The health and social care reforms of 2012 set a powerful ambition of putting people at the centre of health and social care. To help realise that ambition, the reforms created a Healthwatch in every local authority area across England and Healthwatch England, the national body.
Healthwatch is the consumer champion for health and social care.
Local Healthwatch organisations have 6 main functions to carry out:
- Obtain the views of people about their needs for and experience of local health and social care services and make those views known to those involved in the commissioning and scrutiny of care services
- Make reports and make recommendations about how those services could or should be improved
- Promote and support the involvement of people in the monitoring, commissioning and provision of local health and social care services.
- Provide information and advice to the public about accessing health and social care services and choice in relation to those services.
- Make the views and experiences of people known to Healthwatch England helping it to carry out its role as national champion.
- Make recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission to carry out special reviews or investigations into areas of concern.