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HEALTHWATCH SUNDERLAND – NEW CHAIRPERSON AND BOARD MEMBERS

02/05/2019

Healthwatch Sunderland are a consumer voice for the people of Sunderland who use health and social care services across the city.  We work with patients, service users, carers, community groups, organisations, service providers and commissioners to get the best out of local health and social care services. This doesn’t just mean improving services today but influencing and shaping services to meet the needs of the local communities tomorrow.

Healthwatch Sunderland is managed by Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP). PCP is a leading award winning charity whose mission is Health, Wellbeing and Learning for All. 

We are very happy to introduce Dr John Dean as the new Chair of Healthwatch Sunderland, alongside Gavin Barr, Sunderland People First, and Paul Weddle, Business Manager at Millfield Medical Group as new Board Members.

John previously sat as Vice Chair on Healthwatch Sunderland Board, and joined Healthwatch after first-hand experience of very poor care in the health and social care sectors several years ago, he was determined to influence improvement. He has been an active supporter of patient experience for many years as Governor at City Hospitals Sunderland and during this time built strong networks and attended many strategic meetings and boards across the city. 

Gavin has worked as a self-advocate at Sunderland People First for over ten years. He enjoys supporting people with a learning disability and or autism to have a strong voice in their local community. He is involved in designing and delivering training for health and social care staff around the needs of people with a learning disability and or autism.

Paul has worked in pre-hospital care for 33 years, initially within the ambulance service and for the last 18 years as a Business Manager within Primary Care, currently at Millfield Medical Centre. He has both a clinical and managerial background, and is also a governor at a Sunderland Primary School.

The staff team are looking forward to working alongside our refreshed board. Our Manager, Margaret Curtis said "I am delighted to welcome our new Chair and board members, and look forward to the next chapter of Healthwatch, putting the voice of the residents of Sunderland at the heart of the challenging decisions that lie ahead."

We asked our new Chair and board members how they feel about the new challenges ahead:

John said "At a time of major change in Sunderland health and social care services, Healthwatch staff and volunteers will be significantly challenged to ensure that the views of Sunderland people are fully represented and taken into account by the care providers and commissioners responsible for the changes."

Gavin told us "I am excited to have joined the team at Healthwatch Sunderland. I believe that I can use my knowledge and experience as a board member and make sure that the views of people with a learning disability and or autism are well represented. I hope that I can help make changes in the way people are supported so that people have good lives and can say what is important to them."

Paul commented "I am very interested in local health and social care and ensuring residents of Sunderland are provided the very best in services. I feel we should be offering greater choice. I am really looking forward to working with Healthwatch Sunderland and all stakeholders to make sure everyone has the information needed so they can make informed decisions around care in Sunderland."

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