Derbyshire residents are being encouraged to help shape a new health and social care watchdog which will make sure their views are considered when services are planned and delivered.
Healthwatch is a new service set up by the Government which from April 2013 will allow local people to influence, challenge and get involved in the planning of health and social care services.
Each county will have one and Healthwatch Derbyshire will collect information about residents’ experiences of health and social care and make sure they’re considered when services are planned and delivered, provide information to help people choose and access services and put people in touch with an independent complaints advocate if they’re not happy with the NHS service they receive.
Derbyshire County Council is now appealing for residents to take part in a questionnaire and workshops to make sure Healthwatch reflects and represents the county’s communities.
County Council Cabinet Member for Public Health Councillor Carol Hart said: “Healthwatch Derbyshire needs to gain public trust by helping people access the health and social care services they choose and act on concerns if things go wrong.
“It will act as a new countywide independent consumer champion which is why we’re very keen for local people to take part in our questionnaire and workshops.
“We’ll be asking for views on how Healthwatch will give and receive information, how we can make sure it’s accessible to everyone and ensure it involves people from a wide range of backgrounds.”
Residents can take part in workshops which will explain Healthwatch functions and discuss how it could best perform its role. Anyone interested can get information about Healthwatch, find workshop details and have their say in an online questionnaire until October 15 at www.derbyshirepartnership.gov.uk/healthwatchderbyshire
For more information and paper copies of the questionnaire call 01629 539172, email firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Healthwatch Derbyshire, Policy and Research Division, Derbyshire County Council, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3AG.