Patient champion takes local views to heart of Westminster

On Monday, Amanda Stratford CEO of Health Watch Cornwall travelled to London to join forces with more than 100 fellow local Healthwatch organisations at our annual parliamentary reception. It was an opportunity to raise the real life concerns of people using health and social care services with their local MPs. Attended by parliamentarians, as well as key decision makers from across the health and social care, the event provided an opportunity for us to speak with MPs George Eustice and Derek Thomas about the work we have been doing to shape local services on behalf of Cornwall residents.

With local health and social care services going through rapid change, with the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, it has never been more important for services to involve the people they serve in shaping the future of health and social care. The good news is that Healthwatch is getting more people to come forward to share their views on the issues in their areas. When acted upon by commissioners, care providers and clinicians, people’s experiences and ideas are leading to safer, better quality care. In this way people are where they should be – at the centre of their service.

George Eustice MP said “Healthwatch Cornwall plays a vital role as the champion of patients in the county, giving people the chance to air their views about the NHS services and care we receive. I regularly speak with Healthwatch Cornwall, but it was good to meet them in Westminster to discuss the work they are doing to influence the future of health services.”

Amanda Stratford CEO of Healthwatch Cornwall added “It was a great opportunity to attend Parliament and highlight our hard work locally to parliamentarians, especially our own MPs. The efforts of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers at helping to influence the way health and social care services are delivered in Cornwall were praised by all we met, particularly by Healthwatch England.”

Held in the Houses of Parliament, the reception was hosted by national body Healthwatch England to mark the launch of its sixth annual report. To read more about what Healthwatch England and the rest of the network have achieved over the last year see our annual report.