Consumer champion will represent the views of service users as part of NHS reforms
Anna Bradley has been appointed chairman of Healthwatch England, the new consumer body for health and social care.
The organisation, which will consist of Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch bodies, will represent the views of service users and the public following the NHS shake-up under the coalition government. It will use these views to influence national policy and provide advice to Monitor, the NHS Commissioning Board, the Secretary of State and local authorities and NHS trusts across the country.
In her role, Bradley has also been appointed as a member of the board of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
She said: “I am very excited about this opportunity to represent and amplify the voices of people who use the health and social care system. I am clear that those who run, commission, and regulate services need to learn from the people who use those services.
“Healthwatch England will act as a champion for those who sometimes struggle to be heard. I am privileged to be determining the future shape of the organisation, and determined that it will make a genuine difference where it matters most. My immediate focus will be to identify strategic priorities for action, and then to ensure that these inform real change to the future of service delivery."
Healthwatch England will be a statutory committee of the CQC, launching on 1 October, followed by local Healthwatch on 1 April 2013.
Commenting on Bradley’s appointment, Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, said: “Healthwatch England will be a new, strong voice for patients at the heart of the NHS. It will lead Healthwatch locally in supporting the NHS to make ‘no decision about me, without me’ real across the NHS.
“Anna brings with her a wealth of regulatory and consumer advocacy experience. In particular, her proven track record of promoting and defending the interests of consumers, and giving voice and regulatory strength to improve services will be crucial to the work she will lead to establish Healthwatch England and ensure its success as the independent voice of patients, service users, carers and the public.”
Chairman of the Care Quality Commission, Jo William, added: "Throughout her career Anna has been a champion for the consumer and I have no doubt that she will bring to the post the necessary rigour and independence. I look forward to working with her to build a truly independent Healthwatch network that will enhance our regulatory work and help us identify and act against poor care in the interests of people who use services."