Wigan Council and its partners want YOUR views about a new patient-powered health watchdog that will put the views of people first.
The Government has announced that from April next year, every area will have a new HealthWatch body, which will act on behalf of the public (including patients and service users) as a new consumer champion for health and social care.
The new body will replace the existing Local Involvement Network (LINk) and will have the power to influence how NHS and social care services are designed and run in the borough. It will work to help make sure that people’s concerns about health and social care are heard and acted upon.
A local partnership group is currently working to develop HealthWatch. They want to hear from members of the community about their experiences of providing feedback to local health and social care services, and how they would want to have their say about services in the future.
An online questionnaire has been produced which seeks the views of the public on a range of issues. There will also be a series of consultation events about HealthWatch across the borough over the months ahead.
Chris Arkwright, chair of the existing Local Involvement Network, is urging as many people as possible to get involved, have their say and have a hand in shaping the services they rely upon.
She says: “The introduction of HealthWatch provides a fresh opportunity for local people to influence the design of health and care services, both in Wigan and nationally through HealthWatch England. It will act independently to provide advocacy and support, and give users of health and social services a voice.
“We need to continue to ensure that local services meet the needs of people who use them. We can do this by developing an active and effective HealthWatch which is why it is important that everyone has their say.”
Whilst Wigan Council’s Chief Executive, Donna Hall, adds: “The council wants to support the development of a robust, independent body that will scrutinise health and social care services in our borough. We want people in our borough to play an active role in the services they use which is why we are urging everyone to get involved.”