Apr 25 2013

Healthwatch Harrow Launches

HW_Harrow 300 SharpThe new independent consumer champion Healthwatch launches in Harrow

Healthwatch Harrow, the new independent consumer champion for health and social care, officially launches publicly in the Borough today. It will be one of 152 local Healthwatches under the umbrella national body Healthwatch England, which was set up with five local pilots on 1st April 2012 under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to ensure the consumers’ voice is heard and best practice is delivered in health and social care nationally.

Interim Chair of Healthwatch Harrow and Chair of Harrow in Business (HiB) Ash Verma said:

“Healthwatch Harrow is a fresh start for the voice of the local consumer to be heard and acted upon when it comes to providing local health and social care services. We will strive to ensure the local public’s views are heard loud and clear by those who plan, run and regulate health and social care.”

Healthwatch Harrow, which is led and managed by social enterprise agency Harrow in Business (HiB), is a partnership with a consortium of organisations from the local voluntary and community sector.  It will give a local voice to children, young people and adults who use health and social care provision in the Borough. Their views will influence the delivery and design of local services as well as inform the national group as it develops an overall and evidence-based view of trends and consumer experiences across the country.

The Healthwatch network replaces the outgoing Local Involvement Networks and is the first time a national champion’s network has been set up with independent statutory powers to act on behalf of both adults and children.

Listening and communicating with and involving the public via meetings, newsletters, flyers, consultations, print, radio, digital and social media, Healthwatch Harrow, funded by Harrow Council, will be a ‘hub and spoke’ model.  Healthwatch Harrow will utilise the experience, expertise and resources of local voluntary sector organisations, businesses, Harrow College and many other partners already firmly established in the Borough. It will also work with stakeholders such as Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the new Complaints and Advocacy Service, local authority, regulators, and providers of services and Harrow Health & Wellbeing Board amongst others.

Harrow’s population is diverse with almost half from black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, a minimum of 137 languages spoken and has the most amount of faiths celebrated in England and Wales. Healthwatch Harrow is committed to working hard and closely with its partners to ensure every single member of this diverse local community, young and old, has the opportunity to have their say.  There will face to face meetings, paper and telephone surveys as well as a digital dialogue to ensure everyone can participate.

Ash Verma added:

“HiB is rooted in the community, having been here 30 years, working with local businesses and voluntary and community sector organisations and individuals to help regenerate the local economy. We’re delighted to combine our expertise with the members of the Healthwatch Harrow Delivery Board which includes Age UK Harrow; Harrow Mencap; Harrow Mind; Harrow Association of Disabled people (HAD); Harrow Carers; Harrow College; Carramea, Kids Can Achieve (KCA) and other partners.

“We want to hear from all organisations and individuals involved in health and social care about their views, experiences and suggestions on how we can shape and influence the provision of health and social care in the London Borough of Harrow.”  

More details on their website, here.

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