on the outbreak of coronavirus in China on a specific page. Information is also available to the public on

On a lighter note, as well as welcoming me back, Number One Riverside has welcomed a very special and older guest, in the form of Dippy the Dinosaur! Dippy is on loan from the National History Museum and will be on display in our building until later in the summer and can be viewed for free. Find out all you need to know to plan your visit at

Looking ahead to March and our next Governing Body meeting is on Friday 20th March, 9.30am -10.30am, again at Number One Riverside. Members of the public are welcome to attend and public questions are welcome too. These can be submitted through the website on the Governing Body page here  or asked during the open questions slot at beginning of each meeting.

Thanks for reading

Dr Chris Duffy