New faces at Healthwatch Cornwall

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Debbie Gilbert’s new job really does feel like coming home.

She grew up in historic Walsingham Place in Truro and as the recently-appointed CEO of Healthwatch Cornwall, that’s where she is now based.

“My parents ran their business from number one, where we lived, and Healthwatch Cornwall offices are at number six,” she said. “I couldn’t wish for a better location or a more exciting role.”

Describing herself as a “proud Cornish woman”, Gilbert is at the helm of an organisation that aims to ensure people’s views and lived experiences inform local health and social care decision making.

Part of a network of more than 150 local Healthwatch across the country, Healthwatch Cornwall was first launched in 2013.

“Staff and volunteers at Healthwatch Cornwall do an amazing job and I feel very privileged to be joining them,” she said.  “Our role is to give every resident a voice in local health and social care planning – including those in harder to reach groups.

“I’ve spent most of my working life advocating for people whose views aren’t always listened to and am committed to reaching out, listening and feeding back so improvements can be made.”

In addition to Debbie Gilbert, four new non-executive directors have joined the Healthwatch Cornwall board – Mike Wall, Dr Clive Acraman, Richard Williams and Dr Keith Judkins.