Healthwatch has updated its strategy to set out the difference the organisation wants to make by 2026, which includes how it will work in partnership with local Healthwatch.
As an independent statutory body, Healthwatch has the power to make sure NHS leaders and other decision makers listen to public feedback and improve standards of care. Last year, Healthwatch helped nearly two million people to have their say and get the information and advice people needed.
The business plan outlines the steps the organisation will take over the next 12 months to help deliver the strategy.
Healthwatch has outlined the following objectives:
- To find out the experiences of people needing or using health, public health, and social care services.
- To seek the views of those who are seldom heard and reduce the barriers they face.
- To build a sustainable and high-performing network of local Healthwatch services.
- To act on what we hear to improve health and care policy and practice.
- To build on and share our expertise in engagement.
- To be strong, well-governed and use our resources for the greatest impact.
Louise Ansari, national director of Healthwatch England told CMM, ‘With services across England, our dedicated staff and volunteers help decision-makers understand when people can’t access care, when their needs have been overlooked, or where their journey between services has broken down. We highlight what is and isn’t working, using views from every community. But we have ambitions to go further.
‘Over the next year, we will do more to seek the experiences of people whose voices are seldom heard, reduce barriers, and act on their views to improve care. And so, we want to build stronger links between health and care leaders so that we can help those from seldom heard groups to have their voices heard by those in charge. Social care leaders have an important role to play in encouraging service feedback to improve care for current and future generations. We encourage you to work with Healthwatch teams in your local community to look at people’s experiences of care and identify where important changes are needed.’
Visit the Healthwatch website to find out more about the business plan.
In other news, The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that more than £15m of funding will be given to local authorities across England, to help LAs implement new social care charging reforms.