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A combined Healthwatch for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

09/03/2017

Statement from Val Moore, Chair of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Chair, Shadow Board Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

We are pleased to announce that as of 1st April 2017, our two Local Healthwatch plan to combine and become Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Thank you to everyone who has helped us think about how we could work together more closely.  Your knowledge and insights have helped us shape our ideas for the future.

We want to provide the best possible Healthwatch for local people. Our two Boards and our funders feel we can best achieve this with a combined Healthwatch covering both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. 

This decision was made after careful consideration and a full analysis of the different options for better ways of working together. This included talking to local people, the organisations we work with, our staff and our volunteers. 

One thing that came out of the review was how highly valued both our local Healthwatch are to those who have worked with us or been helped by us. But, it is recognised that there are different challenges for both with capacity and long term security if we remain as separate organisations.

A combined Healthwatch gives us more resources to build a stronger and more secure Healthwatch. This is better for local people, better for working with organisations and can offer more security to staff. It will allow us to develop better opportunities for the future. Both commissioners have confirmed that there is no intention to reduce funding.

I will be Chair of the combined Healthwatch whilst David Whiles will be retiring from the role in Peterborough. I’ve been Chair of Healthwatch Cambridgeshire since September 2015 and have a strong understanding of the health and care issues within Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, having worked in and with local organisations for over three decades in a range of education, health and social care roles.

We will still have staff and an office base in Cambridgeshire and in Peterborough, and our volunteers will be as important as ever to the combined Healthwatch.

The Healthwatch Cambridgeshire Board will finalise the decision at their Board meeting on Wednesday 15th March, 7-9pm, at The Maple Centre, 6 Oak Drive, HUNTINGDON, PE29 7HN. This is a public meeting and you are welcome to attend. The Board papers are available online and can be found here.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any questions about the merger. This is just the start of the conversation about how to build a strong and effective Healthwatch across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, one that we really need you to be a part of. We will always do our best to answer questions openly and honestly and keep you involved in developing our future. 

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