A meeting of a powerful NHS committee will take place in private next week because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Greater Preston and Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are due to hold their joint governing body meeting on 24th March.
The local impact of the global pandemic is likely to be on the agenda and the gathering would normally be open to the press and public.
But the Local Democracy Reporting Service can reveal that the CCGs are now exploring an “alternative format” in light of the latest government guidance about unnecessary face-to-face contact. That may mean that members dial in remotely to take part in the meeting.
However, it is understood that if pressure on the NHS increases significantly in the next week, the meeting may be cancelled altogether.
The bi-monthly discussions bring together GP representatives from across Central Lancashire, as well as those from other parts of the NHS, lay members and CCG executives.
The agenda is yet to be published, but the coronavirus outbreak is almost certain to be discussed under one of the standing items – or in its own right.
The governing body papers will be available as usual via the CCG websites and the organisations have committed to publishing an update after the meeting.
Around 20 members would usually gather in close proximity for the two-and-a-half hour event – along with any observers who wished to attend – at the CCGs’ headquarters in Leyland.