What is Healthwatch?
Healthwatch Derbyshire is an independent voice for the people of Derbyshire. We’re here to listen to the experiences of Derbyshire residents and give them a stronger say in influencing how local health and social care services are provided.
Healthwatch Derbyshire 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?
We 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. We also ensure bosses 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 we can we are able to identify common themes or trends in what people are telling us, this may result in us highlighting a particular issue that has emerged. For example we might find that a number of individuals have complained about poor access to a GP practice in Derbyshire, we 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.
We also provide an information and signposting service and have a database of useful organisations that can provide information for users of health and social care services.
- Healthwatch Derbyshire is part of a strong network, which means that local issues can be raised at a national level.
- We can escalate concerns to Healthwatch England, who can advise the Care Quality Commission to investigate, or they can take up the issue at a national level.
- We have strong statutory powers, the power not only to report on the key issues that affect people who use services but to expect that those in control respond to us. They don’t need to agree but they have to tell us what they are going to do to respond to our advice, this must be done within 20 days.
- Sometimes we will give advice formally, using our powers to raise issues of concern, especially where we feel we are not getting an adequate response. This may involve reporting concerns to the Quality Surveillance Group, or the Improvement and Scrutiny Committees of the Local Council. We also have a seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board.
- We can also conduct an Enter and View visit.
Healthwatch Derbyshire is a Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered in England No. 8413881. Charity No. 1154278