A health and care champion's CEO has announced they will be stepping down from their role after 10 years.

Leader Sandie Smith will leave her role in March 2023.

Sandie was first appointed to set up the service in Cambridgeshire in 2013, taking on the service in Peterborough in 2017 when the two organisations merged.

In this time, she has led work championing a wide range of important issues for local people, from better access to NHS dentistry and accessible information for disabled people, to improving autism diagnosis and support, and campaigning for the re-introduction of IVF.

Speaking about her time at Healthwatch, Sandie said: “It’s been an absolute privilege to lead our Healthwatch here in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – it is the best job I’ve ever had.

“What I’ve valued most is the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives, especially those who are not always heard by decision makers.”

She added: “Our health and care services are under an enormous pressure, with growing waiting lists for care

“Coupled with the cost-of-living crisis, we know those in our most deprived communities are being worst affected, and we work hardest to champion their views.”

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is seeking an exceptional leader who will be able to successfully navigate the complex and changing health and care system.

They will lead a team of 19 staff, and work with more than 100 volunteers to champion local people’s needs and views, and influence improvements in services both locally and nationally.

The new appointee will also need to make sure that NHS leaders and other decision makers listen to what you have to say about local services to improve care.

Healthwatch chair, Stewart Francis, said: “Sandie has worked tirelessly on behalf of patients and has made a real difference to many people’s lives.

“She’s highly respected by senior leaders in the local health and care system and has worked hard to bring patients into the centre of the decision-making process about their care.”

He added: “The work of Healthwatch has never been more important, so we need a highly talented person to lead our ongoing efforts to put local people at the heart of health and care.”

For more information about the role visit Healthwatch’s website.