North Staffordshire born and bred GP and academic, Dr Lorna Clarson, has joined local NHS leaders with a specific remit to build partnerships and engage with patients in the area.
She has joined the governing board of both Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire CCGs as Clinical Director for Partnerships and Engagement.
Dr Clarson, aged 38, has contributed to research which has reached a global audience. But it is her roots in the local area that persuaded her to join the CCGs.
She said: “I am from this area and have lived in it all my life. After qualifying as a doctor I completed my training at the Royal Stoke Hospital and County Hospital in Stafford, and I have worked at practices across Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent. I want to do the best I can for local patients because I have a real connection with them and they include my family and neighbours.”
Dr Clarson currently splits her time between working as a GP at Wolstanton Medical Practice and her academic work at Keele University, where she has researched and had papers published on osteoarthritis and gout. She will continue with these roles.
She was also formerly Vice Chair of the North Staffordshire Local Medical Committee (LMC).
Dr Clarson said: “I am fully committed to my GP work and my patients at Wolstanton. But my academic work means I can have an impact that benefits patients across a much wider area too.
“My decision to work with the CCG came from reflecting on the difficult times and challenges faced by the NHS. This means that it is more important than ever that we make the right decisions and get the absolute best results from the resources we have, and I am passionate about that.
“As a doctor and academic I know how important it is to make decisions on the treatments and services we commission for patients based on hard evidence about what works best, as well as what is needed by our local population.”
Dr Clarson continued: “North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs cannot do this work on their own, which is why I am so excited to be taking on responsibility for partnerships and engagement. We need to work closely with local GPs, other NHS organisations, and everyone who delivers health and social care including the voluntary sector. Most importantly however is to work with patients so we can develop services they will get the most benefit from.”
Dr Clarson takes her place on the board from Sally Parkin who retired from the same board position earlier this year. Sally, who was a NHS Speech and Language Therapist for over 30 years, became a CCG Board Member in 2011.
Dr Steve Fawcett, Clinical Director for the CCGs said: “I would like to thank Sally for all the fantastic and dedicated work she did and to welcome Lorna to the team.”