Meet our Patient and Community Reference Group

NHS Basildon and Brentwood Cliincal Commissioning Group (CCG) has  a Patient and Community Reference Group (PCRG) which helps shape future health services for people in Basildon, Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford.

People with an interest in health services  become volunteer members of the group, and are asked for their views on how changes to health services will affect their local communities. They help the CCG reach out and communicate with the wider community that it serves.

Dr Arv Guniyangodage, Chair of NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG said: "The CCG is committed to involving local people in our decisions. We know that it will help us have a better understanding of the needs and priorities of our local communities, and we will make better decisions about how to allocate limited resources."

The PCRG meet six times a year and also participate in a number of workshops and engagement exercises. Members are appointed for a term of 18 months and we currently have some lay member vacancies, and more information on the membership and current vacancies can be found here.


Current Membership



Bill Beekoo 2

Bill Beekoo

Lay member - Brentwood

I have worked in the NHS for 43 years and retired two years ago. Last year I was governor of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals.  I spent the last 10 years of my working life in Havering Primary Care Trust and for the past 5 years was a member of the Board for the PCT working with Directors for the commissioning of services in Havering.

I worked as The Partnership Lead of the PCT and Provider Services in Havering. I participated in working groups with Users of the service,   in Forums and Discussion groups with members of the Board, including Non-Executive Directors and the GPs. As part of my role on the Board I was involved in decision making for services and running of provider services until the disestablishment of the Primary Care Trusts.  

I worked closely with the Trade unions as well as the Partnership Lead for the Trust, not only in Havering PCT but also in Barking and Dagenham PCT and NELFT.

Special interests: Heart disease, Type 2 diabetes

PCRG Malcolm Biggs 135 x 156

Malcolm Bigg

Lay member - Brentwood 

I sold my business in 2006 and retired (in theory!). Worked part time for the Construction Industry Training Board for a few years and have increased my involvement with Diabetes UK (I have had Type 2 Diabetes for 13 years). I am Chair of the Brentwood Diabetes UK Group and the Diabetes UK Service Champion for south Essex.

As part of my role with Diabetes, and because of my growing wish to help in the community, I also belong to a number of other committees. I chair the Rockleigh Court PPG, was a member of BBCCG-PPEG, and the SW Essex PPG. I also Chair the Diabetes Network Group for south west Essex and attend a similar meeting in Southend.

My main hobbies include membership of a local gym, scuba diving and being Chair of The Brentwood Wine Appreciation Society. My interest in wine led me to purchase a second home on the borders of Bordeaux, Duras and Bergerac in southern France, which is where you will find me when I do not answer the phone. 

Special interest: Diabetes

Bob Hackett

Bob Hackett

Lay member - Basildon

Currently a member of my Health Centre Patient Reference Group, Chair of the Basildon & Thurrock Cancer Services User Group and Vice-Chair of the Basildon Hospital cancer Board.    Also, a Neighbourhood Watch street coordinator used to holding meetings with local people and disseminating information.   I am a Deanery Synod and Church Council member of my local Anglican church.

My working life has been spent in the Pharmaceutical Industry, UK and International, and I have an extensive medical knowledge of many disease areas.   I have been involved in healthcare all of my working life although mostly retired now.   I have professional qualifications in Psychology and the dissertation for my Master of Science degree was for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s using the Cholinesterase Hypothesis.

I have concerns that the recent changes under the Health and Social Care Act (2012) MAY lead to some patient groups being disadvantaged such as the elderly and community care services. Patient education is becoming even more important in shaping expectations for effective health management. My knowledge and skill base can assist in this. 

Special interests: Cancer, psychology

PCRG Charles Novis 135x158

Charles Novis

Lay member - Billericay

Retired Chartered Civil Engineer. From 2003 was chair of firstly the local PPI Forum and subsequently SW locality of LINk. Lay member of QOF assessment teams & member of the Out of Hours Review group and lay member on NHS111/OOH project.

Currently chair of Western Road PPG and representative on Arterial PEG.   Chair of SWECS Patient Experience Partnership and member of NELFT PLACE inspection teams   Lay representative on EoE PCRN Management Group. Lay person on SWECS Inpatient and Community Hospital Committee

Very interested in primary and secondary prevention at all ages. Rehab in the community and in community hospitals.

Away from health; trustee of Billericay Parents Forum, sec. of Cricket Club, treasurer of sports & social club and vice chair of Friends of Lake Meadows.

Special interests: Prevention of ill-health, rehab and community services

Dr Eric Watts 135 x 158

Dr Eric Watts

Lay member - Shenfield

I have had a long term interest in health since treatment for a spinal tumour at age 12 and have been active in cancer self help and support groups for the last 20 years.

