FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Healthwatch?

Healthwatch is the new consumer champion for health and social care. Healthwatch has replaced Local Involvement Networks (LINks) with effect from 1st April 2013. In addition to Healthwatch Walsall there are another 151 Healthwatch organisations across England. Local Healthwatch is supported by Healthwatch England.

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Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?

No. Healthwatch is an independent organisation. We are not part of the NHS or Walsall Council.

What is Healthwatch England?

Healthwatch England is the national body that gives a voice to the key issues affecting children, young people and adults who use health and social care services. It will develop an overall view of trends and consumer experiences at a national level based on evidence, strongly informed by local Healthwatch.

Is local Healthwatch accountable to Healthwatch England?

No, we are commissioned by Walsall Council as an independent community led organisation.

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What services do Healthwatch look at?

We’re concerned with all health and social care services- if it concerns you, it concerns us! This covers hospitals, old people’s homes, dentists, charitable organisations and GPs surgeries, in fact any health or social care service that is funded wholly or in part by public money.

Who funds the local Healthwatch?

We are funded from central government through Walsall Council.

How long are you funded for?

Healthwatch Walsall is contracted for three years beginning 1st April 2013. Arrangements for Healthwatch Walsall from April 2016 onwards are yet to be determined.

How much power does Healthwatch have?

By combining the views of a number of people, we aim to have a greater voice than individuals. If we identify an area of concern, we will contact the relevant service advising them of this. The service then has a legal obligation to respond within 20 days. Healthwatch Walsall has a statutory seat on the Health and Wellbeing Board, the body that oversees health and social care in the county. We have statutory powers to enter and view health and social care services where we have evidence that causes us concerns. Healthwatch has a statutory duty to report annually to Healthwatch England and publicly on its engagement activities and how it has represented patients and social care users.

Commissioners and providers have a duty to consult Healthwatch Walsall about any changes to service provision.

How can I become more involved in Healthwatch?

If you would like to get involved you can become a Supporter or a volunteer or an assembly member.

Supporters receive updates on our work and priorities and can be contacted for their views and experiences of health and social care in Walsall.

Volunteers can get involved in a range of work to support Healthwatch including helping us with our engagement work in communities, be trained to help us with our Enter and View visits, or with general office duties.

Assembly members have a greater involvement and regularly participate in our Assembly meetings, workshops and work streams in order to share their experiences of Health and Social care services. They help us to gather views and then to challenge providers and policy makers about services so that these can be more aligned to the needs of local people.

Assembly members can go on to become Board Members who are responsible for the management and oversight of Healthwatch Walsall and it’s governance, contractual obligations, finance, enablement and risk.

Can I use Healthwatch to make a complaint about the service I have received?

Healthwatch Walsall has not been commissioned by Walsall Council to deal with individual complaints. We do work with POhWER, who can help you make a complaint about an NHS service. Visit www.pohwer.net/index.html, e-mail pohwer@pohwer.net, or call 0300 456 2370 for further information.

Healthwatch Walsall Company Information

Company name:  Healthwatch Walsall Community Interest Company

Company registration number: 08440754

Place of registration:  England & Wales

Registered office address:  17 Lichfield Street, Walsall, WS1 1TU

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