THE coalition’s former health minister Anne Milton said she was ‘hugely impressed’ with Portsmouth’s Healthwatch group on a visit.
Now a government whip, Mrs Milton paid a visit to the group yesterday to find out how it is going about its work in the city since it launched in 2013.
Healthwatch Portsmouth represents patients using health and social care services in the city and is part of a national network made up of 152 groups.
It is part of Healthwatch England, which works to bring local groups together and build up a national picture of what people think about the services they receive.
Speaking to The News, Mrs Milton said she was impressed with group’s involvement of young people and the University of Portsmouth.
She said: ‘I have come down here to see how Healthwatch has been set up in Portsmouth. I have been hugely impressed.
‘Having younger people talking about health is a really positive thing.
‘When you talk to people about health and social care, the image they get is somebody older and so having students and younger people talking about it says to people listening, actually health and social care is for everybody and it is about everybody.
‘Healthwatch is key to the way we address health problems.’
The MP met members of organisation including its manager, Steve Taylor.
Mr Taylor said: ‘We welcome all visitors – anybody – to come and see what we are doing.
‘We are proud of that and we were happy to give her a tour around and get her support.’
Mrs Milton said the organisation’s involvement with young people was not something she had experienced.
Mr Taylor added: ‘We have been quite forward thinking with the university. There was a partnership between Learning Links, the city council and the university. It has worked really, really well.’
Anyone using services in Portsmouth can join the network and give their views on the health and social care in the city.
To join the Healthwatch Portsmouth network, visit healthwatchportsmouth.co.uk or call 023 9397 7079.