To help explain recent amendments to the Health and Social Care Bill about local Healthwatch, the Department of Health has published a document to clarify and restate the Government’s vision for local Healthwatch.
The document, which also describes the key policy ambitions for Healthwatch, is aimed at all those with an interest in local Healthwatch organisations across the NHS and social care, including local authorities, local involvement networks, emerging health and wellbeing boards and the voluntary and community sectors.
‘Local Healthwatch: A strong voice for people – the policy explained’ places the role of local Healthwatch within the overall context of the White Paper, and sets out functions, responsibilities, roles and relationships within the modernised health and care system.
The intention is for Healthwatch England to be established in October 2012 and for local Healthwatch organisations to start in April 2013.
Following on from this document, David Behan, DH Director General for Social Care, Local Government and Care Partnerships, has written to local authority chief executives to clarify their statutory duty to commission effective and efficient local Healthwatch organisations.
Find out more about the Health and Social Care Bill amendments about local Healthwatch that were tabled on 1 March.