Help shape how healthcare is scrutinised in Northamptonshire as county prepares to recommission Healthwatch service

Healthwatch Northamptonshire scrutinise healthcare services in the county.
Healthwatch Northamptonshire scrutinise healthcare services in the county.

Northamptonshire residents are being asked how they want their healthcare services to be held to account in the future.

The county council is re-commissioning their Healthwatch services and are looking for views to shape how the public want it to work for them.

It comes as the contract for the current provider, Connected Together, ends in March 2018.

Healthwatch is an independent "consumer champion" for people who use health and social care services to share experiences and is required by local authorities.

They can also commission reports on the county's attitudes towards health and highlights problems an area is facing, such as the "access to health and social care for Northamptonshire's homeless" report from 2016.

Residents' view will be collected and considered after the consultation to decide the best model for Healthwatch in Northamptonshire.

Kate Holt CEO of Connected Together, said: “It’s really important that whoever gets the Healthwatch Northamptonshire contract going forward has the experience and knowledge of all the different health, social care and wellbeing services across the county and can continue to work with commissioners and providers to ensure that the voice of local people is heard with the decision makers.

"It is a statutory role that must be adequately resourced for the people of Northamptonshire to maintain its effectiveness”.

The consultation period ends on September 1 and the new service provider will go live in April 2018. Residents can give their feedback via the online survey on the Northamptonshire County Council website. Alternatively, email EPIT@northamptonshire.gov.uk or phone 01604 3637611.

The deadline for consultation period is September 1.