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Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion that gathers and represents the public's views on health and social care services in England. 

Healthwatch England operates on both a national and local level and ensures that the views of the public and people who use the services are taken into account.  It is not a regulatory body such as the Care Quality Commission and does not have direct responsibility to change practices.  It does, however, have a statutory remit to collate evidence of service shortfalls nationally, and to ensure the regulators, other arms length bodies, and government departments, respond accordingly.

How Healthwatch works

The Healthwatch network is made up of two connected levels: 

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, Monitor, and every Local Authority in England.  Healthwatch England provides leadership, support and advice to local Healthwatch organisations so they can become strong ambassadors for local people.  They will gather and analyse information provided by local Healthwatch organisations and others to identify key issues and trends.


Local Healthwatch

Local Healthwatch organisations will:

Find your local Healthwatch organisation

How does local Healthwatch differ from LINks?

Local Healthwatch organisations have taken over the work previously done by the Local Involvement Networks (LINks), but will have additional functions. Until then, LINks will continue to operate as usual.  Many of the strengths of LINks will apply just as much to local Healthwatch organisations, however, there are a number of key differences between the two organisations:

For more information visit the Healthwatch England website.

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Updated on Friday, 21 May 2021 1768 views