Local people are being sought to be the consumer’s champion for health and social care in Wiltshire.

Their role will include shaping services and plans and being an independent voice and advocate for patients and users.

Healthwatch Wiltshire, which will be established next April will be the local voice for key issues that affect people who use health and care services.

It will make sure that effective support is in place to help improve these services in Wiltshire and will also provide information and signposting for services and support to help people make informed choices.

Healthwatch Wiltshire will replace the existing Wiltshire Involvement Network (WIN) and will gather the views and experiences of patients, social care users, carers and the public and will make these views known to the commissioners and providers of health and social care in Wiltshire and, as appropriate, will make recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission to carry out special reviews or investigations into areas of concern.

A number of key positions need to be filled. In the first instance these roles will be for a Shadow Healthwatch Wiltshire Board including a chairperson and four shadow executive members to support the chairperson during the transition period prior to the board being officially established in April next year.  Whilst the positions are voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses will be considered.

It is expected that successful applicants will be willing to commit an estimated four and six days per month.

If people are interested in being the voice and advocate for local people receiving health and social care services their applications must be received by midday on Friday January 4, 2013 with interviews being held during week commencing  January 28, 2013.

Councillor Jane Scott, chairman of the shadow Health and Well Being Board, said: “Healthwatch Wiltshire will influence key health and social care services and how they are delivered in the future. They will be the voice of patients and users and will act as advocate and support raising awareness of what’s available. This is a great opportunity to be part of something new as public health will be integrated into the council from next April.

"I hope these roles will stimulate the interest of people and will attract those with drive, energy and enthusiasm from a wide range of individuals and organisations including voluntary organisations, community sector and people using or potentially in need of health and social care services in Wiltshire.”

Anyone who is interested should call 01225 718306 or email dot.kronda@wiltshire.gov.uk.
More information can be found at www.wiltshire.gov.uk/localhealthwatch or the national site www.healthwatch.co.uk