How health service changes affect you
ISLE residents are to be given the chance to hear what impact plans that will see GPs take control of health service funding could have on their lives.
From April, primary care trusts such as NHS North Lincolnshire will be scrapped and replaced with GP-led bodies called clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), which will take charge of much of the NHS budget.
The controversial move was opposed by many health professionals but has just been "rubber stamped" by the Department of Health.
North Lincolnshire is just one of 19 CCGs that has been approved without any conditions attached.
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Now a member of a CCG that will take charge of a large chunk of the health budget in the Isle will spell out what the changes will mean for patients.
Ian Reekie has been invited to discuss the issues surrounding the changes at a Crowle and Ealand Town Council meeting on March 12.
Councillor Trevor Barker, vice-chairman of North Lincolnshire Council's health scrutiny panel, has called for Mr Reekie to explain what the area is facing.
Mr Barker said: "I've said to people on the panel and to Frances Cunning, who is the director of public health, that people are not aware of what the Clinical Commissioning Group is."
And Mr Barker has some concerns about the changes.
He said: "We may not see money being spent where it's been spent or allocated before – it may be detrimental to some of our local services at Scunthorpe General Hospital."
And locally, Mr Barker said he was not sure about whether GPs were prepared. He said: "I've had a chat with a couple of them and you get the impression that the ordinary GPs are not much involved.
Mr Barker does not think the public will see any immediate changes but worries that problems may arise should any existing services be relocated.
Allison Cooke, chief officer for North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said a representative from each of the 21 GP practices in North Lincolnshire would approve every decision made by the CCG.
She said: "I understand Mr Barker's concerns but in order for the NHS to continue to provide the very best care within the finances made available to us we will have to review how some services are provided. However no decisions will be made without the full consultation of the public."