Plans to improve health and social care for the 750,000 residents of east Berkshire, north-east Hampshire and Farnham and Surrey Heath were strengthened today.

This follows the announcement that the Frimley Health and Care sustainability and transformation area will be one of the first in England to see commissioners and providers taking joint responsibility for all local care services.

Under the new ‘accountable care system’, councils and the NHS will be granted more control and freedom and be given a single financial bottom line – effectively abolishing annual contractual purchaser/provider negotiations in their areas.

They will work more closely together to strengthen services for people’s physical, mental and social wellbeing. All partners are committed to ensuring residents have accessible, closer-to-home services delivered in a straightforward way.

Dr Adrian Hayter, one of the chairs of the three east Berkshire clinical commissioning groups, said: “We can now move forward with our plans for care to be much more joined up. This will bring real benefits to patients.

“Health and social care professionals will be talking more to each other and supporting patients more effectively in their own homes, working in more proactive ways. Good quality hospital care will be available when needed, but support for patients to return to their own homes as quickly as possible will also be available.

“Technology and different ways of working between organisations will make much of this happen, including plans to support improvements in A&E with a new building at Wexham Park. Care for patients with mental health problems and cancer will also improve following extra investment.

“We plan to build on our great work locally, which gives patients seven-day access to GP and nurse appointments. We are also leading significant changes in GP practices by supporting them in working more closely together and strengthening their teams by recruiting other professionals, such as clinical pharmacists.

“Practices such as mine are also working more closely with social care, linking up to support people and their carers in their own homes and helping them to stay connected to their communities.”

An ambassador and inspirational role model
for patient and public involvement in Bracknell and Ascot has been crowned Thames Valley and Wessex Patient Leader 2016/17.

Karen Maskell, lay member for Bracknell and Ascot Clinical Commissioning Group, accepted the award at Wokefield Park, Berkshire, during an NHS Thames Valley and Wessex leadership recognition awards ceremony.


The awards celebrate leaders at all levels and across all professions in the NHS who have improved people’s health and the public’s experience of the NHS.

Speaking after the ceremony, Karen said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have received this award.“Although I find it challenging at times, I thoroughly enjoy representing patients and the public in Bracknell and Ascot, ensuring their voices are heard and considered when decisions are made about service improvements or changes.

She added: “Now more than ever, we’re seeing health partners working more closely together across the east of Berkshire to plan and provide the best possible care to improve our quality of life.

“Equally, we all have a role to play in taking responsibility for our own health and care and making the best out of life.”

Karen is recognised for her huge contribution in the creation of HealthMakers locally. These are a group of volunteers with long-term health issues who teach others how to live well as well as they can with their own health problems.

The group train others to become HealthMakers and work closely with local health services to improve patient care and quality of life.

Karen’s vision for the group arose from the 2012 Olympics, during which 80,000 volunteer Games Makers happily contributed their time and energy to helping visitors. Karen wanted to capture the spirit of a well-trained and motivated community to support health and wellbeing, thus HealthMakers were born.

She also works as a patient partner with the Thames Valley Senate and the NHS England Patient Experience Oversight Group.

Sarah Bellars, Director of Nursing and Quality for the three CCGs in east Berkshire, said: “Karen tirelessly seeks and represents the public’s view and ensures those around them do so as well.

“The way in which she works with the Oxford Academic Health Science Network and East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Groups epitomises effective, collaborative patient engagement. She challenges the status quo in a way that is constructive and opens up new ways of looking at things.”

Commissioners in east Berkshire are hosting their first conference to highlight services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Taking place next Thursday (16/3) at Maidenhead Town Hall, the free conference will showcase services such as education, health and social care.

Dr Lalitha Iyer, GP and Medical Director for the three Clinical Commissioning Groups in east Berkshire, will open the conference followed by an array of guest speakers. These will include representatives from the Council for Disabled Children, Parent Carer Forum, local authorities/Children’s Trust, Clinical Commissioning Groups, clinicians and healthcare providers. There will be a questions and answers panel at the end of the conference.

The conference is aimed at professionals who work directly with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, as well as parents/carers in east Berkshire.

Fiona Slevin-Brown, East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group’s (CCGs) Director of Strategy and Operations, said: “We are really excited about this conference which is the first of its kind in east Berkshire.
“With our three local authorities, we are committed to working together to improve outcomes for our children and young people.

More than 100 tickets have been allocated for attendees, but spaces are still available.
Due to space limitations, the event is only for people living in east Berkshire or registered with a GP in the area. Spaces will need to be pre-booked via the link below.

Registration will start at 2.30pm on the day with an opportunity for attendees to network thereafter until the start of the conference which is at 3pm. It will finish at 5pm.

To reserve a space, please use the following link:

Password: march2017

Please note that there is no parking available at the Town Hall on the day. Attendees are advised to use public parking facilities nearby.