North London Partners in health and care

Adieu Debbie and thanks

This month we say ‘bye and thanks’ to Dr Debbie Frost whose five year tenure as Chair of Barnet CCG ended in January. Debbie also stepped down from her role as Vice-Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, a role she has held since its inception in 2012 and one that she has enjoyed immensely. It gave her the opportunity to work in close collaboration with colleagues in public health and the London Borough of Barnet.

Under Debbie’s clinical leadership, Barnet CCG continued to deliver on the priorities set out in the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2015-2020. One example of this was at an event that took place last June 2018 at Brent Cross. Cllr Caroline Stock and Debbie worked together, and in collaboration with Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust’s (CLCH) Diabetes team, the Barnet Public Health Team and GLL, to focus an event on diabetes and prevention. 

The CLCH Diabetes team was able to provide on the spot testing and diagnoses. This resulted in diagnosing 22 people as diabetics as well as 25 pre-diabetics. The event preceded Diabetes Week which ran from 11 June. 

During her time as Chair, Debbie devised the Barnet GP bulletin, which she used as the main channel of communication between the CCG and its member practices. It started in 2013 with a few humble paragraphs every week and evolved into a five-page newsletter. Debbie’s flair for writing has seen engaging content produced on a weekly basis which has been a popular resource for GPs, attracting consistent positive feedback. 

When considering new ideas or changes, Debbie always kept the patient at the forefront of her mind. As an experienced local GP, she had seen the implications of patients being ‘bounced around’ the system, being transferred to different departments before finally seeing someone that could help them. To minimise this, Debbie introduced the development and implementation of new clinical pathways to ensure that patients’ treatment experience was better.  

Debbie is taking up the role of Associate Medical Director for NHS England (South). She will be missed. On behalf of all our partners across north central London we thank her for her hard work and dedication throughout the years and wish her every success in the future. 

She will be succeeded at Barnet CCG by Dr Charlotte Benjamin who was elected as the CCG’s new Chair as of Monday 21 January 2019.

Having been a member of the CCG’s Governing Body since 2013, Charlotte has a wealth of knowledge and experience of commissioning and is GP Principal at St George's Medical Centre in Hendon. In her role as a clinical leader of the CCG, she has had responsibility for mental health and learning disabilities. Charlotte led the redesign of the adults and community mental health service. In 2016, Charlotte was recognised by Pulse Magazine as a Local Hero following her work on the Reimagining Mental Health Programme in Barnet which transformed the way that mental health services are delivered in the borough. As part of this project, she was instrumental in the setting up of the Barnet Wellbeing Hub at the Meritage Centre in Hendon. Charlotte sits on the Health and Wellbeing Board and is currently leading on primary care. We look forward to working with her in her new role.