New health body to give residents bigger say
A NEW scheme to allow Gloucestershire residents to have a say in health and social care decisions could be set up.
County councils are being asked to set up Healthwatch schemes in their areas by the Government in a bid to give more power to citizens.
The plan, if approved by councillors on Wednesday, would mean the formation of a new independent consumer champion to challenge how health and social care services are provided within the area.
The changes would spell the end for the Gloucestershire Local Involvement Network (LINk) which would be decommissioned.
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The organisation will run until March 31, 2013, and then the new Healthwatch scheme would take over from April 1.
County Council cabinet members will have to be sure they can overcome the risks associated with making the transition when making their decision.
Concerns that LINk volunteers will not make the switch and that the scheme will overlap with existing services will have to be considered when the decision is made.