A Margate doctor who is also the chairman of the Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to retire after 30 years in as a GP.
Dr Tony Martin, who has been Chair of NHS Thanet CCG since it formally came into being in April 2013, is retiring on June 1. He is a GP at Bethesda Medical Centre.
Ramsgate GP Dr Jihad Malasi, who has served on the CCG’s governing body since January 2016, is taking over the chairman role.
Dr Martin said: “It has been a privilege to help care for so many patients as a GP and to work to influence service delivery for those living in Thanet.
“The importance of the 2012 legislation putting local clinicians in a position of influence has been invaluable and something that I have fought to retain. All areas of the country need care but, away from the local area, there is not the same ‘owning’ of the local problems, nor the insight that living ‘on the patch’ brings.
“I know Dr Malasi and the other members of the CCG are keen to continue this work.”
Dr Malasi, who was born in Canterbury and grew up in east Kent, said: “I would like to thank Tony for the huge contribution he has made, both in chairing the CCG’s governing body, and as a long-standing advocate for health issues in Thanet. He will be missed.
“However, I would like to assure local people that there will be no drop in our focus on improving local care and other services. I am passionate about ensuring local people get care that meets their needs and takes account of their emotional wellbeing as well as their physical health.
“We have led the way in Thanet in many of our initiatives to bring different services together and overcome some of the barriers of the past.
“We can see that what we are doing – for instance our work with the Acute Response Team for people at risk of serious illness – is improving care for patients and making life better for them and their families. I want to see Thanet continue to be a leader in these sorts of innovative projects.”
Dr Malasi has a particular interest in mental health and has been leading changes to make it easier for mental health consultants, nurses and other professionals to work in a joined-up way with GP practices in Thanet.
Dr will continue to play an active role in the development of Bethesda Medical Centre. Plans for a £6.5million extension at Bethesda are currently being considered by Thanet District Council.