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Slee Blackwell have been working with Healthwatch Devon since 2016 in a bid to help improve local health services in Devon.

Healthwatch Devon is the independent champion for people using health and care services. They listen to what people like about services and what they feel could be improved and share those views with those with the power to make change happen.  They essentially have six functions, being commissioned by Devon County Council to:

  • gathering views and experience;
  • making those views known;
  • involvement with commissioners and scrutinising local services;
  • making recommendations to Healthwatch England and the CQC;
  • providing advice and information; and
  • undertaking independent research and commissioned pieces of work.

Slee Blackwell partner Oliver Thorne who is based in the firm’s Barnstaple office and who is head of the firm’s Clinical Negligence team commented, “We are proud to have strong links with Healthwatch Devon and feel we are suitably placed to help them with their goal of improving patient services and ensuring that a safe healthcare service is provided. My team and I speak to countless people who are unhappy with the medical treatment they have received from a particular doctor or Healthcare Trust but who also praise services provided by other departments. As well as highlighting the poor and sometimes negligent treatment it is important that we celebrate the exceptional care that our National Health Service provides, especially in the current climate.”

More can be found out about Heathwatch Devon at and an online form is available here to complete so that you can provide your feedback on local health and social care services.

Sam Scott, Healthwatch Champion for North Devon said “Healthwatch Champions listen to people’s experience of health and social care and help support clients to have voices heard. Using expert knowledge, they empower clients to move forward in their lives and to address any unresolved issues that they may be facing.

In the process they identify emerging issues in health and social care and feed this back to Healthwatch, helping highlight and improve the access to, and experience of, health and social care services across Devon.”