We're looking for Governing body members

Norfolk and Waveney will have a new NHS Clinical Commissioning Group from 1 April - and the search is on for talented people to join its Governing Body.

The new CCG needs to appoint four ‘lay members’ plus a Registered Nurse and a Secondary Care Doctor, to oversee its work. Advertisements have gone live on the NHS Jobs website, closing on January 31st.

The Chief Officer, Melanie Craig, said: “We are looking for people with a passion for the NHS and public service, as well as the insight and expertise to help lead us in the years ahead.”

There are currently five CCGs in Norfolk and Waveney, including Norwich CCG. Last autumn they voted to merge and form one, united and focussed CCG called “NHS Norfolk and Waveney”.

A Governing Body is the equivalent of a “Board of Directors” - the members meet regularly to approve major decisions and oversee the work of the CCG - and the lay members are there to provide outside expertise and scrutiny.

The ‘lay’ roles cover patient and public involvement, primary care, finance and performance, and financial management and audit. The CCG is also looking for an experienced Registered Nurse and Secondary Care Doctor, who would bring added clinical expertise to the Governing Body.

Already, the new CCG has five local doctors and nurses elected to serve as ‘clinical leaders’. They were voted for by the GP Practices in Norfolk and Waveney. They are:

  • Dr Hilary Byrne - elected by GP practices in South Norfolk
  • Dr Anoop Dhesi - elected by GP practices in North Norfolk
  • Dr Clare Hambling - elected by GP practices in West Norfolk
  • Dr Ardyn Ross - elected by GP practices in Great Yarmouth and Waveney
  • Tracy Williams, Queen’s Nurse - elected by GP practices in Norwich

The Governing Body roles are advertised here:

Patient and public involvement 

Finance & Performance

Primary Care 

Financial Management and Audit 

Registered Nurse 

Secondary Care Doctor

Employers can protect their staff with a flu jab

Melanie Craig receiving flu vaccinationHealth chiefs are urging the public and employers to take control of their healthcare by having the flu vaccine this winter.

The flu virus usually peaks around this time of year with typical length of sickness lasting 7 – 14 days. Flu can be incredibly unpleasant for many people but for a select few it can be fatal leading to serious respiratory illnesses.

One way of avoiding you and your staff members from falling victim to the flu is to receive your annual flu vaccine from your GP or pharmacy.

Common symptoms of flu include a high temperature, fatigue, headache, general aches and pains and a dry, chesty cough. If you are generally fit and healthy you can usually manage the symptoms at home yourself without seeing a doctor. The best remedy is to rest at home, keep warm and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Paracetamol or ibuprofen may help lower a high temperature and relieve aches. A pharmacist will be able to provide advice on medication.

Melanie Craig, Chief Officer of the five NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups in Norfolk and Waveney, has received her vaccination and said: “The flu jab is quick and easy to receive and takes just a couple of minutes. This then not only protects me, but also helps protect my family at home from suffering from the flu and it ruining our Christmas.

“As a Chief Officer of an organisation I value the wellbeing of my staff and understand the impact an employee absence can have. At the CCGs we have been encouraging all our staff to receive their flu vaccination from their GP or local pharmacy.”

Those eligible for a free vaccination on the NHS can book their vaccination at their local GP surgery or pharmacy. For those who are not in the eligible categories, flu vaccinations are available from pharmacies for as little as £10.

GP Surgeries open their doors to offer the flu vaccination

GP surgeries across Norfolk and Waveney are gearing up to provide special clinics to offer patients their annual flu jab.

Children aged between 2 and 10 years old will be offered the nasal spray vaccination. The adult flu vaccine is offered free to those in groups at particular risk of infection and complications from flu. The groups being offered the adult flu vaccine are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Those aged 65 or over
  • Those aged under 65 with long-term conditions
  • Carers

GPs are asking their patients to book a place in forthcoming flu clinics as soon as they are advertised. Alternatively, you can visit your nearest participating pharmacy.

GP surgeries are also testing atrial fibrillation in patients over the age of 65. Although flu vaccinations are available from other outlets it is only GP surgeries who are offering the additional check for abnormal heart rates at the same time.

In addition to the atrial fibrillation and flu vaccination applicable patients are able to receive Pneumococcal vaccines protecting patients against the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae. The vaccine can prevent some cases of pneumonia, meningitis, and sepsis. A pneumococcal infection can affect anyone. However, some people are at higher risk of serious illness and can be given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS.

Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of North Norfolk CCG and Partner at Stalham Staithe GP Surgery said: “Flu can be incredibly unpleasant for many people but for a select few it can be fatal. The best way for people to protect themselves and loved ones around them is to get the vaccination on offer especially those offered it for free on the NHS.”

Dr Louise Smith, Director of Public Health said: “If you have a bad cold or the flu, you are best to manage your illness from home, without seeing a doctor or visiting a hospital. You shouldn’t need to see your GP unless the symptoms become particularly severe, last far longer than usual or if you have a long-term health condition. If you think you might be suffering from flu and are concerned that your symptoms are worsening you can call NHS 111 for advice.”

A previous pilot programme showed vaccinating children had dual benefit; as well as protecting them from flu, it also protects others, such as parents, grandparents and siblings, as children are ‘super spreaders’ and are much more likely to infect others.