Healthwatch Cornwall to have direct impact on behalf of public at oversight board

THE COUNTY’S health and social care watchdog is encouraging people to get more involved as it takes a place at the Shaping Our Future (SOF) Board.

Healthwatch Cornwall aims to ensure this board, which is overseeing forthcoming changes to the county’s health and social care, involves the public in its work, while also directly sharing the comments it receives about the SOF decision-making process and services.

Interim Chair at Healthwatch Cornwall Jon McLeavy said: “In light of the review of the SOF Outline Business Case by the Health and Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee’s STP sub-committee on March 15, in which we provided feedback, it is vital more people tell us their opinions so we can challenge the plans when necessary and be representative of their voice.”

The review, although it stated the overall idea for improving health and wellbeing and merging health and social care was positive, claimed the outline business case was “not fit for purpose as a public document although it met NHS England requirements” and it calls for further clarification and detail ahead of the final business case, due out in July.

Healthwatch Cornwall’s representative at the SOF Board Jayne Howard said: “Whatever your age, background or whether you are using publicly-funded health and social care services now or not, this planning process could bring substantial changes to how they are delivered.

“Our seat at this board provides an opportunity for people to be heard by those at a strategic level.”

Across England, health and care commissioners are making sustainability and transformation plans and here in Cornwall, SOF was initiated in 2016 to address better integration, review current provision and determine how to provide high quality services within a reduced overall budget.

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