Islands’ Healthwatch Organisation Looking For New Directors

Healthwatch Office at Porthcressa

Healthwatch Office at Porthcressa

If you’ve got an interest in health and social care and want to ensure islanders get the best possible services, then Healthwatch would like to hear from you.

The organisation that monitors how health services are being delivered here in Scilly and on the mainland is looking for new board members.

Healthwatch Manager Carol Clarke says ideally they’d like around eight directors but they’re currently down to five after Gordon Bilsborough resigned earlier this month.

Gordon was appointed Chairman of the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee in June. Healthwatch works closely with this committee and Carol says Gordon wanted to put “some space” between the two, to avoid any conflicts of interest and to concentrate on his new role.

Carol says it’s “a stretch” running the group with just five directors so they’re on the lookout for new members to join them.

The positions are voluntary, although anyone working for a health provider would probably be unsuitable.

The board meets every two months and there are some meetings with care providers in between, as well as reading material to keep on top of.

Carol says all you need is an interest in health and a desire to ensure people receive the medical care that they need.

She says they’re lucky with the range of knowledge represented by the current directors and each one takes on a different set of issues for the organisation.

But the board are also keen to expand their expertise.

In particular, they’d like to find someone who could monitor the acute services being provided by the trust that runs Treliske Hospital in Truro.

That represents around 80% of the mainland care being received by islanders.

Carol says the work would involve travelling to the mainland a couple of times a year to meet with hospital managers and to discuss any issues brought up by residents.

If you want to volunteer as a director contact Carol by the end of August, in time for election at the group’s AGM in September. She’s available on 423 037.