THE Isle of Wight Council has launched a consultation to help shape a new organisation called Healthwatch which will represent the views of local people in relation to health and social care services on the Island.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight will be run as a social enterprise and be independent of the council and the NHS, it will be required to put any money that it makes directly back into the organisation for the benefit of the community.
The organisation will replace the services provided by the Local Involvement Network (LINk) when it is established next April.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight will be the voice of local people and share the community’s views with both local and national organisations that plan and deliver health and social care services.
It will also provide information and advice to enable people to access and understand the choice of care available on the Island and provide or direct people to specific support if they need help to make complaints about NHS services.
Ian Anderson, strategic director for community wellbeing and social care, said: “The creation of Healthwatch Isle of Wight presents residents of all ages with an important opportunity to help influence health and social care services on the Island by telling us what is important to them. Even if you are not using services now, it’s possible that you or members of your family will do so at some point in the future so I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to share their views with us. We can then use this information to make sure the organisation we commission meets the needs of the Island community.”
To help people share their views, a questionnaire has been developed. This can be completed online via the council’s website www.iwight.com/council/consultation/activeco.asp or on paper versions available from council help centres, libraries, children’s centres and GP surgeries. The consultation will run for a four week period until 16 July.