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 Debbie 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’, Debbie 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,” said Debbie.  “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.

Dr Judkins is a retired consultant anaesthetist and clinical director who was working as a Healthwatch Cornwall volunteer before being asked to join the board as Vice Chair.

“I’ve always been passionate about healthcare and welcome the opportunity to fulfil that passion in an entirely new way,” he said. 

Anna Pascoe has been Healthwatch Cornwall’s chair since April 2022.

“I’m delighted to welcome Debbie as our CEO and Mike, Clive, Richard and Keith as our new non-executive directors,” she said. “We’ve got a strong team in place and I’m looking forward to Healthwatch Cornwall continuing to make a real difference in 2024.”

For more information, visit www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk