WANTED: a chairman for a new independent champion for health and social care service users.
Healthwatch Sunderland was launched in April and has taken up its place on the city council’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
The non-statutory body has the power to enter and view any premises where services are provided.
It can also take up any issues that cannot be resolved at a local level, through to the Care Quality Commission and ultimately the Secretary of State.
On top of its scrutinising role, the new body also has a duty to provide information about health and social care services, which will help people living in Sunderland to make more informed choices.
Now, the group wants to appoint a chairman who will be asked for a commitment of at least four days a month.
Healthwatch says it wants somebody with good communication skills and an understanding of the health and social environment to hold service providers to account.
In recognition of the amount of work expected to be undertaken by the individual, remuneration of £8,000 a year is being offered along with out of pocket expenses.
Chief executive Jane Hartley said: “We need a strong chairman. It’s the first time there’s been a paid chairman, which reflects the level of work and the quality of individual we want.
“We want someone with local knowledge who understands communities in Sunderland and who is an excellent communicator.
“Healthwatch has stronger powers than anything that has come before it in terms of enforcing real change.
“It’s the first time there has been that direct link all the way through to a national level if we cannot get things sorted out at locally.”
Further details on the role and how to apply can be found at www.healthwatchsunderland.com or by calling 565 0945.