As part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, new consumer champions for users of health and social care services will be established in April 2013, these will be known as Healthwatch England, nationally and Local Healthwatch, locally.
Local Healthwatch will replace the Local Involvement Networks (LINks) and will have some additional functions. More information about the new organisation is available in the attached Questions and Answers document. Local Healthwatch questions and answers (pdf, 22Kb)
Vision as set out in the Healthwatch Transition Plan published on 29th March 2011 by the Department of Health
Statement of Intent
Healthwatch will be the independent consumer champion for the public – locally and nationally – to promote better outcomes in health and in social care.
Healthwatch will be representative of diverse communities. It will provide intelligence – including evidence from people’s views and experiences – to influence the policy, planning, commissioning and delivery of health and social care. Locally, it will also provide information and advice to help people access and make choices about services as well as support people if they need help to complain about NHS services.
Healthwatch will have credibility and public trust through being responsive and acting on concerns when things go wrong, and operating effectively and efficiently.
Warwickshire currently has a Local Involvement Network (LINk) which is hosted jointly by Warwickshire Community and Voluntary Action (WCAVA) and Age UK. Warwickshire LINk was established to:
- give everyone a chance to say what they think about their local health and social care services – what is working well and what could be improved
- give the people the chance to check how health and social care services are planned and run
- feedback what people have said about services, so that things can change for the better
Warwickshire County Council has the responsibility to ensure that our area has an effective and representative Local Healthwatch and has worked hard with the LINk and other key stakeholders to ensure a smooth transition. The Council has made a significant progress towards developing the new organisation, and the Department of Health has given it a pathfinder status.
Warwickshire County Council has made a decision to procure the new service, and for more information on the tender process please go to www.warwickshire.gov.uk/procurement
How at present can I get involved in shaping local care services?
Warwickshire LINk welcomes your views and experiences of health and social care services in Warwickshire. Although the network will cease to exist by 1st April 2013, the learning from its activities will be handed over to Local Healthwatch. To find out more about how to get involved, or how to become a LINk member, go to Warwickshire LINk website.