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Changes to Healthwatch North Yorkshire

Healthwatch North Yorkshire is now a Charitable Incorporated Organisation governed by a Board of Trustees  Registered Charity No: 1171152

The Health and Social Care Act 2012, which took effect in April 2013 established the national organisation Healthwatch England and a network of  local Healthwatch across each of the 152 local authority areas.  Following a procurement process by NYCC Healthwatch North Yorkshire was created on 1 April 2013 to be provided by North Bank Forum, a voluntary and community sector infrastructure organisation. The existing contract ends as of 31 March 2017. 

Since the inception of this contract, the intention has been to establish North Yorkshire Healthwatch as an independent organisation that is grant funded by North Yorkshire County Council.  The transition from a commissioned service to a grant funded independent organisation has been managed by Judith Bromfield, in her role as the Interim Chair of Healthwatch North Yorkshire, and overseen by a steering group of officers from North Yorkshire County Council and North Bank Forum. 

The new organisation has been registered as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation with the Charity Commission and sarts operation on 1 April 2017. Volunteers, members of the public and key stakeholders will initially see little obvious difference as the Healthwatch brand, office and website will remain unchanged.  The staff team will remain with the exception of the Volunteering and Engagement officer who has accepted a new opportunity elsewhere.  6 of the current strategic board members have agreed to become trustees of the new charity. We will be in contact with all current volunteers to establish those who wish to continue volunteering for Healthwatch from 1st April. We wish to express our thanks to both departing staff, board members and volunteers who have been invaluable in their work over the last twelve months.

The new organisation will continue to be driven by the objectives specified in the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and will work to:

  • be representative of the diverse communities across the county

  • provide intelligence (including evidence from people's views and experiences) to influence the policy, planning, commissioning and delivery of publicly funded health and social care

  • provide information and advice to help people access and make choices about services

  • be a robust and credible player in the local health and social care economy

  • gain the trust of the general public as well as other health and social care stakeholder groups by being responsive and acting on concerns when things go wrong

  • have an innovative network of community participation and involvement

  • fully embrace social media and interactive web based tools and other innovative engagement methods to engage with the people of North Yorkshire

  • co-ordinate the consumer voice for health and social care, champion that voice and liaise in partnership with commissioners and providers of services towards improved health and wellbeing objectives

  • elevate the consumer voice to the Health and Wellbeing Board

  • operate effectively and efficiently so that North Yorkshire County Council can demonstrate value for money against an agreed set of outcomes. 

After a period of consolidation, the new organisation will then undertake a review of how best it can achieve its objectives and increase its local presence and influence. This will be led by Healthwatch Board Members and staff. It will be undertaken with key stakeholders, partner organisations and service users.