75 Local HealthWatch pathfinders, introduced as part of the Government’s plans to modernise the NHS, were announced today. These new learning networks will champion patients’ views and experiences, promote the integration of local services and improve choice for patients through advice and access to information.
Local HealthWatch will provide a collective voice for patients and carers, and advise the new Clinical Commissioning Groups on the shape of local services to ensure they are informed by the views of the local community.
Visiting a new HealthWatch pathfinder in Cambridgeshire, Andrew Lansley said:
“Putting patients and the public at the very heart of the health service is central to our vision of modernising the NHS and today is a huge step forward.
“Local HealthWatch will give patients and carers a real say over how their local health service is run. They will act as patient champions, drive local involvement in the community and ensure patients understand the choices available to them.”
Councillor Catherine Hutton, Portfolio Holder for Adult Services at Cambridgeshire County Council, said:
“Cambridgeshire’s HealthWatch Pathfinder will build on the strong joint work that is happening in health and social care services across the county. The County Council is working together with local GPs, the local health service and Cambridgeshire Local Involvement Network to make sure that people have a voice in health and social care services.”
Mike Hewins, Chairman of Cambridgeshire Local Involvement Network, said:
“Cambridgeshire LINk has always worked hard to put patients and service users at the forefront of its work. As a HealthWatch Pathfinder, we’ll be able to reach out and work with many more people in Cambridgeshire and ensure that they are fully involved in health and social care in the county.”
The 75 Local HealthWatch pathfinders established today will pioneer plans ahead of their full establishment across the country in October 2012.
Notes to editors:
- For media enquiries including to request an interview with Andrew Lansley please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5221.
- A link to The NHS White Paper - Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS.
- A List of Healthwatch Pathfinders