The independent patient champion has set up the new Feedback Centre on its website to enable people using local healthcare services to comment on their experiences.

The new online engagement tool enables patients to share stories about services they have been using, like GP practices, pharmacists, hospitals, care homes, dentists, opticians and ambulances.

They can also read other peoples’ experiences of particular services.

Service users can also submit comments for the Feedback Centre via feedback postcards, emails and by telephone.

All positive comments will be passed on to service providers, and where issues have been raised, Healthwatch South Tyneside will contact service providers to give them the right to reply and also investigate.

Sue Taylor, Chair of Healthwatch South Tyneside, said: “The more feedback we receive, the more accurate a picture can be built of what is working well, and which services needs improving.

“This will encourage health and social care providers to reward good practice, as well as identify and rectify any problems patients may encounter. Your voice really could make a difference.”

Healthwatch South Tyneside was launched in 2013 as part of a national network to give users of health and social care services a powerful voice. It works with users of local NHS and social care services to hear about their experiences, identify any issues or problems and help generate improvements.

Healthwatch South Tyneside has the power to enter and view services and influences how services are set up and commissioned by having a seat on the local health and wellbeing board.

It also produces reports which influence the way services are designed and delivered, provides information, advice and support about local services, and passes information and recommendations to Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission.

To use the Feedback Centre visit: healthwatchsouthtyneside.co.uk