01452 504989 or 0800 652 5193 (freephone) info@healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk

Share your experiences of local health and care services and make it better for everyone – that’s the message from the county’s independent health and care watchdog Healthwatch Gloucestershire as it celebrates its fifth birthday on Sunday (April 1).

Healthwatch Gloucestershire, along with 147 other healthcare organisations in England, was set up in 2013 as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012.  Its role is to listen to the views of the public on local health and care services.  They then use this feedback to help influence decision-making at a local level, shaping services for the better.

Community Interest Company Evolving Communities took over the contract to run the local Healthwatch service in April last year.  Since then, Healthwatch Gloucestershire has set up a new office and recruited a new team including a volunteer officer, engagement officer and admin assistant.

Over the last few months, staff and volunteers have been out and about in Gloucestershire visiting community hubs to encourage more local people to volunteer with the Quedgeley-based organisation and help shape health and care in the county.

Julia Butler-Hunt, Healthwatch Gloucestershire Manager, said: “As we celebrate our fifth birthday, our real focus is now on talking to more people than ever before through a strong network of volunteers.

“We plan to run a more diverse range of engagement activities to reach more people. No matter how big or small the issue, we want local people to share their stories of local health and care services with us, so that we can share these ideas with those with the power to make change happen.”

Five ways to share your views on health and care in Gloucestershire:

  1. Talk to a Healthwatch Gloucestershire volunteer or staff member on an information stand in the community.  See the events calendar for an up to date venue list: www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/events
  2. Pick up the phone and talk to one a friendly member of staff to share your experience: 0800 652 5193
  3. Email your story to info@healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk
  4. Leave feedback online: www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/talk-to-us
  5. Join our growing team of volunteers – and help give people a powerful voice to make a real and lasting change, visit: www.healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/volunteering