HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a health campaigner and former Worcestershire councillor who has died at the age of 73.
Peter Pinfield, chairman of Healthwatch Worcestershire, passed away on Friday (January 29). Although the cause of his death hasn’t been confirmed formally, Mid Worcestershire Labour Party bosses tweeted he died from Covid.
Shocked Healthwatch bosses paid tribute to the group’s figurehead who had served as chair since it began in April 2013.
Mr Pinfield was instrumental in setting up Healthwatch with the support of colleagues in the voluntary and community sector, NHS and local councils, following his long and successful careers as a children’s social worker and a councillor in Droitwich.
Simon Adams, managing director of Healthwatch Worcestershire said: “Peter cared deeply about people and ensuring they had a say in health and care services in Worcestershire.
“There are no words to express how much Peter will be missed by so many for his compassion for others and contribution to ensuring the NHS and the county council listened to the people in designing and delivering health and care services in Worcestershire.
“We have lost a wise and loved friend as well as our Chairman,” he added.
County health bosses also added their voices to the tributes to the devoted campaigner.
Matthew Hopkins, chief executive of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “Peter was a tireless champion of patients and carers in Worcestershire and he was dedicated to making sure they had a say in any decisions about how their health services were planned or delivered.
“In his role as a critical friend to our Trust, he was hugely supportive of our efforts to improve services for patients, but also prepared to challenge us if he felt we needed to do better.
“He will be greatly missed, but he leaves behind a great legacy and I am sure his Healthwatch colleagues will build on what he has helped to achieve.”
Sarah Dugan, chief executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, added: “I am so sad to hear this news. Peter was such an incredible person who committed so much time to improving services and representing local people. Our sympathies go to Peter’s family, friends and colleagues.
“Peter was a true advocate for patients and carers across Worcestershire.”
Simon Trickett, chief executive of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG said: “This is really sad news for Worcestershire.
“We have lost an exceptional man, with huge knowledge, experience, and enormous insight. Most of all Peter was a really lovely man who supported and championed health and care services, he was always challenging when he needed to be but was also able to empathise with a lot of the challenges that we faced.
“I can’t think of anybody else who has had the impact that he has had on local public services over such a long period of time, always making sure that we focused on patients and the wider community.
“We are all devastated to lose his input, support, and friendship, but he leaves an extremely strong legacy and I hope that his family in particular are really proud of everything that he achieved,” he added.