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Care Forum awarded local Healthwatch contract

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Published: 15/03/2013

The contract to provide Healthwatch South Gloucestershire was awarded to The Care Forum following a full tendering process.

As a new local champion, Healthwatch South Gloucestershire’s role will include giving the public a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided.

The organisation will also promote public health improvements, pass information and recommendations to national body Healthwatch England, and formally represent service users on South Gloucestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Board.

It will also provide a vital ‘signposting’ role, directing individuals to information and advice about access to services and choice.

Deputy Director of Public Health at South Gloucestershire Council Natalie Field said: “This represents a real opportunity for Healthwatch to support and influence further work on South Gloucestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy because the Care Forum are so well placed to capture the residents’ views. We look forward to working with them.”

Dr Jonathan Hayes, the incoming Chair of South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Healthwatch will play a vital role in bringing together the community’s views of our local health services . We are looking forward to creating a strong partnership with them so that we can continually improve access to good quality healthcare for all of our residents.”

Chief Executive of The Care Forum Rachel Robinson said: “The Care Forum is delighted to have been awarded the contract for Healthwatch in South Gloucestershire. As a well-established charity in the area supporting health and social care services and providers, with lots of experience in working with local people and local groups through our networks and information, we are really excited to have the opportunity to give an even stronger voice to local people so we can have the best health and social care services we can.”

Local Healthwatch organisations were created as part of the Government’s health and social care reforms, and play a key role in shaping the joint health and wellbeing strategies on which local commissioning decisions will be based.

Consultation on South Gloucestershire’s draft health and wellbeing strategy continues until 15 May 2013 and residents are being encouraged to share their views by visiting or telephoning telephoning 01454 862 356.

Healthwatch South Gloucestershire will begin work in April 2013.

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