What is Healthwatch?
Healthwatch Wigan is part of a national network of local Healthwatch organisations that were established under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and set up in April 2013.
We are funded by the Department of Health and commissioned through a contract with Wigan Council. Each local Healthwatch organisation has a different contract with their local authority, and each has different plans, priorities, activities and ambitions – hopefully reflecting local health and social care interests and needs.
Wigan Council have identified five elements to the Healthwatch contract, at present Healthwatch Wigan has a contract for three elements:
1. Engagement and Consultation – promoting and supporting the involvement of local people in the monitoring, commissioning, provision and scrutiny of local services.
2. Influence and Involvement – obtaining views of people about their needs and experiences of local care services
3. Scrutiny and reporting - making reports and recommendations, influencing local and national priorities
Other elements to the Healthwatch contract:
4. Advice, Information and signposting about local health and social care services, helping people to make choices. At present there is no specific contract in place for this element of Healthwatch in Wigan, negotiations are currently under-way to develop this service during 2014.
5. NHS Advocacy & Complaints, a point of contact for when things go wrong and people need to complain. NHS Complaints Advocacy is currently delivered in 9 out of 10 Greater Manchester Boroughs by the Carers Federation – more information can be found on their website http://www.carersfederation.co.uk/ica/