Health blogs and stories

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Patients are at the heart of everything we do. We are actively encouraging local people, as well as doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, to share their health stories to help inform, encourage and inspire others. 

If you would like to tell your story about healthcare, or a health condition, please email us at bsol.comms@nhs.net or call 0121 203 3341. 

Making a difference to health in Birmingham and Solihull

My name’s Tony Hawkhead, and I have been the Lay Vice Chair of NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG for 16 months now.

I’d always been aware of the amazing things that the NHS has done for me, my family and my friends; my wife had been a speech and language therapist, and my mother was a nurse. When I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to work within the CCG, it was an easy decision to say yes.

So, what has the CCG got to do with people in Birmingham and Solihull? Not everyone will be aware, but the answer is actually a lot! We plan and purchase healthcare services across the area for the grand total of 1.3 million people – this makes us the biggest CCG in the country, which is really exciting.

There’s such a range of different departments and teams, whose individual pieces of work all come together to deliver our key priorities. A prime aspect of my role is being a member of the CCG’s Governing Body. The Governing Body exists to ensure that there is good governance, and to promote a culture of strong engagement with patients, their carers, GP members, the public and other stakeholders about the activity and progress of the CCG.

I’m a member of three of our six committees, which helps the Governing Body look at key decisions and issues in more detail. I am a member of our audit and risk committee, and I chair the remuneration committee, which looks at senior pay and appointments. I’m also the vice chair of the primary care commissioning committee, which oversees decisions involving practices and other elements of primary care.

Having previously worked as Chief Executive Officer at the national charity Action for Children, I have a special interest in ensuring that we provide the very best services for children. This means I visit the Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and other children’s services across Birmingham and Solihull, to see services on the ground. This helps inform the work I do as part of the NHS, but is also very valuable for when I attend meetings with local partners, such as the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board.

I am very fortunate to do a job with committed and talented colleagues, which I really enjoy and where I can feel that I am part of a team making a real difference. I’m really looking forward to working as part of the CCG, and with our partners, to continue to transform healthcare in Birmingham and Solihull.