Chris Mellor independent chairman Care Together programme board blog February 2016
24 February 2016

Independent Chairman Chris Mellor's Blog

February 2016


Dear colleague,

 Welcome to this month’s blog. I hope that you found last month’s update a useful summary of the work we are undertaking as part of the Care Together programme. I chaired the Programme Board on Thursday 11th February at Dukinfield Town Hall. This meeting is attended by the leaders of all three interested parties (Tameside Hospital NHS FT, Tameside MBC and Tameside & Glossop CCG). We also have representation at that meeting from GM Devolution, NHS England, and Monitor, as the Foundation Trust regulator.

I’m pleased to tell you that what we are doing here in Tameside is having a very positive impact on the quality of candidates we are appointing for key positions within the new Integrated Care Organisation. We are attracting some very good candidates from Greater Manchester and beyond, as word is evidently getting round that something interesting is happening in Tameside and Glossop. Like us, these candidates can identify with what a huge step this is for the NHS, not just on a local level, but nationally too.

In terms of some key developments, we are now underway with planning how care design groups will work. These are the groups which help design how care will be delivered in the new world and have representation from staff, stakeholders and members of the public.

We’ve also commissioned an agency to build a website which, when complete, will be a central hub of everything Care Together. It will be the one location where staff of all three organisations, stakeholder groups and members of our local community can go to find out exactly what Care Together is, what our plans are, and perhaps most importantly, how they can get involved in the conversation.

Not only that, but one of the key milestones in the establishment of the new ICO is what we are going to call it. I’m pleased to say that by April this year, we will know the answer to that question – so look out for that very exciting news.

The Programme Board also considered an initial paper and presentation on some exciting planned developments to upgrade our IT systems and infrastructure. This will take some time and considerable investment to implement but will enable our people and patients to communicate far more quickly and simply in the future.

I’ve mentioned many times since taking up post as Independent Chair, that this is a fantastic programme of work to be involved in. It’s not overselling it to say that, what we’re doing in Tameside is a real first for the NHS. We are all part of a programme which will bring services into a new age of patient centred care – and that’s exactly what the NHS should be.

Kind regards,


Chris Mellor

Independent Chair: Care Together Programme Board