Healthwatch England will be part of a new Healthwatch network from April 2013, giving people who use health and social care services a powerful voice locally and nationally. The aim is to strengthen the voice of patients and the public.
Healthwatch England will begin work in October 2012 and help set up local Healthwatch organisations. It will take local experiences of care and use them to influence national policy.
“Healthwatch England will act as a champion for those who sometimes struggle to be heard.” Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch.
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. Healthwatch in this area will benefit from the local input of the membership amassed by ERYLINk (East Riding of Yorkshire Local Involvement Network).
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, Care Quality Commission, the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor (the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts), and every local authority.
By law, those in power will have to listen to Healthwatch and respond to its concerns.
If you want to get involved at the start of this important new initiative, then visit the new national Healthwatch website to find out more and sign up for the new Newsletter which will be published later in the year.