Patients wanted to provide feedback on local NHS services

People living in or registered with a GP practice in Richmondshire are encouraged to join a free network to learn more about local health services.

Local health body, NHS Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has a statutory responsibility to encourage patient and public involvement when buying new, or looking to change existing health services.

The organisation says it is important that local people have a say and are kept up-to-date as much as possible.

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In 2013, a membership of local people was created.

The CCG’s Health Engagement Network known as the ‘HEN’ helps to reach local communities and are the ‘go to’ resource for feedback on existing services and plans for the future.

There are currently just under 230 members across Hambleton and Richmondshire but the CCG wants more people to join and get more involved.

To ensure the CCG is fully representative, there are three non-voting members who sit on the Governing Body known as Health Engagement Network Representatives (HEN) Representatives.

Ann MacNamara representing Hambleton and Jane Richie MBE for Richmondshire act as liaisons between the CCG and the public and as critical friends for their particular area.

Health Engagement Network Representative for Richmondshire, Jane Ritchie MBE said: “The next 10 years will see enormous challenges to our NHS. Membership of the HEN should help you to be better informed and understand ‘the art of the possible’ for health.

“We will need to support our GPs and other health service professionals, including our ambulance service, by keeping up to date as to the challenges they will face. I would therefore encourage anyone living in the Richmondshire area to join the network.”

Health Engagement Network Representative for Hambleton, Ann MacNamara said: “Becoming a HEN member will not solve the NHS funding problems but what it will do is make sure that your voice will be heard as part of the discussions about health in our area.

“It will enable you to be more informed about the processes involved through reading, meetings and informal discussions.

“You can be involved at different levels depending on you and the time available.

“We really need your input and it can all be done through electronic means, face to face, phone or letter. Our health matters to us all.”

Any resident, or those registered with a GP practice in the areas of Hambleton or Richmondshire can join the network for free.

There is no cost or obligation and the level of involvement is optional ranging from receiving newsletters and the occasional survey to being invited to take part in focus groups looking at specific issues or services.

Linda Lloyd, CCG vice chair and lead for patient and public involvement, said: “Overall our HEN is steadily growing across the three locations and I have been a member since the inception.

“I would not have applied for this Lay position with the CCG without the knowledge gathered over that period.

“Across the years we have endeavoured to meet with the network in various ways: at patient events, annual general meetings, surveys, engagement or consultation events and small group discussions.

“There is also the CCG newsletter, which is distributed via email or post to all the HEN members every month. It covers topics both local and on a wider scale.

“Knowledge of the area, of the people, of the local niggles and quandaries have all helped me to put the patient and public view into the framework of the CCG.

“The CCG is grateful to those of our network that keep us informed with, what we call “soft intelligence”. All this helps to build a picture of the happenings from the patient side of events in their locality. We would love to see more local people join and get involved.”

To join the network, apply online via the CCG’s website:

Alternatively, call 01609 767600 to request an application form or email

Alternatively, you can write to the CCG: HRW CCG Communications and Engagement, Civic Centre, Stone Cross, Northallerton DL6 2UU.