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Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion for both health and social care. The aim of Local Healthwatch is to gather the views and experiences of people who use or may need to use health and social care services in the local area.
What is Healthwatch?
Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion for both health and social care. There are two distinct forms:
East Riding of Yorkshire Healthwatch (external website) at local level, and
Healthwatch England (external website) at national level.
What is Local Healthwatch?
Each local authority with responsibility for social care is required to establish a Local Healthwatch for their area. Local Healthwatch is an independent organisation, which employs its own staff and involves volunteers, so that it can be the influential and effective voice of the public.
The aim of Local Healthwatch is to gather the views and experiences of people who use or may need to use health and social care services in the local area. It’s role is to give them a stronger voice so that they can influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided within their locality. Local Healthwatch also provides, or signposts people to, information to help them make choices about health and care services.
What does Local Healthwatch do?
Local Healthwatch works with residents (as individuals or as groups) to:
gather their views and concerns about health and social care services in order to help improve them
check that services are safe, of a high quality and meet the needs of local people
monitor local health and social care services
make recommendations to commissioners and providers of health and care services saying where things could, or should, be improved
where serious concerns have been raised and no improvement has taken place, they report these to the national Healthwatch body - Healthwatch England
support people to find out about health and social care services in the area through the Health and Social Care Directory (see the pdf attached at the bottom of this list) so that they can make choices about the services they receive
provide information about specialised services so people are able to choose which services they use
signpost people to Independent Complaints Advocacy (ICA - the service that helps people who want to make a complaint about the NHS)
identify and liaise with local voluntary and community groups in the area so that the views of local people are fed into the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
How can I be a part of Local Healthwatch?
There are lots of ways to get involved. Healthwatch is dependent on the involvement of volunteers. If you have a few hours to spare and would like to make a difference to health and care services, please contact Healthwatch East Riding for further information.
HealthWatch East Riding of Yorkshire
Brough Business Centre
Tel: 0808 801 0385
Are there any guidelines that a Local Healthwatch must follow?
Yes, a Local Healthwatch must:
be an organisation in its own right that does not provide Health and Social Care services - to make sure it is independent
have leadership and demonstrate what impact it has in making a difference to health and social care services locally
have a chair and board of directors who are all volunteers and who lead the organisation and the work plan of Local Healthwatch
be accountable to residents and produce public annual reports
employ staff to work with residents to make sure every voice is heard
be open to everyone - including people from different backgrounds and recognise that everyone has a valuable contribution to make
build strong relationships with local people, commissioners and health and social care providers by operating in a way that encourages and facilitates participation from all who want to be involved.
What is Healthwatch England?
Healthwatch England was established in October 2012 to:
Further information on Healthwatch England is available from:
What is the role of the council in Local Healthwatch?
Local Healthwatch is completely independent from the council, however, the council funds Healthwatch from Government Grants and has a responsibility to ensure that Healthwatch fulfils all its functions to a high standard.
To enable the council to do this, we meet the Healthwatch provider regularly and offer appropriate support to enable them to deliver Local Healthwatch for our communities.