WOKINGHAM and Reading borough councils are joining forces to put together plans for healthwatch services.

The two councils currently commission two separate healthwatch services, at a cost of £217,000 per year.

However now, both councils receive less funding from the government, and therefore will need to work to a tighter budget.

The proposal represents a potential combined saving of £44,000 p.a. whilst still allowing both Councils to meet the needs of their local populations.

Cllr Julian McGhee-Sumner, Wokingham Borough Council’s executive member for adults’ services, health, wellbeing and housing, said: “With an increase in demand for services in the borough, it is important we look to make our services more efficient.

“The option of combing our healthwatch services could ensure that we meet the needs of our residents while making a significant saving.

“As healthwatch provides an independent voice for residents, it’s important that we hear the views of as many people as possible.”

Both councils will now hold a nine-week consultation period from Tuesday December 19 until February 6 2018.

There will also be public events to discuss the proposals at the following locations:


15th January 2018, 1:30 to 3:30pm;

2nd February 2018, 2 to 4pm (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.


18th January 2018 from 3pm to 5pm in the David Hicks Room, Council Offices, Shute End, Wokingham RG40 1BN

Any providers interested in the new service can attend an event on 25th January 10:00am to 12:00 at the Wokingham Council office.