New health watchdog ‘will give patients a bigger say in services’

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A WATCHDOG organisation for health and social care services in Doncaster is to be set up.

Healthwatch Doncaster, which is expected to help individuals and local communities have a greater say in decisions over health and social care services, has been given the go ahead to start in April this year.

Doncaster Council has appointed Parkwood Healthcare to set up the watchdog service which will aim to be a local consumer champion and help to give patients, service users and the public a local and national voice about the services they use.

Russell Francis, managing director of Parkwood Healthcare, said “We are delighted to have been given this opportunity by Doncaster Council and are looking forward to working with them on Healthwatch Doncaster.

“We will all use health and social care services at some time in our lives and we expect those services to be run efficiently and well.”

He added: “My team and I are determined that Healthwatch Doncaster will ensure that the people of Doncaster have their say in how services are set up and run.”

Coun Patricia Schofield, who chairs Doncaster Council’s health and wellbeing board, said: “Healthwatch is about giving local people a powerful voice in order to ensure local people’s needs, views and experiences are taken into account and influence the planning, delivery and improvement of health and social care services.”

The Doncaster watchdog will build on the work of the existing Local Involvement Network (LINk) which works together with NHS trusts, Doncaster council and Parkwood Healthcare to improve existing services.

For more information on Healthwatch Doncaster please visit LINk’s site at Doncaster Link

Meanwhile, the Care Quality Commission, which visits sites across the country to check they are meeting the necessary standards, has backed the work done by the maternity units at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Bassetlaw Hospital following unannounced inspections.

The made no recommendations for improvement.

Its teams visited the hospitals last month.