Your Healthwatch questions answered:
No. Healthwatch is an independent body, separate from the NHS and Local Authority. Although Healthwatch England is part of the Care Quality Commission, local Healthwatch organisations have been established as fully independent bodies run by local people, for local people.
Healthwatch is keen to maintain their independence so that we can fully represent the voice of the local people.
Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire have two main roles: to inform the public and to influence improvements to services. We do this by:
- Helping people find health, social care, voluntary or community services
- Informing people of their rights to care, assessments, or support
- Taking feedback from people about their experience of services – both good and bad
- Helping individuals informally resolve issues with services
- Challenging those who run or fund services to make improvements
- Watching services in action through ‘Enter and View’ visits
- Supporting people to have a greater say through local patient and service user groups
- Working in partnership with providers of care to co-design improvements
- Escalating serious concerns to Healthwatch England or official inspectors of services.
- Carry out ‘Enter and View’ visits of health and social care premises – such as GP waiting rooms, communal areas of care homes, or hospital A&E or outpatient departments – to collect public views and observe services in action. This power is set down in The Local Authorities (Public Health Functions and entry to Premises by Local Healthwatch Representatives) Regulations 2013. The power excludes entry to social care services for under 18s.
- Require organisations to respond to information requests, under Section 224 of The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007
- Ask organisations to respond to information requests under the Freedom of Information Act
We are recruiting volunteers for a wide range of roles. We know your time is precious. You can give as much or as little of your time as you want, but any time you can give will make a difference. You could simply take 5 minutes to share your views and encourage those around you to do the same.
Local people’s voices will go directly into shaping health and social care services in their area. Those services will meet local needs in a much better way, ensuring people are able to get the best out of them. The more people get involved, the more impact the local Healthwatch will have.
We have a strict policy regarding all information given to Healthwatch is treated as confidential. This includes both electronic information and all written correspondence and we in fact registered under Data Protection. At no point do we sell or share any personal information with anyone unless specifically instructed to do so by the person.