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Wigan Health Patients To Take Charge

A former Sir-Ian-MccartneyMakerfield MP will take control of a new organisation charged with looking after the health needs of people in Wigan Borough.

Sir Ian McCartney has been given the chairmans Job for Healthwatch Wigan, which will be launched on Monday 1st April. Run by patients, it will act as an independent watchdog with the power to influence how NHS and social care services are run in the borough.

Sir Ian, who was a minister in Tony Blair’s government, will work with a board of trustees to ensure the public’s views on healthcare issues are heard and acted upon. His first task will be to recruit the board of nine trustees.

Sir Ian said: “As a patient of the NHS, I’m delighted to be involved with Healthwatch Wigan and hope to make a valuable contribution. Health services are vitally important and during my time as an MP, and as a minister, I was involved in a range of health care issues.

“This is a great opportunity to help shape the services many people in Wigan Borough rely upon. Too often in the past, people have complained the voice of patients is ignored when important decisions about the NHS or social care have been made. This is an opportunity to ensure people’s views are heard loud and clear.

“I’ve no doubt we will assemble a talented board of trustees. It’s a big responsibility but I’m sure we will be able to find the right people. I encourage those members of the public with an interest in the delivery of health services in Wigan Borough to volunteer jobs.”

Lord Peter Smith, Leader of Wigan Council, said: “I’m pleased someone of Sir Ian’s standing is now involved with Healthwatch. It’s a great start to this new initiative. Securing such a strong leader as the voice for local healthcare is a positive step towards ensuring a health service relevant to the needs of Wigan Borough residents.

“With 23 years of experience as Makerfield’s MP, five years as a local councillor, and a further four years spent championing health matters as a minister, Sir Ian’s knowledge of this area, and his passion for improving healthcare, make him the perfect candidate for the job.”
Wigan Council News

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