The Local Leadership Board is the driving force behind Healthwatch Wiltshire's commitment to ensure the voices of children, young people and adults are heard by those who run, plan and regulate health and social care services in the county.
The new Board members join existing members Hazel Dunnett, Andy Mintram, Irene Kohler, Joanna Wittels and Emma Leatherbarrow.
Gillian joins us as the new Chair of our Local Leadership Board. She has worked in and around health and social care for 40 years, and will be bringing her knowledge and experience from roles in social work and senior management to Healthwatch. She said:
"I am looking forward to working with people from a variety of backgrounds as well as having the opportunity to meet and listen to individuals and groups with important stories to tell us. I hope that I can convey their message effectively to those who commission services and ensure that they are heard."
Alan is our new Vice Chair. Formerly a civil servant, Alan is now a coach and change management consultant and volunteers for a number of local and national charities.
He said: "I am interested in the removal of unnecessary barriers between organisations so that the whole system can work for the benefit of citizens. I believe Healthwatch can assist with improvements in this area."
Margaret taught food and nutrition and health and social care before becoming a Public Health specialist, leading the Young People Friendly programme and the Health Trainer service in Wiltshire. She is now a diabetes prevention coach and an active member of a refugee community sponsorship group. She said:
"Services have learnt a great deal since March 2020 and made many changes in healthcare provision. We can learn from these changes and finding out from the people of Wiltshire to highlight what works well, what needs to be improved and who may be missing out.
"I am passionate about supporting those who, for whatever reason, find it difficult to have their points of view acknowledged."
Vijay has held long careers both as a civil engineer and a local magistrate and now, as a Healthwatch Wiltshire Board member, is looking forward to interacting with local people on health and care issues.
He said: "I am now semi-retired and wanted to continue to deliver public service - in this case to ensure the residents of Wiltshire receive excellent health services when they need them."
Acting Healthwatch Wiltshire Manager Julie Brown said:
"We're thrilled to welcome our new Board members. They bring with them an amazing wealth of knowledge, experience and expertise and we're looking forward to developing a new work plan that focuses on what matters most to the people of Wiltshire."