Message from local Healthwatch providers in Devon
The contract arrangements for Plymouth, Torbay and Devon Healthwatch have changed from April 1st 2020.
In the past, Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and Torbay Council have each individually commissioned their own separate local Healthwatch.
The three Local Authorities agreed that as from April 2020 the Healthwatch services would be jointly commissioned for three years with a possible extension.
We are pleased to say this jointly commissioned Healthwatch service was awarded to Colebrook South West (who have provided the Healthwatch Plymouth services since April 2013), in partnership with Healthwatch Torbay and Engaging Communities South West (who have provided the services for Healthwatch Torbay since April 2013), and Citizens Advice Devon (who have delivered core aspects of the Healthwatch Devon service since 2013). This service will now be known as “Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay”.
Although these three services will be jointly commissioned, each local authority area will retain the distinct identities of their local Healthwatch. We can therefore continue to use our proven expertise to gather public opinion on local health & social care in order to improve service quality throughout the whole county.
It is our intention to continue to build on the existing good work of the current three separate Healthwatch services and strengthen the community voice across the wider Devon area to help our stakeholders maintain and shape future services.
For seven years we have successfully proven that as an independent local consumer champion we can work collaboratively together with voluntary and statutory providers to effectively influence the way services are delivered to our communities.
During COVID-19 our established connections within local communities has been essential to ensure we work with and support local stakeholders, including our NHS and Social Care colleagues. One of the key focus areas for local Healthwatch is to support the health and care system to get clear and accurate information and advice out to local communities. This includes reinforcing the government guidance and requirements in relation to COVID-19.
Although currently we are all experiencing difficult times and disruption due to COVID-19, we hope over the coming months we will have an opportunity to speak and engage with all stakeholders to ensure that we develop a strong and local Healthwatch for our communities together.
If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.