30/05/2012 - Permalink

Help shape Shropshire Healthwatch

Related topics: Health

People across Shropshire are being invited to help shape a new organisation that will make their views heard on health and social care services.

Ideas and thoughts are sought on how Shropshire Healthwatch should work best for the people of Shropshire.

Shropshire Council is responsible for ensuring that a local Healthwatch organisation is set up to become the county’s independent champion for health and social care. This came about as part of the recent Health and Social Care Act 2012 which also sets out the transfer of public health work currently undertaken by Shropshire County Primary Care Trust (PCT) to Shropshire Council in April 2013.

People are urged to share their views on Shropshire Healthwatch by filling in an online survey at shropshire.gov.uk/shapinglocalhealthwatchshropshire

Shropshire Healthwatch will replace the Local Involvement Network (LINk) and will:

• provide information and advice to the public about health and social care services

• promote patient and public involvement in health and social care services

• represent views of people using services, carers and the public on the Shropshire Health and Well-Being Board

• seek people’s views on how services work which can be fed back into how services are designed

• report concerns about the quality of health and social care to Healthwatch England which may recommend that the Care Quality Commission take action

Shropshire Council will also be responsible for ensuring there is support for people who want to make complaints about health and social care services.

Councillor Ann Hartley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health and well-being, said:

“We are embracing our new roles as outlined in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to improve the health and well-being of Shropshire’s residents and reduce inequalities in health.

“Healthwatch will help ensure that services are more responsive to what matters to people, and are designed around their needs. Exactly what Healthwatch looks like and how it achieves these aims depends on what people tell us, so we are urging people to take this opportunity to share their views.”

Councillor Steve Charmley, Cabinet member responsible for active and healthy lifestyles, added:

“There is freedom and flexibility about what form Shropshire Healthwatch will take based on the needs and wishes of our communities.

“Please get in touch and tell us your ideas on how Healthwatch can support people to speak out and give those who want to get more involved in shaping health and social care, the opportunity to do so.

“We want to give people at the heart of services much more influence in decision-making, make it as easy as possible to find information about the choices they have, enable them to take more control of their own health, treatment and care, and put them in touch with the right advocacy organisations.”

People have until Friday 15 June 2012 to fill in the survey. To request the survey in another format contact Emma Hesbrook by phone on 01743 253912, email at emma.hesbrook@shropshire.gov.uk or in writing at Commissioning and Procurement, Shirehall, Shrewsbury, SY2 6ND.

Shropshire Healthwatch will launch on 1 April 2013 and will be funded by the Department of Health.