Charities join forces in push for greater people power in local health and care services

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Care Home Funding Advocates can report that four leading national charities have joined forces today to encourage more people and communities to get involved and have a say on how health and social care services are run in their area.

CSV, Regional Voices, NAVCA and National Voices have launched a new drive called Healthwatch-Communities Involved,to raise awareness amongst local people and community groups and volunteers about how they can play a greater role in shaping their services.

Local health and social care is changing rapidly. The ways in which people can participate in shaping these local services are also changing. From 1 April, a new local consumer champion – local Healthwatch, with the powers to hold local services to account, will be set up in every city and county council in the country.

Healthwatch-Communities Involved aims to increase involvement in Healthwatch and build on existing initiatives to involve people in shaping health and social care services. It wants to make it easier for people from all backgrounds and interests to hold their services to account.

The charities are inviting local groups and people to declare their support and interest by signing up online to join a map of groups and individuals in England who are interested in and ready to get involved.

The charities will connect local groups with people on the map so they can be kept informed and invited to get involved with the local Healthwatch activities in their area.

Speaking on behalf of Healthwatch-Communities Involved: Oonagh Aitken, CSV director of Social Action and Volunteering says today:

“Our organisations welcome the opportunity to work in partnership on such a fundamental issue – the role that local people can play in shaping their services.

“There is so much potential for people to make a difference, such as getting involved in the new local Healthwatch groups, as members of their hospital trust or through their GPs.

“The changes in the health and care system must be driven by the needs and preferences of local people. So to help people get involved we will help them to get their voices heard by the new organisations in charge of our health and social care services”.

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