Ten new appointments to the board of Healthwatch Leeds will give the city’s residents an increasingly powerful voice about local health and social care services.
Together with chair Linn Phipps, the ten new board members of the health and social care watchdog, will drive forward a strategy to increase information and support to members of the public who wish to raise concerns about services at their local hospital, care home, GP surgery, dentists or opticians.
The new board comprises:
- Teacher Hanna Adam, a Healthwatch Leeds volunteer and member of YouthWatch;
- Retired dentist John Beal, a former consultant in Dental Public Health for Yorkshire and Humber Strategic Health Authority and Leeds Primary Care Trust;
- University student Rosemary Brookes, a volunteer with Healthwatch Leeds and member of YouthWatch;
- Aqila Choudhry, CEO of People in Action and a member of the Social Care Community Forum for Race Equality and Rebecca Dalton, who works for the Big Lottery Fund as a Policy and Learning Manager and co-leads on mental health policy for the England Directorate.
- Helen Harvey, a Leeds Metropolitan University student, who works for the student union as Ethics and Environment Officer;
- Moneer Sharif, who has 26 years’ experience in the commercial and scientific pharmaceutical industry;
- Niccola Swan, Director of Leeds Mind and a governor of Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust;
- Richard Taylor, a retired engineering consultant, who has worked on assignments within the NHS and
- Alison Venn-Wycherley, who has 30 years’ experience as a nurse in Leeds.
Linn Phipps, Healthwatch Leeds Chair, said:
We have a diverse board in place with a wealth of expertise across a raft of sectors, from student health and dentistry to nursing homes. We are here to give the people of Leeds real help to find their way through the complexity of the complaints system.
“The board, our committed team of employees and our dedicated volunteers will make sure we are effective at listening to people’s views and making sure these have some impact on the decisions that are made in the delivery of health and social care services in Leeds.”
According to figures from Healthwatch England, some 75 types of organisation – from councils to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to national regulators – can be involved in health care complaints. As a result consumers are frequently left confused and frustrated.
Healthwatch Leeds has authority to ‘enter and view’ frontline services including A&E departments at Leeds Teaching hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes where they can investigate the concerns of patients, carers and staff.
The consumer champion is also targeting specific areas of the city with a Health Bus where members of the public can highlight concerns about health and social care in the city and have blood pressure tests and preventative checks for diabetes.
For more information visit www.healthwatchleeds.co.uk