Buckinghamshire County Council has awarded us a new three-year contract. We will continue to ensure the views of people using health and social care services in Buckinghamshire are heard. This is to ensure health and social care services continue to put the views and experiences of the local population at the heart of their work.

The contract will run from April 2020 until the end of March 2023. We will also have the option to extend for a further two years.

We will also be providing an Independent Health Complaints Advocacy service. This is part of a new agreement with the current provider seAp. This means that people can continue to access support in making formal complaints about services.

Miguel Souto, Interim Chief Executive of Healthwatch Bucks, said:

We have a strong track record for representing the voice of people in Buckinghamshire. We gather their views to help shape the health and care services they use. Our team worked extremely hard to secure this contract. We are thrilled to be able to continue this vital work.’

We are delighted to be working with SEAP to provide an advocacy service to people raising a complaint. This marks an exciting development for the way service users are represented across Bucks.

A view echoed by Councillor Lin Hazell, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, who said:

Healthwatch Bucks made a compelling case to be commissioned to deliver this exciting new phase of advocacy and representation for patients. Their high-quality bid offered real value for money. It builds on a track record of working with the community to improve services. We look forward to working with Healthwatch Bucks over the next few years.

The new role as Independent Health Complaints Advocates is extremely welcome – making complaints about health and social care services can sometimes be a daunting process.

We are part of a national network of 148 independent local organisations set up by the government across England. Our goal is to ensure that the experiences, ideas and opinions of people in Buckinghamshire make a positive difference to the way health and social care is provided. Read more about what we do.

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