Health watchdog is up and running

Droitwich Advertiser: CHAIRMAN: Peter Pinfield. CHAIRMAN: Peter Pinfield.

A POWERFUL new health watchdog is up and running and promises to get a better deal for patients in Worcestershire.

Worcestershire Healthwatch is now the county’s consumer champion for driving up standards, flagging up complaints and voicing opinions about the NHS.

As the county’s official NHS watchdog, Healthwatch is being backed by a Government budget of £321,000.

The independent, non-profit company has existed in a shadow form since January becoming an official statutory body at the start of the month.

It has now moved into its own offices in Pershore and is chaired by Peter Pinfield, who said its role is about listening, signposting and influencing.

“Worcestershire Healthwatch will collect and present the views and experiences of local service users to managers and decision-makers in health and social care settings,” he said.

“It will take an active part in the decision-making process of the county health and wellbeing board and work closely with three new clinical commissioning groups, local NHS trusts and the voluntary sector to ensure the decisions about priorities and services are based on the needs and experiences of local people.”

Mr Pinfield said he and his small team of staff, headed up by chief operating officer Simon Adams, will be liaising closely with Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission – essentially the Ofsted inspector of the healthcare world – to ensure patients are getting the best possible healthcare.

Worcestershire County Council signed the final contract allowing Healthwatch to become the county’s official watchdog last month with members saying that they are confident it will make a positive difference.

Councillor Marcus Hart, the cabinet member for health, said: “We’ve got an excellent chairman in Peter Pinfield and executive directors with vast amounts of experience. I believe it will be of benefit to people across the whole county.”

Worcestershire Healthwatch is planning an official public launch in early May and can be contacted on 01386 550264, healthwatchworcestershire@gmail.com or at Healthwatch Worcestershire, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, WR10 1PT.

Comments (5)

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12:48pm Mon 8 Apr 13

Jabbadad says...

Excellent news.
Let's get going folks.
Excellent news. Let's get going folks. Jabbadad

1:13pm Mon 8 Apr 13

farmeralan1963 says...

Independent company? Really? What the article fails to mention is that Mr Pinfield is currently a Labour councillor, so of course he'll have no axe to grind against recent Tory led changes to the NHS.
Independent company? Really? What the article fails to mention is that Mr Pinfield is currently a Labour councillor, so of course he'll have no axe to grind against recent Tory led changes to the NHS. farmeralan1963

1:51pm Mon 8 Apr 13

Jabbadad says...

What the uninformed pessimists here don't say is that Marcus Hart also a Tory is the overarching cabinet member and Chair, so are we saying that he should not be in place.
And no one can take away the 40+ years of a social care background that Peter Pinfield brings to the Table.
Plus Peter hasn't the time to address all the Tory wrong doings to the most vulnerable in society whist looking after the wealthy.
What the uninformed pessimists here don't say is that Marcus Hart also a Tory is the overarching cabinet member and Chair, so are we saying that he should not be in place. And no one can take away the 40+ years of a social care background that Peter Pinfield brings to the Table. Plus Peter hasn't the time to address all the Tory wrong doings to the most vulnerable in society whist looking after the wealthy. Jabbadad

5:43pm Mon 8 Apr 13

Landy44 says...

Assuming we need yet another new "watchdog" (Which I don't think we do), it's members ought to be independent and not bring with them a conflict of interest due to their other roles.

Mark my words - this will be another "talking shop" that will achieve nothing.

Will they also be reducing cost in the right places of the hierarchy of the NHS as they are "driving up standards"? I certainly hope so, but I'm not betting on it.
Assuming we need yet another new "watchdog" (Which I don't think we do), it's members ought to be independent and not bring with them a conflict of interest due to their other roles. Mark my words - this will be another "talking shop" that will achieve nothing. Will they also be reducing cost in the right places of the hierarchy of the NHS as they are "driving up standards"? I certainly hope so, but I'm not betting on it. Landy44

6:23pm Mon 8 Apr 13

Jabbadad says...

Why not join in instead of armchair criticising using guesswork or comments like farmeralan?
There is a need for the public to be involved for the success of this venture.
Why not join in instead of armchair criticising using guesswork or comments like farmeralan? There is a need for the public to be involved for the success of this venture. Jabbadad

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