Plans for new Norfolk organisation to keep tabs on health services

A new health watchdog, which will represent the voice of patients in Norfolk. is on the brink of being created.

Norfolk County Council is set to consider a plan for a new local healthwatch group for Norfolk at a meeting next month.

This new body will build on the work carried out by Norfolk Local Involvement Network (Link) over the last four years and will serve as an independent champion for health, social care and wellbeing in the county.

Various organisations and individuals want to join forces to be part of the Norfolk healthwatch, including Age UK, Voluntary Norfolk, Norwich and Central Norfolk Mind, Norfolk Coalition of Disabled People, Norwich, West Norfolk Citizens Advice Bureau and Mancroft Advisory Project.

Those groups, along with others, aim to form a social enterprise organisation to establish the new healthwatch organisation, which would get �546,000 a year from the county council.

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Among the roles of the healthwatch will be to provide information and advice to the public about accessing health and social care services and to promote and support the involvement of people in the monitoring, commissioning and provision of local care services.

Derrick Murphy, pictured, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: 'We believe that this innovative approach will build on the excellent work of Norfolk Link and bring together local organisations, groups and individuals to create a truly local healthwatch for Norfolk.

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'It will be able to call upon a wealth of local expertise and individual volunteers to ensure that the voice of the patient is heard loud and clear.'

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