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19 October 2012, 06:00
Patients in Reading are getting a chance to find out more about changes coming to the NHS next year.
From April 1 groups of GPs will take over the commissioning of services from Primary Care Trusts.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) will decide which services to buy from hospitals and other health providers.
A drop-in session is being held today from 12 to 2 pm at Reading Town Hall in the Waterhouse Chamber.
People will get information on plans for the health service from the 2 CCGs and how to join local patient groups.
Carol Munt from Patient Voice in Reading says not enough's being done to get people involved; "People who feel that don't really have a need to get involved because there is nothing wrong with them at the moment should make an effort, so when they do need help, at least the treatment they need will be in place and will be affordable.
"This is a great opportunity to learn what the new system means to us - the patients - and to see that we do have the chance to make our voice heard. Please find the time to come and to see how you can join in to make sure that patient groups become stronger and, therefore, more effective."
Dr Rod Smith, chair of North and West Reading Clinical Commissioning Group said, "We want to make sure patients, their carers and their families are fully involved in all decisions about their care. Local people can work with GPs to help us to develop services that best meet patients’ needs.”
Dr Elizabeth Johnston, chair of South Reading Clinical Commissioning Group, said, "This is the chance to meet some of our local GPs and have key roles in the CCG. It’s an informal setting where you can ask questions on our plans for local health services. Please do drop in."