The Blackburn with Darwen LINk Steering Group consists of 12 local Volunteers, these are:

Ø  Jean Baxendale (Chair)

Ø   Alwyn Cooper

Ø Adrian Hoole

Ø  Salim Karolia

Ø  Ron O'Keeffe - Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee Representative  (Non-Voting Member)

Ø  Madhu Pandya

Ø  Mohammed Patel

Ø  Abdul Piracha

Ø  Andrew Prugar

Ø  Anne Ray   



Update: A new interim Local HealthWatch in Blackburn with Darwen has now been launched, please visit Please note this website is still in development.

News: Anna Bradley has been appointed as Chair of Healthwatch England. Click here for more infomration.

Interested in being a Committee Member for Healthwatch England? Download the documents below to find out how.

Committee member advert

Committee member role profile

Committee member information pack

Committee member application form


The Blackburn with Darwen HealthWatch Promotional Video is now available to view. Just click picture below. 



In July 2010, the Government announced plans to set up an independent champion for Health and Social Care consumers called HealthWatch England, with Local Involvement Networks becoming local HealthWatch organisations. 

HealthWatch will now be established in April 2013. The new date for establishing Local Healthwatch in April 2013 will support the need to align this closer to the establishment of other new bodies such as the health and well being boards. The extension will also support preparations for implementation and enable Healthwatch England (which will be established in October 2012) to provide the leadership and support to Local Healthwatch organisations

The White Paper ‘Equality and excellence: Liberating the NHS’ sets out the Governments vision for transforming Health and Social Care. You can download a copy of the ‘Equity and excellence: Liberating the NHS’ White Paper by clicking here.

The Department of Health have also released an 'Easy to Read' version of this document, which is available to download through the BwD LINk website. To download click here

You can also be able to download the 'Establishing HealthWatch' pdf by clicking here, which;

  • Sets out the HealthWatch proposals.
  • Explains more about the consultation process.
  • Identifies key issues and questions that you may want to think about.


How will HealthWatch affect your BwD LINk? 

The Department of Health wants to keep the role LINks have in influencing how health and social care services are planned and delivered. However, they also want to give the public the ability to make their views known nationally, giving patients a new local champion who can support them to complain and make choices about services. LINks will evolve into local HealthWatch, the consumer champions for patients and communities. Local HealthWatches will also provide a powerful new voice for Patient Participation Groups (PPGs), and other consumer groups that may join them.    


Existing roles your local HealthWatch will have 

Your local HealthWatch will retain LINks’ existing responsibilities to promote patient and public involvement, and to seek views on services which can be fed back into local commissioning. With the existing responsibilities, a Local HealthWatch will have continued rights to enter and view provider services, with a continued ability to comment on changes to local services. 


New roles your local HealthWatch will have

The White Paper proposes giving local HealthWatch additional functions and funding, for providing complaints advocacy services and for supporting individuals to exercise choice. In particular, they will support people who lack the means or capacity to make choices. Your local HealthWatch will be able to report concerns about the quality of local health and social care services to HealthWatch England. Local HealthWatches will be able to do this independently of their local authority and HealthWatch England will be able to recommend that the Care Quality Commissions takes actions. Along with these new roles, a HealthWatch member will sit on the new Health and Wellbeing boards, so the community has a say in local decisions.    

For more information please follow the link to the Department of Health Website above, or contact the BwD LINks office on the contact details below.

Email - This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Phone – 01254 504 985 





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