General, Supporting our vulnerable adults

Search for healthwatch champion

Bids are being invited from organisations to take on the role of Surrey’s health and social care consumer champion.

Michael Gosling.

Michael Gosling.

Surrey County Council is looking for organisations interested in forming a new public body to take on the role of and responsibilities of the county’s healthwatch.

The local healthwatch will be an independent organisation able to recruit volunteers and employ its own staff.

It will offer advice services to patients and people who use health and social care services. It will also help to support patient and public involvement in the review and development of services.

Under national health reforms, every local authority in England has to establish a local healthwatch, to replace existing Local Involvement Networks, by April next year.

The national changes will see public health transfer to councils and GPs take control of around £65bn of NHS spending. At the same time, a new Surrey health and wellbeing board will be responsible for integrating health and social care. The new healthwatch will be part of this board.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health Michael Gosling, who is also joint chair of Surrey’s health and wellbeing board, said: “We’re determined to improve the health and wellbeing of individuals and their communities in Surrey and the new healthwatch will help local people get more involved in shaping services.”

The closing date for applications – which should be made by going to www.surrey.bravosolution.co.uk – is 7 January next year. Interviews will take place shortly after. Volunteers wishing to join the evaluation panel can email scchealthboard@surreycc.gov.uk.

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