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Healthwatch Derbyshire Expands Board To Help Drive Local Service Improvements

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.

Healthwatch Derbyshire is part of the Healthwatch England network of over 150 local organisations across the country. As an independent, statutory body, it ensures that 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 are volunteers who commit around eight hours a month to the organisation.

The current board includes retired senior police officer Shaun McElheron who said: “Having retired after 35 years’ service with the police, I was keen not only to put my skills and training to further use but also to put something back into the local community.

“I 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.

“I was then invited to apply for the Board and was reticent at first but so glad that I did. The application and interview was informal and friendly and being on the Board is interesting and challenging.

“After policing I never thought I would find anything as rewarding again, but I have and feel very lucky.

“Although I had never worked in healthcare, I have ultimate love and respect for the NHS and am keen to do what I can to ensure Healthwatch Derbyshire gives local people a voice to highlight good practice and facilitate change where needed.

Healthwatch Derbyshire CEO Helen Henderson-Spoors continued: “Our established Board of Trustees come with a wide range of life and professional experience with a mix of ages and backgrounds.

“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.

“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, post pandemic, are continuing to utilise digital communications which are particularly welcomed by those who are unable to travel to meetings.”

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