the new watchdog for health and social care in Doncaster is just two months away from going live.
A private healthcare firm has been appointed to set up and support Healthwatch Doncaster on behalf of Doncaster Council after a tender process.
It will be the first time since the 1980s that there has been an independent health watchdog in the borough, following the demise of Doncaster Community Health Council.
Healthwatch Doncaster will be the local consumer champion for patients, service users and the public across health and social care.
The organisation will help individuals and local communities to have a greater say in decisions about services, ensuring that voices are not only heard but acted upon.
It will begin its work in April and will build on the work of the existing Local Involvement Network LINk.
Russell Francis, managing director of operators Parkwood Healthcare, said: “We will all use health and social care services at some time in our lives and we expect those services to be run efficiently and well.
“My team and I are determined that Healthwatch Doncaster will ensure the people of Doncaster have their say in how services are set up and run.”
Doncaster Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health and Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, Coun Patricia Schofield, said: “Healthwatch is about giving local people a powerful voice in order to ensure local people’s needs, views and experiences are taken into account and influence the planning, delivery and improvement of Health and Social Care services.
“I am very excited about this new service. Healthwatch Doncaster will need to reach out to and connect with a wide range of local people and communities.
“It will operate from town centre premises, to give people the opportunity of dropping in to discuss any issues they may have with health and social care services. The Parkwood Healthcare team has already been out and about, looking for suitable premises.”
Healthwatch Doncaster will be supported nationally by Healthwatch England which is the new, independent consumer champion for health and social care in England and was introduced under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.