Our Meeting With The Director General

Helen Horne Chair of Healthwatch Cumbria and David Blacklock Chief Executive today met with Jon Rouse the Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships.

Part of the Department of Health senior team and an executive member of its board, the Director General, Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships is responsible for:

  • policies on care and support for adults, and health services for children
  • the department’s relationship with local government across all of health and care
  • mental health
  • disability
  • health equalities

The meeting was requested by Jon Rouse as part of his tour of Cumbria Services.

David and Helen were asked to describe some of the current and recent work of Healthwatch Cumbria and Jon was particularly interested in our work on maternity service in Cumbria as well as our recent complaints report.

Prior to the meeting we asked twitter follows for questions and topics for discussion and received a number of tweets and private messages.

Topics included:

Isolation and the impact of this on our most vulnerable citizens, we agreed that vibrant communities are important but that for some a vibrant community is worthless if you don’t have the support to access it.

We raised issues around tele-health and tele-medicine and our concerns over a suitable platform for this and the critical issue of lack of fast reliable broadband in Cumbria.

We discussed the importance of Healthwatch Cumbria’s role and Jon described how he see’s the role of local Healthwatch as the independent voice of people that speaks from within the system. We agreed that our role was not to be an adversarial organisation but instead is to be a positive force for change, using the experience and voices of local people to shape services as they develop and improve.