A former school inspector from North Petherton with a passion for shaping local health services will help to lead the county’s independent health and care champion.

Judith Goodchild (pictured right) has been appointed Interim Chair of Healthwatch Somerset and will help to develop the role of the service in the county.

Healthwatch Somerset, based in Bridgwater, listens to what people like about local health and care services, and what could be improved.  These views are then shared with the decision-making organisations in the county, to help shape local services for the better.

Judith’s passion for representing the views of the public motivated her to help improve the quality of care for people in Somerset. She explained: “I have volunteered with Healthwatch Somerset for the last three years because it’s a body that listens to people and their concerns about the NHS, and it is in a position to be able to lobby those who are able to make changes.

“I’m very aware of the problems facing the health service at the moment and supportive of the services, but equally I think the public’s voice should be taken into account when making decisions at a higher level. I hope my awareness, knowledge and understanding of primary and secondary health services will give a holistic view of healthcare in Somerset.

“I am excited by the prospect of being able to begin to shape an approach to the representation of views on health and social care in Somerset that will build on the excellent work done already.”

Mother of two Judith spent 15 years working in the nuclear industry and 18 years as an Ofsted inspector. Since retiring six years ago, she has become increasingly involved as a volunteer in the governance of local NHS services, and is a public governor representing West Somerset.

Chris Graves, Chair of Evolving Communities – the parent community interest company of Healthwatch Somerset, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Judith and believe she will make a significant contribution in Somerset.  Judith has a real passion for shaping local health and care services and is keen to work with local people to help achieve this.”

For more information on Healthwatch Somerset call 01278 264405, email info@healthwatchsomerset.co.uk or visit healthwatchsomerset.co.uk

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