Recommendation 148

Local Healthwatch leadership

Accepted
The complexities of the health service are such that proper training must be available to the leadership of local Healthwatch as well as, when the occasion arises, expert advice.

Healthwatch England is working to support local Healthwatch in their identification and analysis of issues in their communities and to support them to raise these issues in the appropriate manner. Already, local Healthwatch organisations are rightly working in partnership with local community and interest groups that have a wealth of expertise and experience available to them. Local Healthwatch organisations also have the flexibility to source expert advice as they require, whilst training and support is being made available through Healthwatch England.

As an example of what has already been achieved, Healthwatch England has this year delivered training to local Healthwatch organisations across the country to ensure that they can maximise the impact of their power to enter and view local services.

Update

Healthwatch England continues to provide support to local Healthwatch so that they can deliver effectively. During 2013/14 Healthwatch England provided training for local Healthwatch on entering and viewing local services and provided support across a range of other local Healthwatch activities. In 2014/15, Healthwatch England has delivered further training, for example on working with the Care Quality Commission inspection teams, and has also developed a network for local Healthwatch chairs.

The Department has also funded the Local Government Association in 2014/15 to support the development of an effective local Healthwatch network, with a specific focus on supporting local Healthwatch to be effective members of local health and wellbeing boards.