Healthwatch England is a national body located within the Care Quality Commission, which is the regulatory body for health and social care services. Healthwatch England has the overarching objective of enabling the collective views of the people who use NHS and social care services to influence national policy, advice and guidance.There are two levels - local Healthwatch at a local level, and Healthwatch England at a national level.
There are statutory functions that all local Healthwatches deliver, these are:
- Promoting and supporting the involvement of local people in the commissioning, the provision and scrutiny of local care services.
- Enabling local people to monitor the standard of provision of local care services and whether and how local care services could and ought to be improved.
- Obtaining the views of local people regarding their needs for, and experiences of, local care services and importantly, making these views known.
- Making reports and recommendations about how local care services could or ought to be improved. These should be directed to commissioners and providers of care services, and people responsible for managing or scrutinising local care services and shared with Healthwatch England.
- Provide advice and information about access to local care services so choices can be made about local care services.
- Formulating views on the standard of provision and whether and how the local care services could and ought to be improved; and sharing those views with Healthwatch England.
- Making recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission to conduct special reviews or investigations and to make recommendations to Healthwatch England to publish reports about particular issues.
- Providing Healthwatch England with the intelligence and insight it needs to enable it to perform effectively.
Further information can be found on the Healthwatch England website.