When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
New health watchdog defends its role as ‘champion’
9:30am Friday 6th September 2013 in News
COUNCILLORS have questioned the point of a new patients’ watchdog.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire aims to be the ‘consumer’s champion’ and has the power to call in and quiz health and social care bosses.
Although it was launched in April, the body – which replaces Oxfordshire LiNK – is yet to fill four of its 13 board member vacancies.
Representatives from Healthwatch Oxfordshire updated councillors about progress at a joint health overview and scrutiny committee yesterday. Councillor Lawrie Stratford questioned “the point” of the new watchdog and said it sounded like it duplicated other bodies, including the committee itself.
Healthwatch Oxfordshire director Rosalind Pearce said: “We are tasked with being the consumer champion.
“We are tasked with listening to individuals, hearing that voice and using it to influence commissioning.”
She said Healthwatch was unique because it was independent and came from a consumer, rather than from a commissioner or provider, point of view.
Dr Jonathan McWilliam, Oxfordshire’s director of public health, said: “If we play this right we can use Healthwatch Oxfordshire to improve health in the county.”
Comments are closed on this article.