As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, the Government set up a Healthwatch in every local authority area of the country to be the independent consumer champion of health and social care services.
The role of Healthwatch is to make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account by those who plan and provide these services.
The statutory roles of Healthwatch include:
- enabling people to share their views and concerns about their local health and social care services, helping to build a picture of where services are doing well and where they can be improved.
- ensuring that the views and experiences of patients, carers and other service users are taken into account when services are planned and commissioned.
- The ability to send trained representatives to enter and view premises where services are delivered.
- The ability to alert Healthwatch England, or the Care Quality Commission (CQC), where appropriate, to concerns about specific care providers, health or social care matters.
- providing people with information about what to do when they are unhappy with the service they received. This includes signposting to independent advocacy for NHS complaints.
- signposting people to information about local health and social care services and how to access them.
Healthwatch came in to force across the country on 1st April 2013. MNH was awarded the contract by North Lincolnshire Council to set up and develop Healthwatch North Lincolnshire, and has continued to deliver this service for the four years since its inception.
If you would like more information; would like to share your views or experiences about health and care services in North Lincolnshire; or would like to find out about volunteering opportunities at Healthwatch North Lincolnshire, please see the contact details below, or visit Healthwatch North Lincolnshire’s own dedicated website at www.healthwatchnorthlincolnshire.co.uk.