The responsibility to arrange for there to be a local Healthwatch in every part of England falls to local councils, using funds provided to them by central government. At the beginning of local Healthwatch in 2013, in Dorset the three local councils (Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council and Borough of Poole) awarded a contract to a partnership of three well-known and long-established local community organisations (Help & Care, Dorset Race Equality Council and Citizens Advice in Dorset) to provide the Healthwatch Dorset service. They, in turn, set up a new social enterprise, a community investment company called Healthwatch Dorset CIC, through which to deliver Healthwatch.
That contract will end on 31st March this year. Our councils have awarded a new contract to deliver Healthwatch Dorset from 1st April this year to a different organisation, Evolving Communities.
Joyce Guest, Chair of Healthwatch Dorset, said:
"I'm very proud to have been involved with Healthwatch Dorset over the past 5 years. The staff, Board and volunteers have worked hard to create a well-known & respected organisation that listens to local people and promotes their involvement in the design and delivery of health and social care services across Dorset, as well as speaking up on behalf of patients and service users.
I'd like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank our staff and volunteer team for all their hard work, enthusiasm and dedication.
We'd also like to send our best wishes to Evolving Communities, as they prepare to take over. We hope that under their leadership HealthwatchDorset will continue to go from strength to strength."