What does Healthwatch Calderdale do?
Healthwatch Calderdale is an independent consumer champion for people using health and social care services – we ask that you tell us about your experience of using your GP, local hospital, dentist, care worker, day centre, care home, etc…, and we use that intelligence to help commissioners and providers to make necessary changes to the way that services are provided.
You can find out more by viewing the Our Work section of the website.
Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?
No. Although Healthwatch England is part of the Care Quality Commission, local Healthwatch organisations are being established as fully independent bodies run by local people, for local people.
What is Healthwatch England?
Healthwatch England has been set up to give a national voice to the key issues that affect people who use health and social care services. It has been established as a statutory committee of the CQC.
The main functions of Healthwatch England are:
-to provide national leadership, guidance and support by way of advice and assistance to local Healthwatch organisations
-to be able to escalate concerns about health and social care services raised by local Healthwatch, users of services, and members of the public to the CQC
-to provide advice and information to the Secretary of State, NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and local authorities.
Is Healthwatch Calderdale accountable to Healthwatch England?
· No, your local Healthwatch is commissioned by their local authority and will be accountable to them.
· Healthwatch England will provide guidance for Local Healthwatch to support them to develop as effectively as possible.
· Your Local Healthwatch is also accountable to you, the local community that it serves.
What powers does Healthwatch have?
We can be influential and we can make a difference. We can take the evidence of what you tell us about your experience of local services, and what needs to change to make them better, to those who commission and provide those services and put the case for change. We’ll act as their “critical friend”. But they have to listen to us and they have to respond to us – it’s a legal obligation on them.
Healthwatch has a number of legal powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012:
· to gather people’s views on, and experiences of, the health and social care system.
· to send trained representatives to enter and view local services to speak to patients and service users, and observe services being delivered.
· to produce reports, make recommendations and get a response from commissioners and service providers.
· to have influence on local commissioning decisions through membership of the statutory health and wellbeing board, and involvement in preparing joint health and wellbeing strategies.
· It has a place on the Calderdale Health and Wellbeing Board –meaning it has the power in law to influence local decision-making around health and social care
· It can feed views and recommendations to Healthwatch England who can take action at a national level if needed.
Can you challenge independent/private sector services?
Our remit covers any provider of health and social care that is in receipt of public funding.
Where does your funding come from?
The principal funders of local Healthwatch are Local Authorities.
When should I contact Healthwatch Calderdale?
You can contact Healthwatch Calderdale if you would like to speak to someone about your personal experience or have feedback about a local health and social care service.
Whilst we do not investigate individual cases, your feedback and experience will be collated by Healthwatch Calderdale and passed onto the relevant providers and Healthwatch England to help identify trends so that any issues can be addressed.
Healthwatch Calderdale can also help you to find your way around the complex health and social care system. For example, if you want to make a complaint we can tell you the most appropriate people to contact.
You can also contact us if you would like to volunteer for Healthwatch Calderdale.
How do I get involved with Healthwatch Calderdale?
We are recruiting volunteers for a wide range of roles. We know your time is precious. You can give as much or as little of your time as you want, but any time you can give will make a difference. You could simply take 5 minutes to share your views and encourage those around you to do the same.
See our volunteer page here.
What are Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs)?
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and became operational on 1st April 2013 replacing the former Primary Care Trusts.
CCGs are groups of General Practitioners (GPs) who control the local NHS budget and are responsible for planning and commissioning local health care services.
All GPs must belong to a CCG. In Calderdale, there is just one CCG.
Common acronyms that get used in Health and Social Care
CCG – Clinical Commissioning Group
CIC – Community Interest Company
CQC – Care Quality Commission
CVS – Council for Voluntary Service (common name for local voluntary sector infrastructure organisation providing support and representation for voluntary and community organisations)
DH – Department of Health
HWB – Health and Wellbeing Board
HWE – Healthwatch England
JHWS – Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
JSNA – Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
LA – Local authority
LGA – Local Government Association
LHW – Local Healthwatch
LINks – Local Involvement Networks
NALM – National Association of LINk Managers
NHS – National Health Service
NHS Institute – NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
NICE – National Institute of Clinical Excellence
PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
PCT – Primary Care Trust
PPG – Patient Participation Group
VCO – Voluntary or Community Organisation
VCS – Voluntary and Community Sector (also known as the third sector)