From the new Chair of HealthWatch Cumbria

Helen Horne

Helen Horne

I am delighted to have been appointed to the position of Chair of HealthWatch Cumbria. I have greatly enjoyed working with the Board and team and I am truly committed to ensuring that HealthWatch Cumbria carries out our role as the consumer champion for those who use health and care services.

I have been a Board Member of HealthWatch Cumbria since 2013 and have experience in a number of other senior positions, including being a Non-executive Director of a Primary Care Trust and an elected County Council Member. I am currently the vice Chair of Cumbria CVS, and President of Soroptimist International in Carlisle – a global voice working to advance human rights and the status of women.

I have dedicated a great deal of time to ensuring that the views of those who receive support services either from the Local Authority or from the NHS, are listened to and respected.

I am very aware that Health and Social Care services in Cumbria have a great many challenges to overcome: reducing budgets, difficulty in recruiting staff, as well as major demands to deliver high quality care within expected timeframes.

That being said, everyone has the right to expect to receive equal access to a high standard of Health and Social Care. HealthWatch has a big job to do to make sure that the views of the public are taken into account as services change and adapt. I am committed to making sure that when people have poor experiences of these services that service leaders are made aware of what’s happening.

If we feel that the leaders of organisations are not paying enough attention to the experiences of those who use their services we will work with those services to improve them, and where necessary hold them to account.

I take over from our previous Chair Dr Mark Hoelterhoff who will remain on the Board.

Helen Horne