Column: You can help steer the future of Healthwatch Derbyshire

I am delighted to share that Healthwatch Derbyshire, the local health and social care watchdog, is recruiting members of the public to join its board and help steer the future direction of the organisation, writes CEO Helen Henderson-Spoors.

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 9:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 9:42 am

We are part of the Healthwatch England network of over 150 local organisations across the country. As an independent, statutory body, we health and social care leaders and other decision-makers listen to feedback from local people and improve standards of care.

The Board of Trustees are responsible for contributing to the strategic aims of Healthwatch Derbyshire, ensuring resources are in place for the organisation to continue to achieve its objectives.

Trustees come with a wide range of life and professional experience with a mix of ages and backgrounds.

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Helen Henderson-Spoors, CEO of local health and social care watchdog, Healthwatch Derbyshire.

Collectively, they have an important role in the organisation’s objectives to make a real difference to delivering service improvements and benefits for communities across Derbyshire.

Our current board members include retired senior police officer Shaun McElheron who was keen not only to put his skills and training to further use but also to put something back into the local community.

He originally volunteered with Healthwatch Derbyshire for the Enter and View programme, visiting care homes across the county to gain the views and experiences of residents and their families.

We then invited him to apply for the board and he has been a valuable member of the Board ever since.

Moving forwards, we are particularly looking for new trustees who have experience or knowledge in mental health, human resources, finance and digital communications.

These positions are voluntary and unpaid but we do pay out of pocket expenses and it is usually about eight hours’ time commitment a month. Post-pandemic, we are continuing to utilise digital communications which are particularly welcomed by those unable to travel to meetings.