Message from Dr Neil O’Brien, Accountable Officer
Today (Wednesday 1 April 2020) marks the creation of a new NHS organisation responsible for planning and buying health services for the people of County Durham – NHS County Durham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
The CCG has been formed following the merger of NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield CCG and NHS North Durham CCG.
As you can imagine, much of our focus during these last few weeks has been adapting to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.
We are working closely with other NHS and public sector partners to coordinate and support the response to COVID-19 pandemic within our hospitals and throughout the community and primary care.
Many of our staff are now working remotely and are being deployed to support partners in the local healthcare system during this challenging time to ensure frontline services continue to be delivered across County Durham.
Whilst we continue to deliver our key responsibilities and respond to enquiries such as freedom of information requests, but there may be delay in responding as COVID-19 is the current organisational priority. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
As we move forward, our newly formed CCG, serving a population of around 500,000 people will retain a focus on local people and local services. This will be led by the Governing Body, which will continue to have representation from GP practices, lay membership for public and patient involvement, local clinical leaders and senior managers.
I know that this is a challenging and worrying time for people and I would urge you to support the NHS by following the latest Government guidance which can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Thank you for your support as members of the public and as partners during this period of unprecedented challenge on our health services.
Dr Neil O’Brien
NHS County Durham CCG