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NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group is seeking volunteers of all ages and backgrounds with an interest in the NHS - people who want to do something meaningful to improve health services and make change happen - join here.

Who can become a member of the local Health Forum?

Anyone wishing to become a member must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Be a registered patient at a practice in North East Essex
  • Live or work in North East Essex
  • Use any service commissioned by North East Essex CCG
  • Be a carer or guardian of someone using a service commissioned by North East Essex CCG
  • Be a volunteer or representative from a voluntary organisation operating within North East Essex

People outside of these criteria shall become non-voting members.

What can Health Forum members do?

As a member of the Health Forum you will have opportunities to get involved at different levels according to what interests you and the time you have available. 

Sometimes the CCG may ask you to give your views on a specific matter, sometimes the Health Forum Committee, which is elected by the members of the Health Forum, will ask for your views or comments.

  • We will send you information or newsletters, and invite your comments on health service decisions in their early proposal stages
  • You can take part in your GP Practice Participation Group or the Local Engagement Group run by the Health Forum Committee in Colchester, Clacton and Harwich – the choice is yours!
  • If you express an interest, we will invite you to take part in workshop sessions to help redesign local health services

As well as helping in the design and planning of health services, Forum members can;

  • Stand for election to the North East Essex Health Forum Committee and me of the responsibilities of this committee;
  • Vote in elections for the Health Forum Committee;
  • Participate in the appointment of lay members to the CCG Board in accordance with national guidance.

How can I get in touch with the Health Forum?

If you have a query about local health services which you would like to communicate to the Health Forum Committee, contact Paula Martin at paula.martin4@nhs.net. Paula will pass your query on to the Committee, who will get in touch.

How can I keep up with the work of the Health Forum?

There are a variety of ways that you can keep up to date with the work of the Health Forum. Why not read the latest edition of Forum Focus, the Health Forum's newsletter, or come along to a Local Health Forum meeting?

How do I join the Health Forum?

You can join the Health Forum online. If you would prefer a printable version of this form, please email paula.martin4@nhs.net.

What support is available if I am elected to the Health Forum Committee?

The CCG offers training in 'Chairing and Facilitating Effective Meetings' to all members of the Health Forum Committee. We also provide mandatory equality and diversity training to all members. If you are asked to attend a meeting on behalf of the Health Forum Committee, we will provide travel expenses. Information is offered to all individuals in different formats if requested, such as large print.

Is there more information about the Health Forum?

A booklet called the North East Essex Health Forum (Constitution) (April 2012) is available in our Library, together with a summary of any subsequent amendments.

Lots of Health Forum resources, including the Forum Focus Newsletter, are in the Health Forum section of the Library.

The Health Forum

The NEE Health Forum is a largely enthusiastic and committed body of people who are interested in health matters.  They are all people who have registered as public members of North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group.

The Clinical Commissioning Group wants the Health Forum to be as inclusive as possible, and so the criteria for eligibility are very broad.  There is more detail on the Join the Health Forum page.

Members of the Health Forum can vote for the Health Forum Committee.  The Health Forum Committee has several sub-groups which are looking at specific health related issues.

The Health Forum does not have any legal powers, but has been given local powers by the CCG.  It works very closely with Essex HealthWatch, who do have legal powers.

What the Health Forum is expected to deliver

The North East Essex Health Forum is expected to demonstrate that it has contributed to and influenced the way that high quality health services have been commissioned in the most patient-centred way across North East Essex, taking into account the requirement to achieve best value.

This will be measured by reviewing success against areas raised by the forum or by noting any changes made due to intervention by Forum members.

In order to help them do that, the North East Essex Health Forum Committee will have the right to:

  • Attend decision making meetings within the CCG
  • Produce reports and share with commissioners issues they have prioritised as requiring a response;
  • Form working groups and share their findings with commissioners. The theme of these groups will be prioritised by the committee and agreed with commissioners;
  • Work with a range of stakeholder groups, including Practice Participation Groups (patients who meet at each GP surgery) and Provider Participation Groups to get the widest range of patient views and experience.
  • Organise agendas for discussion by local meetings of the Health Forum

Voluntary Organisation involvement

In order to improve our communication with the wide range of voluntary organisations that are part of our North East Essex community, the Community Voluntary Services Tendring and the Colchester Community Voluntary Services are represented on the Health Forum.

What specific issues are the Health Forum working on?

The Health Forum has set up a working group to explore how people in North East Essex can be better informed about the rights under the NHS Constitution, and specifically, their right to choose who delivers their health service if a GP wants to refer for more specialist assessment or treatment.

They are also looking at issues raised by patients, such as cancellation of appointments in a particular service, or lack of waiting room facilities in another.

Who else will the Health Forum work with to influence decisions?

The Health Forum Committee will look at each issue raised, and identify which are the appropriate organisations or groups to contact to gather information and patient experience or views. 

This might include:

  • Carers organisations
  • Providers
  • Provider patient groups
  • Patient Participation groups
  • National Commissioning Board
  • Health and Wellbeing Board
  • Health Professionals

These relationships and contacts will be facilitated by the Clinical Commissioning Group or Healthwatch where needed.

Local Health Forums

The Health Forum holds local meetings which anyone can attend, regardless of where they live.

The 2 local meetings are:

Colchester and Tendring.

These meetings give Health Forum members a chance to receive presentations and ask questions relating to key health care issues and services in their area.  They are also to raise concerns with the NEE CCG staff directly and Health Forum Committee members.

The agendas for the local meetings are set by the Health Forum Committee who request speakers on the subjects they believe local people want to hear more about.  The CCG supports the Health Forum Committee by finding suitable speakers and health professionals that are able to answer relevant questions.

Local Health Matters meetings are held bi-monthly in January, March, May, July, September, November.  Tendring is held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month  and Colchester is held on the 4th Wednesday of the month.  All meetings run from 2pm to 4pm.  The dates of future meetings can be found in the Health Forum section of the Library.

The agendas and minutes of the Local Health forums are published in our Library under Health Forum. You can read about how the Health Forum engages with the public via this report.

Contacts

All registered public members of the North East Essex Health Forum area ble to vote in elections to appoint formal committee members to represent members and to ensure that the views of patients, carers and residents in North East Essex contributed to the decision making processes of the Clinical Commissioning Group.

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