We need to be able to influence what services are available, how they are delivered and who delivers them. We also need to be able to challenge services that aren’t up to scratch.
To help us do this, a new consumer champion for health and social care – local Healthwatch – has been created in in every city and county council in the country. The new local Healthwatch organisations will begin work on 1st April 2013 and will represent the voice of patients, service users, carers and local people.
Click here to find out where yours will be.
What will local Healthwatch do?
- Local Healthwatch will promote and support the involvement of local people in having a say about the way their local health and social care services are run.
- Local Healthwatch will harness the expertise of local communities, charities and voluntary organisations, especially those working with people who have a hard time getting their voices heard. They will make recommendations on how services can be improved.
- Local Healthwatch will support people in taking more control of their own health by providing information and advice on access to local services and the choices open to them.
- Local Healthwatch will provide people with a single point of contact for information on how to make a complaint about their local health and social care services.
Anyone can get involved in local Healthwatch, so a group of charities has set up a new website to make it easier. If you or someone you know are interested in getting involved or just want more information go to: http://www.http/healthwatch-ci.co.uk/
You can also help by passing on this information to your friends, colleagues and any local groups you are part of. This is an opportunity to get your voice heard to shape local services.
Don’t lose your voice.
If local Healthwatch is to be effective it needs to be truly representative of local people. It has to involve people of all ages and from all sections of the community.
It needs people like you to get involved.