What is Healthwatch?
Healthwatch is an independent voice for the people of Derby and Derbyshire. Healthwatch is there to listen to the experiences of Derby and Derbyshire residents and give them a stronger say in influencing how local health and social care services are provided.
Healthwatch was setup in April 2013 as a result of the Health and Social Care Act 2012, and is part of a network of 148 local Healthwatch across the country. The Healthwatch network is supported in its work by Healthwatch England who build a national picture of the issues that matter most to health and social care users and will ensure that this evidence is used to influence those who plan and run services at a national level.
What does Healthwatch do?
Healthwatch listen to what people have to say about their experiences of using health and social care services and feed this information through to those responsible for providing the services. They also ensure health organisations are held to account for how they use this feedback to influence the way services are designed and run.
By gathering as much feedback as they can they are able to identify common themes or trends in what people are telling them and this may result in the highlighting a particular issue that has emerged. For example it may be that a number of individuals have complained about poor access to a GP practice in Derbyshire. Healthwatch can then flag this up with the GP practice and ask them how they intend to address the issue.
This is not a substitute for making a formal complaint about a service if you are dissatisfied, but it can work alongside this system, by helping to shine a spotlight on issues that are being experienced by a number of people and strengthening the patient voice.
There are two Healthwatch organisations, Healthwatch Derby and Healthwatch Derbyshire.
You can find more information on their websites:
Healthwatch Derby: https://www.healthwatchderby.co.uk/
Healthwatch Derbyshire: https://healthwatchderbyshire.co.uk/