New health watchdog launched

Checks on health

A new independent health watchdog to stand up for the rights of local people is being launched in Liverpool.

Healthwatch is the new health and social care guardian, replacing LINks (Local Involvement Networks).

It has three main roles:

• To give information about the care choices people have and help them navigate the health and care system

• To scrutinize and shape local services and hold organisations to account

• To provide advocacy services to resolve complaints about a health or social care service

Assistant Mayor and Cabinet member for health and social care, Cllr Roz Gladden, said: “We all access health and social care services in one way or another, so it is absolutely vital that we do all we can to help people navigate the system. This is particularly important at a time when huge changes are happening.

“We want people to be properly informed about what care they are entitled to, and feel able to speak out if they feel they haven’t received a satisfactory service. Crucially, they must be sure that they will be taken seriously and action will be taken when things go wrong.

“Healthwatch is completely independent of the city council and health and social care related organisations, so people can have confidence that the advice is completely impartial.”

Local Healthwatches will feed into Healthwatch England, who can recommend that the Care Quality Commission (CQC) takes action where appropriate.

The new organisation is being launched on Wednesday 15 May at a special event at the Isla Gladstone Conservatory at Stanley Park in Anfield.

For more information about Liverpool Healthwatch call 0300 7777 007 or log on to http://www.healthwatchliverpool.co.uk or http://www.liverpool.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/healthwatch/

A search is currently underway for an independent person to chair Liverpool Healthwatch. To request an application pack and further information, call 0151 227 5177 or email healthwatchliverpool@lcvs.org.uk. The closing date for applications is noon on Friday 31st May 2013