‘HealthWatch’ launched

  • Posted

Posted 04/10/2012

Sandra Patton, Head of Medical Injury at Ashtons Legal Solicitors, reports on the launch of a new patient organisation and ‘champion’.

‘HealthWatch’ was launched on 1st October, as ‘the new consumer champion for health and social care in England’. It will exist in two distinct forms – HealthWatch organisations at local level, funded by and accountable to the public via local authorities, and HealthWatch England at national level.

HealthWatch England will be a national organisation that enables the collective views of the people who use NHS and social care services to influence national policy. It will be under the umbrella of the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

It will have three main functions:

1. To provide leadership, guidance and support to local HealthWatch organisations.
2. To escalate concerns about health and social care services raised by local HealthWatch to CQC, which is then required to respond.
3. To provide advice to the Secretary of State, NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and the English local authorities, and they are required to respond to that advice.

Key to patient care and safety will be Local HealthWatch raising concerns about the quality of services with local CQC staff. HealthWatch England will be able to monitor the concerns raised and to escalate these within CQC if necessary.

Interested organisations and individuals are able to get involved by registering their interest via the HealthWatch website and I would urge anyone who has a concern about the future of patient safety to do so – it only takes a couple of minutes. 


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