NOW the main festivities are over with, it’s the ideal time to look to the year ahead and all the exciting work we will be undertaking as a town.

Recently, I was at an event where the council presented its vision for 2030 and one particular slide resonated with me as it stated: ‘Bolton will be a vibrant place, built on strong cohesive communities, successful businesses and healthy, engaged residents.’

As a CCG we are responsible for ensuring people have the health services they need and we spend time communicating and engaging with residents about services - so overall, we have a major part to play in the vision for Bolton.

One of the buzz words for 2018 was ‘co-design’, which means working with all stakeholders to design a service that will ultimately meet everyone’s needs.

This approach has proved successful and will form the basis of making decisions in the future - including other providers, the community and voluntary sector and members of the public.

We have some key developments on the horizon and, working in collaboration, we’ll be focusing on keeping people well and independent in their own homes.

The emphasis will be on prevention and early intervention, helping people to avoid more serious illness later on.

Focus will also be on improving a patient’s experience of care, with the aim of achieving better outcomes.

Care will be centred on the individual person, taking into account their circumstances and support network of friends and family.

We’ll also be further enhancing services around emotional and mental health, including work with people at risk of self-harm and suicide.

So, all in all a busy year ahead!