Shadow Healthwatch Croydon
HealthWatch covers health and social care. It can be described as a consumer champion. Its role is to champion the views and experiences of patients, people using services, carers and the wider public.
There are 2 elements:
• HealthWatch England: A national body operating within the care quality commission providing leadership to local HealthWatch and advising the NHS commissioning Board.
• Local HealthWatch: Acting as consumer champion for local people regarding health and social care services.
What will Local HealthWatch do?
Local HealthWatch has 3 principle responsibilities:
• To Influence: Help shape the planning of health and social care services
• To inform: Provide information about health and social care services and support people in choice.
• Watchdog: To act as a watchdog pursuing peoples interests with local providers.
HealthWatch is different from Link.
HealthWatch will need to do all that Link currently does and has the same powers that Link currently enjoy. It also has new duties to provide information and support people in choice. HealthWatch will also have a seat on the new Health and Wellbeing Boards and will operate as a Health and Wellbeing Board member.
How will HealthWatch be established?
The Local Authority has the duty to commission HealthWatch and can decide on the best arrangements for doing so.
It is the intention to tender for the provision of HealthWatch in Croydon. A service specification is currently being developed and will be published in the Autumn.
What is the vision in Croydon?
The vision is currently being developed. Croydon Coucil has submitted a proposal to make Croydon a Pathfinder HealthWatch. Across the country discussions to date have led to the following 6 key principles being at the heart of the discussion:
• Undertake the 3 specific functions of influencing, informing and local watchdog
• Operate as a community network bringing together the existing infrastructure of engagement and support in Croydon
• Extend methods of engagement and communication to be inclusive and accessible to all groups e.g. adults, children, minorities
• Deliver information & choice through signposting
• Work alongside partners on a common agenda of priorities
• Work within a triangle of activity and influence between commissioners, Overview and Scrutiny and the HealthWatch community