NEW NHS watchdogs have been welcomed in North Kirklees.

Patient forums will monitor health services in hospitals and at GP surgeries.

Barry Seal, chairman of North Kirklees Primary Care Trust, said: "They will add a new voice to help us improve local people's experiences of the NHS.

"We look forward to working in this new partnership to drive forward positive changes in local health services."

Anne Akers, director of public and patient involvement, said: "We hope more and more people will become involved in these forums to support our vision of putting patients and the public at the heart of everything we do.

"We already have a Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) to support people who need help with local health services."

More than 4,000 volunteers have been recruited to 574 Patient and Public Involvement Forums nationwide.

They include 550 people in Yorkshire and Humberside.

The forums are part of the organisations set up to replace the work of Community Health Councils which were disbanded in November. They are independent of the NHS.

Mr Seal thanked the Dewsbury CHC for its work.