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Healthwatch launched across England

Mon, 01/04/2013

Healthwatch is the new independent consumer champion for health and social care and launched across England on 1st April 2013.

The network is made up of the nationally-focused Healthwatch England leading 152 community-focused local Healthwatch. Together they form the Healthwatch network, working closely to ensure consumers’ views are represented both locally and nationally.

How Healthwatch works
The key to the success of Healthwatch will be the strength of the Healthwatch network overall. The network is made of two connected levels:

  • Healthwatch England works at the national level and is helping set up local Healthwatch organisations. It will take local experiences of care and use them to influence national policy.
  • Local Healthwatch will begin work in April 2013. There will be a Healthwatch organisation covering every local authority area in England. They will take the experiences that people have of local care and use them to help shape local services.

Through the Healthwatch network, Healthwatch England will make sure the voices of people who use health and social care services are heard by the Secretary of State, the Care Quality Commission, the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and every local authority in England.

Healthwatch England provides leadership, support and advice to local Healthwatch organisations so they can become strong ambassadors for local people.

Healthwatch England will gather and analyse information provided by local Healthwatch organisations and others to identify key issues and trends.

Through the network, Healthwatch England will make sure the voices of people who use health and social care services are heard by the Secretary of State for Health, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and every local authority in England.

Local Healthwatch organisations will:

  • have the power to enter and view services.
  • influence how services are set up and commissioned by having a seat on the local health and wellbeing board.
  • produce reports which influence the way services are designed and delivered.
  • provide information, advice and support about local services.
  • pass information and recommendations to Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission.

 

Local Healthwatch providers

The Local Government Association has produced a list of all local Healthwatch providers. If you cannot find your local Healthwatch please contact enquiries@healthwatch.co.uk and they can help.