This month the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday and it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate the achievements of one of the nation’s most loved institutions, appreciate the role the service plays in our lives and recognise and thank the extraordinary NHS staff who work in it every day.
On 5 July 1948 health secretary Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan made history by launching the NHS at Park Hospital in Manchester (today known as Trafford General Hospital). For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that were free for all at the point of delivery. Fast forward 70 years to 2018 and the NHS has transformed the health and wellbeing of the nation and become the envy of the world. It has delivered huge medical advances and improvements to public health, meaning we can all expect to live longer lives.
Here in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale we have organised a series of celebrations to mark the NHS’s milestone birthday. Together with Rochdale Borough Council we ran a competition for primary school pupils to design a 70th birthday card for the NHS. You can read more about the winners here, see the winning designs here, and the first prize winner’s birthday card design is on display on the ground floor at Number One Riverside for the whole of July. We also incorporated 70 years of the NHS into our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June; members of CCG staff took part in ‘parkrun for the NHS’ at Watergrove parkrun; and I was a guest on an NHS 70 themed show on community radio station, Crescent Radio 97FM, along with Gemma Mlambo, a Modern Matron at Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust. We are also using the anniversary as an opportunity to acknowledge long serving staff in our GP practices and the CCG. Staff who have dedicated more than 20 years service will be honoured at our staff awards later in the year. Find out more about NHS 70 celebrations in Rochdale borough at www.hmr.nhs.uk/NHS70; join the conversation on social media using the hashtag #NHS70; and visit www.england.nhs.uk/nhs70 for more information.
There have been some important developments here at the CCG over the last month. At the end of June there were changes to the leadership of our organisation and Chief Officer, Simon Wootton left the CCG after two and half successful years. During this time Simon was involved in driving a lot of the integration of health and social care work that has been going on in the borough, and thanks to that the CCG and the local authority are in a much better position than most localities across Greater Manchester. Prescribing and quality data has improved too and it is testament to Simon’s expertise and hard work in these fields, and I wish him the very best for the future. Following Simon’s departure, Steve Rumbelow, Chief Executive of Rochdale Borough Council, has been appointed to head a single leadership team across the council and the CCG.
You may also be aware that the Heywood Middleton and Rochdale CCG Long Term Conditions Test Beds Programme has concluded. This was a two year programme funded by NHS England that enabled the CCG to work closely with Verily Lifesciences and MSD on a project to increase management, detection and prevention of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and heart failure in Heywood Middleton and Rochdale patients. Evaluation of the programme is being carried out by the University of Manchester and will be available later in the year. These results will be available at our Test Bed microsite here
We are pleased to have been part of what has been an exciting and challenging journey to look at innovative ways of providing healthcare. Our sincere thanks are extended to our partners and GP practices in Heywood, Middleton, Rochdale and Bury, as well as the Rochdale and Bury Local Medical Committee (LMC), who made this possible with their support and participation in this ground breaking scheme. We are hopeful that the evaluation will reveal real benefits to patients that will lay the foundations for similar innovation here and elsewhere.
We’re enjoying some wonderful weather at the moment and as well as encouraging local people to make the most of it, I urge them to know how to stay healthy and well. You can read tips and advice in the summer edition of livin’ it! which is available read online here or pick up from your local GP practice, dental practice, library, pharmacy, children’s centre and other outlets.
In other news this month, on 10 and 11 July we’re hosting two Locality Plan Roadshows at Number One Riverside, Rochdale. Drop in to give us your views on plans to transform health and social care in the borough and find out more about the ‘Our Rochdale’ website. Read more here.
The winners of the first ever Greater Manchester Health and Care Champion Awards will be announced on 13 July and health and care professionals working in Rochdale borough have been shortlisted in four categories. To find out who has been shortlisted for the awards, visit www.gmchampionawards.co.uk and good luck to all our local nominees!
On Friday 20 July we’re holding our Governing Body meeting and local people are encouraged to attend and see how decisions about healthcare in Rochdale borough are made – you can read the agenda here. Public questions are an important part of our meetings, so if you have one, please do submit it and we can respond. Read more on the Governing Body page on our website.
And finally, nominations are open for our STAR (Special Thanks And Recognition) Awards. The People’s STAR (Nancy Fallon Memorial Award) is open to local people and patients to nominate local GPs, practice managers, practice nurses or GP receptionists who they feel deserve special thanks and recognition – read more on how to nominate here.
Thanks for reading
Dr Chris Duffy