New Healthwatch Wiltshire provider announced

After a recent tender process, Wiltshire Council has appointed a new provider for the county’s independent local Healthwatch service. The contract has been awarded to Help & Care, a charity based in Bournemouth, who will take over the service from 1 June 2018.

Healthwatch Wiltshire is the county’s independent health and care champion and it exists to ensure people are at the heart of decision-making about local health and care services.

Evolving Communities Community Interest Company (CIC), based in Melksham, has run the Healthwatch Wiltshire for the last five years. It also runs two successful local Healthwatch contracts in Gloucestershire and Somerset, as well a highly-regarded research consultancy service both locally and nationally.

Chris Graves, Chair of Evolving Communities, said: “Over the last five years we’ve received a very positive welcome, since the establishment of the Healthwatch service in Wiltshire. We have enjoyed a productive relationship with partners that has produced some really innovative outcomes for the people of Wiltshire.

“Most of all we have been amazed by the commitment and support given to us by our dedicated team of volunteers and we hope they will continue to support the Healthwatch vision.

“I am confident that the model of Healthwatch that we provide is a successful one in delivering improvements in health and social care for local people, and we will continue to promote it in Gloucestershire and Somerset.”

Mary Curran, newly-appointed Chief Executive of Evolving Communities, added: “Whilst disappointed with the loss of our Wiltshire contract, I am delighted to have joined Evolving Communities and am now focused on delivering a first class Healthwatch service in Somerset and Gloucestershire.

“We will benefit greatly from the knowledge and experience gained from the great track record of work in Wiltshire.”

The current Healthwatch Wiltshire staff will be entitled to transfer over to the new service should they wish to do so, and Evolving Communities will be supporting them through this process.