New grant for Healthwatch Oxfordshire

The initial two-year grant will run from April 2014. Healthwatch Oxfordshire will be established as a Community Interest Company, supported by Oxfordshire Rural Community Council, as its back office provider.

David Roulston has recently been appointed as Healthwatch Oxfordshire’s new director and Larry Sanders as its new chair. The board membership is complete following a robust recruitment and selection process.

Mr Roulston said: "We are delighted to have been awarded the grant to deliver Healthwatch Oxfordshire from April 2014 after a detailed selection process by Oxfordshire County Council. A strong board has been appointed to oversee the management and development of the organisation and this will provide important continuity at a time of considerable change in health and social care."

A vital role

Councillor Judith Heathcoat, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, said: "It is vital that social care and health providers have input from those who use services so that future decisions and current practice is shaped by people's views, thoughts and experiences.

"The Oxfordshire Rural Community Council has been running Healthwatch Oxfordshire since April 2013 and have recently appointed a new director and chairman, who have already have taken steps to making their presence felt, which is a positive thing.

"I look forward to working closely with those now leading Healthwatch Oxfordshire and I am sure they will champion the extremely important voice and experience of local people of all ages and circumstances."

Healthwatch Oxfordshire is part of a network of 152 local Healthwatch organisations that were set up across England in 2013. The local Healthwatch network is led by Healthwatch England which was established in October 2012 to act as the national consumer champion in health and social care. The role of Healthwatch is to ensure that the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and social care services.