WORKFORCE: A former social worker has been named as the preferred candidate to chair the Blackburn with Darwen CCG, with special responsibility for public and patient involvement.

Joe Slater, 60, from Blackburn, will be one of two lay people on the CCG Board. A second lay person is due to be appointed later this month.

The CCG said in a statement that a “key part” of his new role will be “promoting patient and public involvement – including working with the new local patient voice organisation Healthwatch - to ensure people are at the heart of local decisions about health services”.

The CCG is currently chaired by Darwen GP Dr Chris Clayton, who is bidding to become chief executive of the new organisation once it is officially authorised by the government later this year.

Dr Clayton said: “It has always been our ambition to have a community representative leading the CCG to complement the knowledge and expertise of GPs and other health professionals who will sit on the board.

“Joe is somebody with a long and successful career in public service, mainly around social care and also with vast experience of how public sector organisations and boards run.”

Mr Slater will now go through a further assessment process before being formally appointed as chair in August.