Bolton Council is looking for people who like to keep their eye on health and care services and get involved in important decisions.
By April 2013, the council must set up Healthwatch in Bolton, and is looking to the general public, along with organisations involved in health and wellbeing services, to help them identify priorities.
The aim of Healthwatch is to provide information to the public about health and social care services; obtain people’s views about their health care needs; listen to their experience of local care services; and encourage people to become involved in the monitoring and commissioning of these services.
In order to achieve these objectives, the council needs people to tell them what they think is important and what they would like Healthwatch to focus on by filling in an online survey.
In addition to the survey, there will be a consultation event on July 5 at Bolton Town Hall for interested members of the public and people working in health and wellbeing services, including the voluntary sector, public sector and private businesses.
The local Healthwatch group is a statutory independent body created by the Health and Social Care Bill and funded by central government, which will also feed into the national body, Healthwatch England.
As well as defining local health and care needs, Healthwatch Bolton will also share people’s views and experiences with Healthwatch England, and highlight areas of concern which they believe should be investigated or reviewed by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Bolton Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Health, Councillor Linda Thomas, said: “The government has tasked Bolton to set up a local Healthwatch and there is flexibility around how we make this work for our town.
“With that in mind, we are encouraging people to share their views and help define what is needed for Bolton, as ultimately this is an organisation that will help improve services for our residents.
“The survey only takes a few minutes and people’s responses will be taken on board.”
If anyone is also interested in attending the consultation event on July 5 from 9.30am to 12.30pm, they should contact Carol Street for more information on 01204 337245 or email her.