New watchdog gives Barking and Dagenham residents a say in healthcare services

A new consumer watchdog for health and social care services in the borough was launched last week.

Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham will provide a route for members of the public to share their views and concerns about services such as GPs, dentists, hospitals and day care services.

Anyone can share their views via the website -

Run by a board and ‘associate members’, which are existing groups formed around healthcare issues, the idea is to give residents a voice to influence and challenge the quality of how services are provided in the area.

In terms of influence, the Healthwatch team can undertake ‘enter and view’ consultations, meaning they can enter premises and observe the quality of services.

They can then refer any of their findings on to the national regulator the Care Quality Commission or the umbrella organisation Healthwatch England.

The launch on DAY was attended by Patrick Vernon OBE, from Healthwatch England, along with representatives from the council and the Clinical Commissioning Group, the GP-led organisation that organises NHS services in the area.

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Cabinet member for health Cllr Maureen Worby said: “The launch of this project is the start of an exciting time for local residents who will now be able to have a say about local health and social care services. The views of which will feed into, and influence, local strategies such as the council’s Health and Well-being strategy, helping to create real change.”