Welcome to this month’s blog.
To begin I’m delighted to share with you news of the winners of the HMR Special Thanks And Recognition (STAR) Awards 2019! Compassionate and dedicated staff at GP practices; health workers who go above and beyond in their roles; and high achieving GP surgery teams were among those who were recognised on Friday 27 September at our annual awards.
The STAR Awards to celebrate the excellent work of HMR CCG and partner agency staff, GPs and GP practice staff who help HMR CCG deliver its objectives and achieve its vision of healthier people, with a better future. This year we welcomed special guest, ex-Rochdale AFC player Joe Thompson to present the Shining STAR Award. Joe twice battled cancer during his professional football career and it was a privilege to hear his inspirational story.
Over 70 teams and individuals were nominated across five STAR Award categories for their work to deliver high quality, compassionate and individual patient care to people in the Rochdale borough.
The People’s STAR award was voted for by members of the public for a person or team considered to have provided high quality, compassionate and individual patient care. The other four awards were internal awards voted for by staff at HMR CCG and Rochdale Borough Council.
I was delighted to be one of the judges who had the unenviable task of whittling down entries to five winners and eight highly commended nominees – the list is available on the STAR Awards page on our website.
Putting patients first is at the heart of the NHS and we’re obliged to remind patients and their families of their right to make choices concerning their care and treatment. Firstly you will have the choice to register with a general practice local to your home and if necessary to register with a practice if you are away from home on a temporary basis. If your GP needs to refer you for treatment for a physical or mental health condition, the NHS Constitution says you can choose which hospital or service you go to, as long as this is clinically appropriate. It might be that you choose to go somewhere to be treated as soon as possible; to be closer to home or family; to be closer to work; or to choose a particular consultant; or something else. To find out more, ask your GP or a member of practice staff or visit www.nhs.uk/patientchoice
On to this month and to coincide with International Day of Older Persons on 1 October, together with care homes across the borough, Northern Care Alliance NHS Group and North West Ambulance NHS Trust we launched the HMR Red Bag Scheme to improve the way care is joined up for patients who are admitted into hospital from care homes – read all about it in our news story.
Thursday 10 October is World Mental Health day and this year’s theme is suicide prevention. Rochdale and District Mind is holding an information event at Number One Riverside 10am-2pm and members of the public are invited to drop by – details on the poster here. Look out for messages on our Twitter and Facebook accounts, too.
October is Black History Month, the annual commemoration of the history, achievements and contributions of black people in the UK and there is a full calendar of events to celebrate the month locally. Among these is the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Conference being held on 28 October for which will explore the inequalities affecting BAME communities and workforces – read more and book your place here.
As you are no doubt aware, the UK is leaving the European Union on 31 October and the CCG has been working with the local authority and partners in the health and social care sector to make sure we are prepared. The government is working closely with the NHS and suppliers to help to ensure medicines and medical products continue to be available for patients if there is a ‘no deal’ Brexit – please visit nhs.uk for information and advice. For more on Brexit preparedness, please visit the Greater Manchester Preparing for Brexit website or the government website.
Finally, there are some diary dates for next month. On Friday 8 November we are holding our Primary Care Commissioning Committee meeting 11.30am-1.30pm and our Governing Body meeting is on Friday 15 November 10.30am-12.30pm. Both meetings will be held at Number One Riverside, Rochdale and members of the public are invited to attend and see decision making in action.
Thanks for reading
Vice Chair of the CCG Governing Body and Primary Care