West Yorkshire ICB launches new people’s panel

West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership (WY HCP) is launching a new ‘People’s Panel’ to advise services across the area.

WY HCP asked West Yorkshire Healthwatch organisations, independent health and care champions, to develop the panel, which will be made up of people and communities from across the area. West Yorkshire Healthwatch currently works with local communities to share voices and experiences of healthcare services. Cathy Elliot, Chair of the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) called them a “key partner” and said that they are “ideally placed to do this essential work on our behalf.”

The aim is to put people at the heart of decision-making for their healthcare services; the People’s Panel will work towards the collective vision to bring together individuals, the voluntary sector and community groups who play a part in the delivery of health and care across West Yorkshire.

With mechanisms to share views already in place from across Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds Kirklees, and the Wakefield districts, the ICB have stated that they “want to build on this by giving people an opportunity to also have a voice at a West Yorkshire level.”

Sharanjit Bougham from West Yorkshire Healthwatch explained the importance of the new panel: “Ensuring diverse voices are heard from across the area is essential to help health and care services meet the needs of all our communities.” She emphasised the need for those who may be dealing with bigger health inequalities to have an impact, especially for those who may not usually be heard from in shaping the future of WY HCP.

Cathy Elliot added: “This is ultimately all about making the right decisions and ones that make a positive difference to everyone’s lives.”