A new era in the planning and development of health and social care services will commence with the inaugural public meeting of the Northern Local Commissioning Group – a committee of the regional Health and Social Care Board.
Local Commissioning Groups or LCGs comprise representatives
of professional bodies, community interests and elected representatives who bring local influence to the work of the
Board. Five such LCGs have been established and will be embarking upon their own work programme and schedule of meetings. Each Group will meet regularly in public.
Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey said that the LCGs had a vital role to play in ensuring that each Trust area had services which were tailored to meet the specific needs of their local population.
“The Health and Social Care service has undergone significant changes under the Review of Public Administration. I was always clear that the new structures should deliver a modern and efficient health service which tackles health inequalities and puts patients at the heart of its thinking.
“As part of that reform, I established a Regional Board with five Local Commissioning Groups which will be strongly rooted in their local communities. The LCGs will actively engage GPs and other primary care professionals in the planning and redesign of services to secure better and more effective services for the communities they serve.”
Speaking at the inaugural meeting, Northern GP and Chairman of the LCG, Dr Brian Hunter, said:
“This is an exciting time in the commissioning of health and social care services and there will be many challenges and opportunities ahead.
“The Northern LCG wants to work collaboratively with everyone who has an interest in improving health and social care and we look forward to engaging with local communities.”
At the meeting Ms Madeline Heaney, Commissioning Officer for Health Improvement with the Public Health Agency, delivered a presentation to members on the health and well-being status of the local population and updated members on local initiatives to reduce inequalities.