Saturday, 31 July 2021

Hospital watchdog to appoint new chairman

A GROUP set up to monitor services at the new Townlands Hospital could have a new independent chairman by next month

A GROUP set up to monitor services at the new Townlands Hospital could have a new independent chairman by next month.

The Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group agreed to replace the current chairman of the Townlands Stakeholders Reference Group after criticism by the Townlands Steering Group that it was not following its remit to engage with the community and stakeholders.

The group does not meet in public and is chaired by Corrine Yates, head of strategic communications at the commissioning group.

The steering group called it “tokenistic” and “a PR machine” for the commissioning group.

The chairman’s role has been advertised with a deadline for applications of Monday, March 7. Interviews will begin a week later. David Smith, chief executive of the commissioning group, said: “This is an important role for a candidate who will need to demonstrate skills in leadership and communications, relationship-building and the ability to manage a range of stakeholder interests.

“It will be a challenge but this is an exciting time when Townlands Hospital takes centre stage in innovative ways of providing health and social care to the local community.”

Applicants must be independent of any organisation or individual involved with the Townlands project and must have “chairing skills gained in complex environments, with a proven track record in working with a range of stakeholders and in public involvement”.

Meanwhile, the new hospital has received an “excellent” rating in its first independent assessment.

The environmental assessment was carried by inspectors from the Building Research Establishment, which looks for effective use of resources with a focus on value and efficiency.

Certificates are given to buildings which are considered to enhance the wellbeing of the people who live and work in them.

James Wakeham, regional director for NHS Property Services said: “We have always been committed to delivering an excellent new healthcare facility to the community of Henley and it is very pleasing to see this achieved and our contribution recognised independently.”

A public meeting of the Townlands Steering Group will be held at Henley town hall on Monday at 7.30pm. The group will consider passing a vote of no confidence in the commissioning group.

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