Annual General Meeting set to recount successes and challenges of local health and care’s first full year in pandemic

Local people will have the opportunity to learn more about how the NHS in their region performed during the first full year in the coronavirus pandemic at the upcoming Annual General Meeting of Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board.

Taking place via Zoom on Tuesday 13 July between 2pm and 4pm, the AGM will be a chance for any person interested in local health and care to hear representatives from the ICB recount the events of the last 12 months.

The two-hour session will also feature a look at the ICB’s finances, as well as the successful rollout of more than one million coronavirus vaccines and a look at how the region’s GP practices are managing against a backdrop of increasing demand.

Participants will also hear how the NHS was supported throughout the pandemic by colleagues working in charities, community groups and voluntary organisations.

Dr Andrew Girdher, Clinical Chair, said: “The NHS has been a constant part of all our lives for more than 70 years, but never in its history has it had to deal with the repercussions of a global pandemic.

“Our local NHS faced the challenge of coronavirus head-on, with teams from all corners of our region working together to ensure that services not only continued, but continued in a way that kept both staff and patients safe.

“And, at a time when the focus was to keep calm and carry on, our region dug deep into its reserves and ploughed forward with introducing new services, such as specialised clinics for long covid, and planning for the future as an integrated care system.

“These achievements, along with some of the challenges we have faced along the way, will be presented at our AGM, and I hope that as many people as possible can join us for what should be a thoroughly insightful look back at the last 12 months.”

This year’s AGM, which features a dedicated session on the pressure currently being felt by practices across the region, comes at a time when demand for GP appointments has risen by 73 per cent in the space of just one year.

One of the ways in which demand is being managed is through encouraging more people to visit their local pharmacist for advice on minor injuries and illness, as well as information relating to general health and wellbeing.

The AGM will hear from one of the region’s community pharmacists, who will be on hand to explain to those in attendance what this important role entails.

Public attendants are welcome to submit questions ahead of the AGM, and these should be sent to no later than three working days before the meeting date.

Places at the meeting are open to all, and those interested in attending can find details of how to register online on the event page

Joining instructions will be sent out to registered attendants closer to the meeting date.