A NEW organisation to improve health and social services in Lancashire has been unveiled.

Lancashire County Council has joined forces with Parkwood Healthcare to form a new health watchdog called HealthWatch Lancashire.

Parkwood specialises in providing staff, including nurses, care assistants and project workers, to the NHS, private and voluntary organisations.

From April 2013, the new organisation will replace the current Lancashire Local Involvement Network (LINk) as an independent watchdog, listening to local people's concerns and ensuring the best services for them.

In addition, HealthWatch Lancashire will:

  • Look in greater detail at the specific health needs of people in Lancashire and set out strategies to address these
  • Be a voice developing new ways of working, to ensure health and social care services work more closely with the community and have a greater influence on making changes
  • Have a seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board to ensure the needs of people are taken into account by the organisations that provide health and soc-ial care services

County Coun Val Wilson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “HealthWatch will represent a new, innovative way of working, and will give Lancashire people who use health and social care a greater voice.

It will have more powers to act on their concerns.

“This is part of a new way of working and HealthWatch Lancashire will work closely with HealthWatch England as part of the national, health and social care review.”

Staff currently working for Lancashire LiNk will be transferred to Parkwood Healthcare Ltd.