Public asked to join health board

THE new body for overseeing healthcare in Whitby and at the town’s hospital is looking for members of the public to help shape what services will be provided.

NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is made up of local GP practices and will take over management of the town’s healthcare when the government’s Primary Care Trusts are disbanded later this year.

In anticipation of that, it is recruiting three people from its Health Engagement Network (HEN)- a panel of patients - to join the Shadow Governing Body and represent the patients on a volunteer basis.

The members, one to represent each of the three areas, will be responsible for communicating with their local areas on the key developments within the CCG and ensuring the public are kept up to speed.

In turn they will report back to the CCG on issues raised by the members of HEN in response to proposed changes put forward by the CCG.

It is hoped the three new members will also attend meetings, provide reports and encourage more people within their local communities to become involved in consultations and discussions on health care in Whitby.

The North Yorkshire and Humber Commissioning Unit said potential members need to have a knowledge of local NHS facilities and services as well as the make up of the local community, willingness to look at the needs of everyone and not just one single issue, ability to speak in public and communicate with a diverse group of people and to be prepared to attend meetings and undergo training.

The application process started on Monday and the deadline for applications is Friday 8 February. Members of HEN will then vote for one of the candidates and the one with the most votes will be elected. The voting period will be between Friday 15 February and Friday 1 March.

The successful candidate will be announced on Monday 4 March and take up their post on Monday 1 April.