We are pleased to announce the appointment of our first chair of Healthwatch Leeds: Linn Phipps. Linn has a strong background in the NHS, in Leeds, and in patient and public engagement. She has over 14 years’ experience of serving as a Non-Executive Director of NHS mental health and learning disability services, and as Chair of NHS Primary Care services. During that time, Linn has taken a leading role in developing partnerships, by representing the health sector on the Leeds Initiative Board (the Local Strategic Partnership) and on its Transport Partnership. Linn also co-developed the first District Partnerships in Leeds.
Until the beginning of April, Linn was one of two Lay Members on the Department of Health’s national AGNSS (the Advisory Group on National Specialised Commissioning) and she is continuing to represent patient and public views on the national Steering Group for Specialised Services Patient and Public Engagement. She is also a member of the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellent) External Stakeholder Reference Group. Linn has worked extensively in health consultancy, particularly focussing on good practice, health inequalities, and working with local health economies to help build effective relationships.
“I am honoured and delighted to be taking on this role. It is a time of great challenge – and also great opportunity – for our health and social care services. Following major structural changes in the NHS and the Francis report, we need to make sure the experiences of patients and service users are at the heart of all decisions about their care. Although service commissioners and providers are keen to listen to patient and public views, HWL wants to see how the opinions of patients make a real difference to the services they use. We also want to help our partners across the health and social care system to feed back to the local individuals and groups who want to help them improve. Of course, at this moment we are very new, so we will be listening to local partners in the community and voluntary sectors, as well as in health and social care, and starting to develop our work-plan priorities – and thinking about how we can really make a difference and add value for the people of Leeds.”
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