Healthwatch York is excited to announce changes to their Steering Group membership, including welcoming their new Chair, Janet Wright. Janet replaces John Clark, who has been Chair since 2013. She is looking forward to getting to know all the Healthwatch York volunteers, and taking up her new role.

Janet said:

“I have spent forty years working in Health and Social Care in a whole range of roles. Throughout my career I have met so many brilliant people, from Health and Social Care staff to individuals faced with everyday challenges that impact on their day to day living. What I have learnt is that listening to people and creating opportunities for them to be involved in planning the right local services for them and their communities is the most powerful way to really make change. That is why I am so excited about being given the chance to be the Chair of Healthwatch in my home city, York.”

Also joining the Steering Group are Richard Frith, Fiona Hick and Jenny MacNeill. Between them they have a wealth of experience across health, social care, and understanding the challenges people can face in life.

Richard said: “I’m very glad to be becoming involved with Healthwatch York especially at a time like this. The pandemic will inevitably leave behind all sorts of health challenges and it’s really important that there is as much cooperation as possible between all those involved in different aspects of healthcare.”

Fiona is equally passionate about joining the Healthwatch York team “I am particularly interested in the experiences of unpaid carers using health services. Being a carer myself and working with carers every day, I fully understand the effects health services can have on carers. It is therefore very important to me to provide a collective voice for those carers in York through the local Healthwatch service”

Jenny added “I am so excited to be part of the Healthwatch team – to be part of a realistic and meaningful way of improving access to health and social care and to try something new, meeting like-minded people across organisations and grow ideas together.”

Siân Balsom, Healthwatch York manager said “I can’t let this moment pass without saying a massive thank you to our outgoing Chair, John Clark. He has been with us since we began, and helped to steady the ship through some really challenging times. Being able to pass the baton on to Janet, with her knowledge and experience in health and care, and her passion for involving people in service planning, he knows he can leave us in safe hands! And I can’t wait to work with Janet and our other new Steering Group members, to make sure more people have opportunities to help shape health and social care in our city.”