I am particularly interested in communication issues between patients and health professionals and have been involved in lay and professional working parties of the royal medical colleges.

I was a member of the DoH/Cancer Macmillan Survivorship Initiative and led a cross cutting working group to prepare the Patient Centred Charter for cancer.

I am involved in local health issues being the representative of my surgery on the NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG Patient and Public Involvement group. Amongst my activities in that role I contributed to Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett's 'Who Will Care?' commission's report into health and social care in Essex.

I have many contacts through my varied activities including running, rambling and music; I have run many marathons and raised around £6,000 for medical charities. I play in the local saxophone group and have played with other local bands and orchestras.

I believe the new NHS structures give possibilities for radical transformation and improvement in health care with increased patient education, empowerment and participation.

Special interests: Cancer, improving lay/professional communications

P1020481 Marion Wilson 135 x158

Marion Wilson

Lay member - Billericay

I was chair of the SW and SE Essex patient network group and Billericay Medical Centre since its inception. This enabled me to build up good relations with representatives from other patient groups in the area. I am also a former member of LINks.  

As an ex teacher and local councillor for 16 years I am used to communicating with members of the public. I am also the editor of the Billericay Town Council’s newsletter, The Town Crier and the biennial Town Guide. I have attended meetings and workshops about the CCG with GPs and practice managers and I have a good understanding of the current system both locally and nationally. I have contact with young people both through the Billericay Youth Town Council and my contacts with both Billericay secondary schools.

Special interests: Young people's services, tackling loneliness for older people

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Tim Young

Lay member - Wickford



Diane Fairchild

Brentwood CVS representative



Catherine Sackey

Basildon, Billericay & Wickford CVS representative




Basildon Borough Council representative 



Rhiannon Vigor

Brentwood Borough Council/Basildon Council representative
Public Health Improvement



Alison Reeve

NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG lay member (PPI) 

I was appointed to the role of Lay Member for Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) in October 2012. Since joining Basildon and Brentwood CCG I have taken the opportunity to engage with as many patients and patient groups across the locality as possible and have enjoyed developing some good working relationships.

I am passionate about the CCG working with patients as equal partners and ensuring that their views are able to inform and influence the decisions being made about their local healthcare services, so I am very pleased to be a member of the Patient and Community Reference Group (PCRG) and have the opportunity to see this partnership working in action.

I have over 16 years’ experience working in the health and social care sector and have a wide range of experience working directly with people who use health and social care services. I have worked for a variety of organisations at a local level – managing an out-of-hours GP service; working for a Primary Care Trust and being involved in the setting up and introduction of Individual Budgets as part of the National Individual Budgets Pilot at Essex County Council.

Prior to taking up my role with BBCCG I was an Advisor on the Department of Health Personalisation team working on a national demonstrator programme. In this role I acted as the champion for service user and carer involvement and worked closely with the voluntary sector organisations involved with the programme.

I am married with two grown up children and have lived in Essex all my life. Apart from my work with the CCG, I support my husband in running his business and also do consultancy work in the health and social care sector …. when I get any spare time (!) I enjoy reading and walking the family dog.

Arv crop for strategy

Dr Arv Guniyangodage


NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG 

Dr Arv Gunuangodage took up the position of Chair of Basildon and Brentwood CCG on 1 April 2016. He is a GP Principal at The New Surgery in Brentwood. He trained as a doctor at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, qualifying in 2003.

Listing cardiology and medical education as his special interests, Dr Guniyangodage is a GP Trainer and Programme Director. He is a member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Dr Guniyangodage has been involved in GP Commissioning since 2008 and served as Brentwood Locality Chair since that date. He became a member of the CCG Board when it was set up in shadow in 2012, prior to its formal establishment the following year.

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Paula Saunders

Associate Director, Involvement and Governance

NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG 


Rob Hunt 135 x 156

Rob Hunt

NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG Estates & IT Manager

I am an experienced public sector professional but also engage the NHS as a patient outside of my work role.

For the last sixteen years I have helped run a voluntary support group for people who have experienced baby loss; the parents, their families and the professionals involved. As a trained befriender I help ensure the one-to-one and monthly group meetings for parents and families provide a supportive and non-judgmental environment, allowing them the opportunity to express themselves in confidence and share their experiences. These meetings enable me provide constructive feedback to my local hospital and help the midwives gain a better understanding of the experience from their patients perspective.


Romina Bartholomeusz

NHS Basildon and Brentwood CCG Communications Manager 


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