A provider for Healthwatch across the local area has now been announced. Following a successful tendering process commissioned by the Council.
The Care Forum has been awarded the contract and will take up the new role from 1st April 2013.
Healthwatch B&NES will operate as the new consumer champion for health and social care and will replace B&NES LINk (Local Involvement Network) which has been undertaking this work since 2008. The role of Healthwatch is to build on this legacy and to further promote the consumer interest of all those who use health and social care services. Healthwatch is a national initiative and will launch in over 150 local authority areas across the country.
Councillor Simon Allen (Lib-Dem, Radstock), Council Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said, “This is good news for local people. Ensuring we listen carefully to the voices and experiences of people who use health and social care services is essential. We need to plan and shape the way we do things along with local people to ensure our services meet the needs of those who use them. I look forward to working with The Care Forum on this objective and to welcoming Healthwatch into B&NES and onto the Health and Wellbeing Board. Here they will have two seats alongside local council and NHS leaders.”
Chief Executive of the Care Forum Rachel Robinson said, “We are delighted to have been awarded the contract for Healthwatch in B&NES. The Care Forum is a well established charity in the area supporting health and social care services and providers. We have lots of experience in working with local people and local groups through our networks and information. We are really excited to have the opportunity to build on what we have done and bring an even stronger voice to local people so we can have the best health and social care services we can.”
Further information on the aims of Healthwatch and what it is trying to achieve can be seen on the Healthwatch England website. www.healthwatch.co.uk