New programme will replace LINk Merton
The new Healthwatch Merton, which ensures the views of patients are carers are heard, is to be run by the Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC).
Healthwatch Merton joins a network of Healthwatch organisations across England, replacing the former Local Involvement Network (LINk Merton) which came to an end this month.
Merton Council awarded the Healthwatch Merton contract to MVSC because of their excellent knowledge of the borough. MVSC is based in the borough and is already engaged on a daily basis with the many diverse communities in Merton.
Healthwatch Merton will ensure the views of patients and carers are heard, giving them the opportunity to share their concerns and opinions about their local health and social care services. These will be heard by Healthwatch England which advises the Care Quality Commission to carry out special reviews or investigations into areas of concern.
The programme will also provide information and advice to the public on the health and social care services available to them.
Merton Council cabinet member for adult social care and health Councillor Linda Kirby said: "It is good news that we will be working with MVSC. We already have a strong working relationship with them in successfully providing services to many of our more vulnerable residents. I am confident, that with MVSC managing the HealthWatch Merton contract, the voices of our local healthcare service users will be heard both locally and at a national level."
Chair of Merton Voluntary Service Council, Lola Barrett said: "We are delighted to have been awarded this contract and are pleased we will continue our work with health and social care services within the borough. We work successfully in partnership across all sectors and are looking forward to delivering the best possible service we can for local people."
April 5, 2013