Portsmouth City Council has announced that Help & Care will be the new provider of Healthwatch Portsmouth and of the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service relating to NHS health care, with immediate effect. This follows the liquidation of Learning Links (Southern) who were the previous hosting organisation of Healthwatch in the city.
Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion for all health and social care services. It helps people who use health and social care services to influence how those services are delivered. Healthwatch listens to feedback about services and shares it with GPs, hospitals, healthcare organisations, local authorities and others to help make a real difference.
Help & Care is the provider of Healthwatch in seven other areas in the South of England including Hampshire, West Sussex and the Isle of Wight.
It's a statutory responsibility for councils to commission Healthwatch provision including an Independent Complaints Advocacy Service relating to NHS health care.
Dr Jason Horsley, Director of Public Health at Portsmouth City Council said; "I'm pleased that Help & Care will be delivering these services in Portsmouth. They're a trusted Healthwatch provider to seven other areas in the South so we're confident they have the expertise to deliver a quality service here.
I'd like to thank everyone, including Healthwatch England and members of the Healthwatch Portsmouth Board, who have worked hard to enable us to make this appointment so quickly and minimise the period between Healthwatch providers. I look forward to Help & Care supporting Portsmouth residents to get the best out of health and care services in the city through Healthwatch."
Mark Sharman, Chief Executive of Help & Care said; "We're delighted to be appointed as the providers of Healthwatch Portsmouth and look forward to working with residents and healthcare providers in the city as well as the Healthwatch Portsmouth Board and volunteers. We're pleased that staff members from the previous Healthwatch Portsmouth will be joining our team as their experience and established relationships will help us to get the service reinstated as quickly as possible. We'd like to thank people in advance for their patience as we get the service back up to speed."
For more information on Healthwatch Portsmouth visit healthwatchportsmouth.co.uk.