What is Healthwatch?
Healthwatch England has began its work after launching itself on the 1 October 2012. It's function is to take local experiences of care and use them to influence national policy. If you would like to find out more about Healthwatch England please visit their website: www.healthwatch.co.uk. Why not sign up for their newsletter to keep your finger on the pulse? www.healthwatch.co.uk/get-our-newsletter.
A set of branding guidelines has been produced made available to support local authorities to raise awareness of the Healthwatch network in their areas. This includes the logo for the Healthwatch, which can be seen above. So be on the lookout for further news and updates.
Starting from April next year, the new Healthwatch network will act as the consumer champion for everyone who uses health and social care services in England. It will give you a powerful voice both locally and nationally.
Healthwatch England will gather and analyse information from local services, and take its findings to the national bodies which plan and run care services. It will tell them people's concerns, pass on and analyse information, and offer advice.
Through the Healthwatch network, Healthwatch England will make sure the voices of people who use health and social care services are heard by the Secretary of State, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor, and every local authority.
By law, they will have to listen to Healthwatch and respond to its concerns.
Local Healthwatch organisations will:
- have the power to enter and view services
- influence how services are set up and commissioned by having a seat on the local health and wellbeing board
- produce reports which influence the way services are designed and delivered
- pass information and recommendations to Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission (CQC)
- provide information, advice and support about local services.
- To find out more about Healthwatch England visit thier website: www.healthwatch.co.uk/, where you can sign up for their newsletter, catch up on the latest news and let them know what you think of their website.
Healthwatch Darlington begins on 1st April 2013!
Carers Federation currently host Darlington Local Involvement Network (LINk) which is an independent network of local individuals, groups and organisations that work together to improve health and social care services across the Borough of Darlington. LINk helps local people to influence and improve local services. Carers Federation have been awarded the Healthwatch Darlington contract and are delighted to be able to support the current staff through to the new organisation.
Healthwatch Darlington will build on the strengths and knowledge of the LINk to create a new social enterprise which will give children, young people and adults a powerful voice locally and nationally. It will have a seat on Darlington’s Health and Wellbeing Board which is a forum where key leaders from the health and care system work together to improve the health and wellbeing of their local population and reduce health inequalities. Healthwatch Darlington will therefore have a direct influence on the delivery and design of health and social services in Darlington.
Healthwatch will be a professional voluntary body with a Chair, Board and members and volunteers. The Board will drive Healthwatch and, to be successful, it is essential that its membership has the right attributes, skills and qualifications and most importantly reflects the diverse communities of Darlington.
Healthwatch Darlington are recruiting Chair and Board member positions, working to the following timescales:
- Closing date for applications Friday 5th April 2013 12 noon
- Shortlisting of candidates week commencing 8th April 2013
- Interviews week beginning 22nd April 2013
The positions of Chair and Board members of Healthwatch Darlington are voluntary and unpaid but reasonable expenses will be considered.
Carers Federation and Darlington LINk fully recognise and value the experience and expertise which dedicated groups of volunteers bring. They will liaise with the existing LINk volunteers and additionally seek new volunteers, encouraging participation in a variety of ways. These could include involvement in signposting and engagement activities, continuing the excellent enter and view work, and they will welcome people to volunteer on an ad-hoc basis if this level of commitment is preferred.
The current enter and view trained volunteers have reviewed services at local GP surgeries and in Outpatient wards at Darlington Memorial Hospital where public opinions have been gathered and areas for improvement have been identified. Following these enter and view visits reports have been made to service providers and subsequently improvements have been made or recommendations passed on to appropriate departments.
From 1st April 2013 Healthwatch Darlington will be sending out more information via organisations, local media, email, websites and post and would urge residents and organisations to get involved.
Further information can be obtained from the current Darlington LINk website www.darlingtonlink.co.uk and from 1st April the Healthwatch Darlington site on www.healthwatchdarlington.co.uk or call Diane or Andrea on 01325 380145
Transfer from Darlington LINk to Healthwatch Darlington
If you would like to opt out of having your contact details automatically transfered from LINk to Healthwatch on the 1 April 2013 please contact the office and let us know.
If you would like to attend an event as a member of Darlington LINk, would like further information about an event or would like to volunteer to run the link stall at an event, please contact our office on :01325 380145.
- Healthwatch - Description will go here.
- Issues and Concerns - What do you think of Health & Social Care Services in Darlington?
- LINk Newsletters - Past and present newsletters from Darlington LINk.
- The LINks Exchange (external) - Useful links with more information.
- Meet the Groups - Meet the current LINk decision makers.