Dr Wirin Bhatiani is the chairman of Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group - tackling the issues that  affect the health of the town

NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group wants more services to be provided in the community, closer to where people live.

Developing community services is an integral part of achieving this. We want patients to be able to access the services they need, when they need them, and for those services to be provided in the most suitable way.

The CCG has spoken to local people and found many agree with this approach. There is support for spending more money on community services and less on hospital care. If we support more people to remain independent in their own homes, less money will be spent on specialist services and hospital admissions.

The CCG commissions, or buys, Bolton's community services from Bolton NHS Foundation Trust. This includes large services such as district nursing and physiotherapy, as well as smaller services, including children's nutrition, and end of life care. Community services provide valuable support to many residents and are essential for our local NHS. However, feedback from patients, public, and GPs shows there are areas for improvement, especially if these services are to play a bigger role in our care.

The CCG has undertaken analysis of community services, in partnership with the trust. This has provided a wealth of information, helping us to identify examples of great work being done by staff, as well as any gaps in service, or potential issues. This will help inform future service improvements. We are currently working with the trust to review community services and ensure the needs of Bolton people are met.

The CCG wants these services to be more accessible and responsive to patients. Our aim is for lower waiting times and where possible to provide community services locally. Ensuring our community services are fit for purpose is an essential part of the CCG's ongoing work to make health and social care work in a more joined up way. This will mean higher quality care and greater support for vulnerable people and those with complex health needs.

I firmly believe patients will see a real difference once these changes have been fully implemented.