The local authorities in Reading and Wokingham are currently under extreme financial pressure as a result of Government cuts. The authorities receive less funding from central Government than they used to, and need to review how to meet their statutory responsibilities, including meeting increasing demand for essential services for vulnerable children and adults.
Reading and Wokingham currently commission separate local Healthwatches and the combined budget for both Healthwatch Reading and Healthwatch Wokingham is £217,000 p.a. Combining Reading and Wokingham Healthwatches offers opportunities to make some efficiency savings, whilst still keeping a service which meets statutory responsibilities, is accountable to both councils, and responds to the needs of both local populations. Taking this into account it has been proposed that the budget for a combined Wokingham and Reading Healthwatch service would be in the region of £173,000.
Why Reading Borough Council Are Consulting
Reading Borough Council are currently seeking views from people who use health and social care services and other stakeholders to understand the likely impact of commissioning a single Local Healthwatch for Reading and Wokingham. The consultation is being conducted by Reading Borough Council on behalf of both councils.
The consultation will run from Tuesday 19th December 2017 to Tuesday 6th February 2018
Reading Borough Council will be meeting with stakeholders in Reading on:
- 15th January 2018 from 1:30pm to 3:30pm; and
- 2nd February 2018 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm (as part of the Older People’s Working Group)
Both of these meetings will be in the Council Chamber at Plaza West, Bridge Street, Reading RG1 2LU.
The council will also be meeting with stakeholders in Wokingham on:
- 18th January 2018 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm in the David Hicks Room, Council Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN