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INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY: The women shaping the future of health services in Leeds

INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY: The women shaping the future of health services in Leeds

Image: Gill Pottinger

For International Women’s Day, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is celebrating the women shaping the future of health services in Leeds.

There are a total of 16 women who have a joint role working in general practice and as clinical leads for the CCG. There are also nine women on the governing body (representing 60% of the board).

Jo Harding, Dr Alison Best, Dr Sam Browning and Dr Gill Pottinger are just four of these inspiring women who are using their expertise to make a difference and reduce health inequalities in Leeds.

Jo Harding, Executive Director of Quality and Nursing said: “Our clinical leads at the CCG play a vital role in shaping the future of health services in Leeds and their expertise is invaluable to us. We’re very proud of our diverse workforce and it is really important that we celebrate our women at the NHS in Leeds. Around one million women work for the NHS in England but unfortunately women are less likely to get promoted and less likely be represented in senior roles within the NHS. There is increasing evidence that a diverse workforce results in better patient care.”

Jo Harding, who sits on the board for the NHS Leeds CCG, qualified as a registered nurse in 1992 and subsequently as a registered health visitor, practising clinically in Leeds and York. She strategically and operationally managed a full range of acute and community-based services for 15 years across North Yorkshire and York. Jo has a Master’s Degree in Leading Innovation and Change. She seeks to develop and encourage effective leadership at every level of the healthcare system. In her spare time, Jo keeps herself busy with her seven step-grandchildren and as a carer for a close family member.

Dr Alison Best, Associate Medical Director for NHS Leeds CCG said: “At school, when I looked at possible careers, the only thing I could ever imagine myself doing was becoming a doctor. I’ve never looked back. Strong female role models and supportive mentoring have helped me along the way.

“I have enjoyed a variety of roles in general practice and am now Associate Medical Director at NHS Leeds CCG and Clinical Lead for the Primary Care Improvement Community, a national community with over 9000 members.”

Dr Sam Browning, GP at Spa Surgery Boston Spa and Clinical Lead for Learning Disability for NHS Leeds CCG, said: “I qualified in 1993 from Nottingham University Medical School and moved to Yorkshire where I completed my GP training. I have been a GP in Leeds for 23 years and I am married to a fellow Nottingham graduate and GP. We have three very busy children with whom we enjoy sharing family time when they can fit us in.

“I became the Clinical Lead for Learning Disability for NHS Leeds CCG seven years ago, aiming to fulfil my passion to reduce health inequalities for people with learning disabilities. My passion is shared by my whole family. My family and I help run a swim squad for young people who have intellectual and physical disabilities, founded by our eldest daughter when she was 15.”

Dr Gill Pottinger, GP at Garforth Medical Practice and Clinical Lead for End of Life Care for NHS Leeds CCG, said: “I qualified from Oxford University in 1996 and initially trained in Bristol and Bath before moving up to Yorkshire to complete my GP training. I have been a GP partner for nearly 18 years and still enjoy working part time in general practice. I am married with three teenage boys - who keep me busy.

“I became Clinical Lead for End of Life Care for NHS Leeds CCG in 2016 - this followed on from completing a course at Leeds Institute in Quality In Healthcare. I am very proud of our achievements as a city in end of life care. To be continually learning, adapting to change and improving my skills and knowledge is very fulfilling and something I hope to continue throughout my career.”

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