A GROUP that acts as a people's champion for health services is in the running for a national award.

Healthwatch Shropshire has been shortlisted for its work to ensure communities get the advice and information they need to make decisions about their wellbeing, care and the services that support them.

Celebrated every year, the national Healthwatch Network Awards highlight the ways in which groups across the country have worked to ensure health and care services meet the needs of their communities. This year there were a record breaking 170 entries.

Healthwatch Shropshire was instrumental in setting up the Shropshire Together Communication and Engagement Group, a group of partners that includes Shropshire Council, the NHS and other health organisations, the voluntary and community sector, businesses and members of the public.

Jane Randall-Smith, Healthwatch Shropshire chief officer, commented: “We are delighted that our work in this area has been recognised in this way. I would like to thank all our staff and volunteers who contribute so much to help service providers and decision makers target their efforts to make things better for the people of Shropshire.

Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire.

It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.

It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

Anyone interested in volunteering for Healthwatch Shropshire can call on 01743 237 884.”