A NEW group dedicated to helping Dudley people have their say on health and social care has unveiled its first chairman.

Healthwatch Dudley will be headed by former senior nurse and health service manager Pam Bradbury who will be leading a team which will work as part of the government watchdog Care Quality Commission.

Healthwatch Dudley will gather information from the public as well as providing an information and signposting helpline.

Pam Bradbury said: "I am excited about ensuring that local people have a strong and influential voice as important decisions are made about health and well being. It is essential that local views and experiences are taken into account in the planning of local health and social care services and I believe that the skills and experience I bring to Healthwatch Dudley will ensure that this happens.”

The group will work under the umbrella of voluntary sector support charity Dudley CVS and Pam Bradbury will receive an annual honorarium payment of £5,000.

Jayne Emery, Healthwatch Dudley Chief Officer added, “Our staff team and volunteers are looking forward to working with Pam and our new board to make sure that everyone, especially people who don’t always shout the loudest, have the strong and powerful voice they deserve.”

Healthwatch Dudley can be contacted at 03000 111 001, www.healthwatchdudley.co.uk or via Twitter @HWDudley.