Norfolk coroner confirmed as health watchdog chairman

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong, at the Coroner's Court. Picture: Denise Bradley

Norfolk coroner, William Armstrong, at the Coroner's Court. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2012

Norfolk's retiring coroner said he was looking forward to his new role of campaigning for improved health and social care in the county after becoming the first chairman of a new watchdog.

William Armstrong, who has been coroner for 18 years, will become the new chairman of Healthwatch Norfolk when he retires at the end of September.

He will take up his new role at the Hethersett-based organisation six months after it became responsible for representing Norfolk patients as part of a major overhaul of the NHS on April 1.

Mr Armstrong, who is a solicitor and law graduate and has a masters degree in medical law and a postgraduate diploma in mental health law, will continue to sit as a mental health tribunal judge and a legal assessor to the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service.

His new position is at an organisation that aims to ensure that all health and social care in Norfolk is planned around the needs and priorities of the population.

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Alex Stewart, Healthwatch Norfolk chief executive, said: 'I am delighted to welcome Bill on board. His experience and knowledge of Norfolk systems will be invaluable as an ambassador for Healthwatch Norfolk and in steering us forward over the coming months and years.'

'We feel extremely privileged that he wants to continue his long record of public service by working with us and we know that he will add enormous value to the organisation.'

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Mr Armstrong added: 'I look forward to the challenge of working with Healthwatch Norfolk to make a real improvement to health and social care in the county. As coroner I have had wide experience of dealing with medical and social services but usually associated with the end of life. Healthwatch is about all of life, from the cradle to the grave, and that is an inspiring challenge.'

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