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Your voice on health and social care

Healthwatch Oxfordshire appoints new Chair


Healthwatch Oxfordshire is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor George Smith, a distinguished award-winning scientist, as its new Chair.

 Prof Smith, who is a world-wide authority on metallurgy,  is a former district councillor in the county and has had a long-standing involvement in health matters in his capacity as family carer.

 He has been a member of the Healthwatch Oxfordshire Board for two years. Among his recent international achievements, last year he was presented the prestigious Microscopy Society of America “Distinguished Physical Scientist” Award.

 He said: “ It is both an honour and a great responsibility to be appointed as chair of this organisation. 

 “The health and social care systems in Oxfordshire face enormous challenges.  The regional population is expanding, needs are growing, and resources are limited.  Healthwatch Oxfordshire is an official, statutory body, with two main responsibilities.  It is the voice of the people in the county, providing feedback to the authorities on all aspects of publicly-funded health and social care in the county.  It is also a watchdog, with a duty to hold providers to account for the quality of the services they deliver. 

 “We aim to work constructively with the relevant authorities to ensure that the best possible services are provided with the available resources, and that not a penny is wasted Better coordination of services, better long term planning, and better communication with the public are all urgently needed, and are all achievable within a limited time frame.

 “We will be seeking to increase the involvement of volunteers, and to work closely with other statutory and voluntary bodies, in order to expand our range of activities and to maximise our effectiveness.”

 His appointment was confirmed at Healthwatch Oxfordshire’s Board meeting in Wantage on Tuesday, April 25.

 The outgoing Chairman, Eddie Duller OBE, has completed his two-year term in the position and will continue to be a member of the Board.

 He said: “When I was invited to be Healthwatch Oxfordshire’s chairman two years ago, I set myself a target to make sure the organisation was stable and to put in place a culture of accurate and objective reporting of the public’s experiences and opinions, as well as fostering a responsible attitude in any recommendations we made to the health and social services authorities.

 “I feel that I have achieved that aim, through the support of a talented team of directors and dedicated and experienced members of staff, and feel that the organisation would benefit from being driven by a younger person.”

For more about George and all of our directors, please visit this link