WORKFORCE: A non-executive director of NHS Worcestershire has been appointed as chair of the emerging local HealthWatch organisation.

Peter Pinfield recently lost his position on NHS Worcestershire board when the primary care trust formed a cluster with three other West Midlands PCTs. Healthwatch will take over from the existing forum for patient and public involvement, Local Involvement Networks, in April 2013.

Until then Mr Pinfield will be working with a steering group consisting of Worcestershire County Council, NHS Worcestershire, LINk and Voluntary Organisation representatives, will now work to set up HealthWatch Worcestershire as an independent entity.

The post was advertised by Worcestershire County Council as attracting annual remuneration of £11,250 for between four and five days work a month.

Mr Pinfield, said: “I am delighted to take up this role in helping to form an independent organisation that will speak up for the patients, service users, carers and public of Worcestershire and to help improve health and social care services for all.”

The organisation aims to improve the quality of health and social care services in the county by ensuring that the views of patients, service users, carers and the general public are heard. It will also help provide information and advice about services to help local people choose health and social care options most appropriate for them.