Bolton Foundation Trust neonatal nurse Amy Overend
Bolton Foundation Trust neonatal nurse Amy Overend

Two leaders from Greater Manchester are to help ensure the NHS Long Term Plan is a success.

A nurse from Bolton and Oldham’s top health and care officer are among members of the new NHS Assembly, that will support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Neonatal intensive care nurse Amy Overend, from Bolton Foundation Trust, and Dr Carolyn Wilkins, the chief executive of Oldham Council and accountable officer of NHS Oldham CCG, beat off competition from more than 500 applicants to be able to bring the skills and experiences of Bolton, Oldham and Greater Manchester to the NHS Assembly.

The assembly, that includes people from across the country, will advise the boards of NHS England and NHS Improvement on implementing the improvements for health care outlined in the long term plan.

The forum builds on the collaborative approach used to create the long term plan, which highlighted some of the work already taking place in Greater Manchester – including the integration of public services, population health programmes and the job guarantee being offer to student nurses.

Dr. Carolyn Wilkins OBE, chief executive of Oldham Council and accountable officer for NHS Oldham CCG, said: “It’s a privilege to join the NHS Assembly. Oldham and Greater Manchester have been at the forefront of integrating public services creating a unique public sector system. As a region we have learnt lessons and gained experience that I’m proud will now help shape the NHS across the country.”

Bolton Foundation Trust neonatal nurse Amy Overend, who is also a trustee and non-executive member of the baby charity BLISS, said: “I really believe in the NHS and want to help work towards its sustainability. I will be able to give a voice to nursing, neonatal care, charities and also to the North West – what is happening here in neonatal care is amazing.”

The other assembly members are drawn from national and frontline clinical leaders, patients and carers, staff representatives, health and care system leaders and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

The group will meet for the first time in the spring, and then quarterly afterwards, bringing their experience, insight and links to wider networks to inform discussion and debate on the NHS’s work and priorities.

The assembly will be co-chaired by leading GP Dr Claire Gerada, and former head of the King’s Fund think tank, Professor Sir Chris Ham.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, said: “The NHS Assembly rightly reflects a wide diversity of patient, public and staff views and expertise. It builds on the inclusive process for designing the NHS Long Term Plan, and will help guide its implementation in the years to come.”



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