This is an important strategic position in the local health and care system and a real opportunity to make sure local people have a say in the future of health and care services.
Val is hugely respected by Healthwatch's partners in the local health and care system, her fellow Directors and the Healthwatch team.
In a her recent blog, she talks about the independent remit of Healthwatch and the importance of the Chair’s role.
She also looks ahead at changes in our local health and care system - and the opportunities to make sure that the views of people across our area are heard and shape the services and support they need.
On our Healthwatch
"Healthwatch has a statutory role and a might beyond its small size ...yet it has managed to do so many important things. We have a unique position in the health and care system. We have the right and are expected to shout out if things are not as they should be for patients."
On working through the pandemic
"I’m incredibly proud of the Healthwatch team’s response to Covid...designing new ways to carry on engaging with people online and from a distance.
The messages we’ve had to speak about on behalf of patients have been difficult – very hard. But they have been well received by the health and social care community locally and we think we have been able to make a difference and use the experiences of service users to influence change."
On the Covid challenges as it continues
"Covid itself has been a huge challenge. There will be people waiting for longer. And more people waiting for their treatment.
So making sure information is readily available to people is an incredibly important part of our Healthwatch role.
And we really need to think about ways to do that - more, better and in tandem with others - to really make a difference."
Big changes to health and care for local people
Another big challenge ahead is for us to maintain a strong influence as the way health and social care is organised is going to change so much in this next year.
"Partners are going to work in an Integrated Care System and we certainly want patients and users of services to feel they are at the heart of this new way of planning, managing and delivering care in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough."
The role of the new Chair will be crucial here.
Become our new Chair
We are looking for a dynamic individual to be the next Chair of our Board of Directors. This is a volunteer role but it is remunerated at £8,922 per annum – 8 days per month.
Would you like to use your skills and experience to help improve the public voice in health and care services?