Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion that gathers and represents the public’s views on health and social care services in England.
Healthwatch operates both on a national and local level and ensures that the views of the public and people who use the services are taken into account.
Healthwatch is not a regulatory body such as the Care Quality Commission and does not have direct responsibility to change practices.
There is a local Healthwatch organisation in every local authority area in England. Healthwatch Barnsley is part of a nationwide network of local organisations which have been set up to be the champions for health and social care.
Through the Healthwatch network, Healthwatch England will ensure the voices of people who use health and social care services are heard by the Secretary of State, the Care Quality Commission, the Monitor and every local authority in England.
Local Healthwatch organisations will:
- have the power to enter and view services
- influence how services are set up and commissioned by having a seat on the local health and wellbeing board
- produce reports which influence the way services are designed and delivered
- provide information, advice and support about local services
- pass information and recommendations onto Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission