Worcester News Article – 8th January

Between Christmas and New Year hospital car parking charges were in the national news again with much being made of how eye-wateringly expensive it can be to park at for a hospital visit. In 2015 the Department of Health issued guidance to the NHS on car-parking charges which included making concessions, which should be either free or reduced charges or caps, available to disabled people, frequent outpatient attenders, visitors with relatives who are gravely ill, and carers of patients in these groups. I am pleased to say that both of Worcestershire’s NHS Trusts adopted the guidance and have promoted their car-parking concessions on their respective websites and at their hospitals. Healthwatch wants to know if the concessions work so if you have used them or tried to use them please contact us.

The 3 Clinical Commissioning Groups in Worcestershire, which now share their back office functions, are currently consulting with their GP Practice Members on proposals to change their governance arrangements. This includes a proposal to share Lay Members and introduce the new role of ‘Support’ Lay Members. As Lay Members, who are appointed from within the general population of Worcestershire, are the voice of patients and the public within the Clinical Commissioning Groups I asked that the public should be involved in considering this proposal.
On Friday 12 December we will be holding our next Public Board Meeting at 10am at the Civic Centre, Queen Elizabeth Drive, Pershore, WR10 1PT and Simon Trickett, the Clinical Commissioning Groups Chief Executive Officer, will be attending to present the proposals on Lay Members to the Healthwatch Board. So, if you want to know more about how your voice will be heard in our Clinical Commissioning Groups, or want to have your say on any other health and social care issue please come along.

If you require any further information on our work or have an experience of health or social acre to share with us in confidence please contact us on 01386 550 264 or info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk . All our published reports are available on our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk