Valerie Harrison, POhWER’s Chief Executive said “We are very keen to work with the Government to ensure any future services continue to give people the right to gain control over their own lives – and to help the most vulnerable members of our community to express their views. We hope our response has provided them with a strong steer for service development in the coming months.”
POhWER currently works with people who want to express their concerns about any aspect of their NHS treatment – GP, hospital, dentist, opticians or pharmacy and past or continuing care or social care. ICAS advocates aim to resolve issues quickly and informally but can also support individuals through complex complaints and by drawing attention to their personal experiences, may help to bring about changes and improved services. ICAS will now be extended until at least March 2013. In addition, seven advocacy staff, based at the Stevenage office but working across the Hertfordshire community, have had their jobs secured for a further two years.
Over 700 of POhWER’s members, many of whom have significant communications difficulties, responded to the consultation on the NHS White Paper, Equity and Excellence – Liberating the NHS.