Clinical group is not anonymous

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Members of the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group certainly aren’t anonymous’ (‘Who are the members?’ Gazette May 7).

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are membership organisations formed from general practices and part of the government’s plans to give local communities more say in how their health needs are met.

GPs in 22 practices formally came together on 1 April as the Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford CCG with responsibility and a £240 million budget for 2013/14 to commission the majority of health services for nearly 186,000 people.

There’s more information on our website at www.eastbournehailshamandseafordccg.nhs.uk

These services include hospital, community and mental health services but not primary care, including family doctor services; the Surrey and Sussex Area Team of NHS England is responsible for commissioning this from GPs, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists

There were elections for the GP representatives on the CCG’s governing body.

The practice manager, nurse, secondary care doctor and lay members were appointed by the approved process. The CCG went through a rigorous authorisation process before being formally established by NHS England.

To date we have held five meetings in public – four as a ‘shadow’ CCG and one since April 1. We meet in public every other month. These meetings are publicised and questions from and attendance by the public are welcomed.

Agendas and papers are published on the website a week before meetings.

Our meeting in Seaford on May 8 was well attended. Our next meeting in public is on July 10 at Park Practice, Broadwater Way, Eastbourne, at 12.30pm.

In late June we are holding an event for people to meet local GPs, discuss healthcare priorities and ask questions. Details about how to book will be on the website shortly.

You can write to me at 36-38 Friars Walk, Lewes BN7 2PB.

By having strong clinical leadership and engaging widely with other clinicians, patients and the public, our aim is to commission excellent, sustainable healthcare with the local focus.

DR MARTIN WRITER

Chair

Eastbourne, Hailsham and Seaford Clinical Commissioning Group