​​March 2016 Governing Body Meeting​
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Our Board meeting in March showcased our Seldom Heard Grants project. Through this project, the CCG gives small grants to community groups that are supporting people to have better physical and mental health.  We have been trying to ensure the groups get involved in the work of the CCG. This helps us to strengthen our networks within the local community and gives the local community greater access to CCG commissioners and the ability to influence commissioned services.

Our Thinking Partners Group is the forum for community groups and commissioners to come together. It is growing in strength with about 50 people representing about 40 organisations attending the last meeting in February. The value of the work of the groups we have funded is powerfully demonstrated in a film, commissioned by the CCG, that we watched at the meeting. You can watch the film on our website
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Later in the meeting, we received a report about the CCG’s Self-Management Service. This is all about helping people to manage their long term health condition so that they can be as healthy as possible and get the most from life. We heard a moving story from an expert patient about how with support, he was able to manage his condition better and turn his life around. He gave us the memorable phrase “pills don’t give you skills”, describing how people need more than medication to have better health.

The Wellbeing Hub​ is the CCG website page that coordinates information and sign-posts people to support services and advice to help people to manage their long term condition. It is a year old this March and we heard about how well it has been working to date and the plans to develop it over the next year.​

Finance position

Our deputy chief finance officer, Neil McDowell presented the financial position for this year 2015/16 and next 2016/17. The good news is that we are on track to achieve our financial targets for this year. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs though, the financial situation for next year is going to be very tough with additional savings required of us; the highest level of savings that the CCG has ever had to deliver. 

A new requirement to deliver a 1% non-recurrent reserve means that we will not be able to make some of the investments we had planned, which would help to transform services. This doesn’t mean that we are not committed to transforming and improving services but it will affect how we can go about it. Graham, our Chief Officer pointed out that we still have a £465million budget and we need to do even more to make sure that every pound spent counts.  

Operating plan

Our operating plan covers all our plans for the next year. It needs to fit with the wider South West London five year sustainability and transformation plan. Our commissioners are still developing the operating plan and we discussed the need to refine it to make sure that it is both ambitious and achievable. The Board approved the direction the plan is taking. 

Before we ended the meeting, Houda Al-Sharif, our Director of Public Health, also drew the Board’s attention to the news that smokers in Wandsworth are among the most successful quitters in London! Houda thanked the support of primary care in achieving this success. Find out more about our successful quitters on the ITV News website​ .

Finally, there was a round of applause for Dr Peter Ilves, who is stepping down as Clinical Lead for West Wandsworth and Hardev Virdee, our Chief Finance Officer who leaves the CCG at the end of March. We wish them both well in their future work.