Manager Emily Taylor will continue to help make the public voice heard as she leaves Healthwatch Somerset this month.

Emily will take up the position of Lead Engagement Officer at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, overseeing the engagement work to ensure the patient voice is heard throughout the commissioning process.  A new Healthwatch Somerset Manager has been recruited and will start next month.

Lucie Woodruff, Chief Operations Officer at Evolving Communities, added: “Emily joined Healthwatch Somerset at a crucial time in the development of the organisation.  She was able to establish, quite quickly, a fantastic staff and volunteer team and has played a key part in local developments within Somerset’s health and social care landscape.

“She has provided great leadership to the team and has been instrumental in raising awareness of Healthwatch Somerset by putting it back on the map.  It has been a pleasure to work with Emily who combines a very professional approach to her work with a great sense of fun.  I wish her all the very best in her future role.”

We catch up with Emily to find out more…

What are you most proud of from your time with Healthwatch Somerset?

The 2018/19 Impact report.  Last April, we were a newly formed team of staff and volunteers with a vision.  We have come so far since then and I am immensely proud of the work that has been done in those 12 months to listen to the public voice and provide insight to commissioners and deliverers of services.  Reporting on our successes at the June 2019 Health and Wellbeing board was one of my proudest moments.

Anything you have learnt along the way?

I have learnt so much about the health and social care system, but mostly how complicated it can be for the public to navigate.  A lot of work is going on behind the scenes to improve this and it is vital that commissioners and deliverers listen to the public voice when making changes to services to ensure that they meet local need.

What will you miss most?

I will miss the Healthwatch Somerset staff and volunteer team the most.  We have all been on a journey together and have made significant inroads in raising the profile of Healthwatch Somerset across the county.  The team’s enthusiasm and support has been invaluable in the role.  I am also extremely grateful to the staff at Evolving Communities who have provided so much support and guidance to me over the last 18 months.