Abstracts: September 19th, 2012

This publication describes the support available to councils to develop effective Healthwatch organisations.

Healthwatch is the new independent consumer champion for both health and social care. It will exist in two distinct forms – local Healthwatch, at local level, and Healthwatch England, at national level. The aim of local Healthwatch will be to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided within their locality. Local Healthwatch will also provide or signpost people to information to help them make choices about health and care services.

Healthwatch brings together key players across a number of organisations in health and social care. This document sets out a collective view of what the key characteristics of an effective local Healthwatch would look like, structured around the key statutory roles.

The document supports councils in commissioning local organisations and in reviewing how well they are functioning. It will also help emerging potential local Healthwatch organisations understand what is expected of them and how they can develop to meet current best practice.

Emerging and aspiring local Healthwatch organisations can also make use of this as a tool for self-assessment in order to identify strengths and areas for development.

Published by the Local Government Association. Download a copy here.