This is a statement from Sandwell Council to update readers on where they are with implementing Healthwatch.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012, paved the way for a national body, Healthwatch England and a local organisation local Healthwatch for each local council in England with social care responsibilities.
Healthwatch is intended to strengthen the collective voice of users of Health and social care services and members of the public, and will replace Local Involvement Networks (LINks) from April 2013.
Healthwatch Sandwell will be a new organisation that will form part of the executive decision-making health and wellbeing board, bringing the views and experiences of people who use services to influence and improve the way in which health and social care services are provided and run.
The LINk Management Board and the Healthwatch steering group have recently merged to support the setting up of Healthwatch at a local level.
Working with Sandwell council, the new reference group will take the development of the new Healthwatch organisation and Healthwatch Board forward.
Councillor Moore, Cabinet Member for Health and Commissioning said: “we are continuing to work closely with Sandwell LINk and its host organisation Black Country Housing Group, so that there is continuity during the transition to the new social enterprise.