"Our day to day business has to continue despite our staff working from home as now, more than ever, people are relying on our NHS and social care services."
Healthwatch Newcastle and Healthwatch Gateshead have a new manager at the helm and one of her first roles is to thank the NHS and carers for their sterling work fighting COVID-19.
Cynthia Atkin from Morpeth is no stranger to the health and social care sector. She has a career spanning a wide variety of roles including campaigning for equality with the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation, inspecting children’s homes, a leading role for North of England and Yorkshire Region with the MS Society and a six -year tenure as Chair of Healthwatch Northumberland. Cynthia is also an independent coach and mentor and has worked as an independent facilitator and Chair for NHS England. She is also a lay representative for the NHS Northern Cancer Alliance.
Healthwatch are statutory organisations, known as the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. By engaging with the community, Healthwatch find out what matters to people and help to make sure that their views shape the support services they need.
“I’m delighted to take up the role as Interim Operations Manager and I’m looking forward to setting out our priorities which centre around obtaining and giving out the right information, signposting people to the services that they need and being a voice for patients who use health and social care services in Newcastle and Gateshead.” said Cynthia.
Cynthia also has to support her staff, who are working in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic but continuing the valuable work of engaging with local people and communities.
“Our day to day business has to continue despite our staff working from home as now, more than ever, people are relying on our NHS and social care services. I want to reassure everyone that we listen to everyone’s views and give appropriate feedback as necessary.
“Since the pandemic started, we have received many comments praising the NHS for the work they are doing to keep us all safe.”
To highlight the public’s positive feedback for the NHS and social carers, Cynthia has commissioned a short video showing members of the public thanking key workers for their help.
The video can be seen here:
Cynthia added: “As the independent and trusted voice for social care and health services for everyone, we’d love to hear people’s experiences from living through this difficult time. Please share your stories at healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk or healthwatchgateshead.co.uk”
Photo shows Cynthia Atkin working from her home in Morpeth (Sound Ideas Media)
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