The Health and Social Care Act 2012 contains a duty for all local authorities to ensure that there is a local Healthwatch organisation in their area. Healthwatch is described by the Department of Health as “the new independent consumer champion for both health and social care”.
The primary role of local Healthwatch organisations is to engage with a wide cross section of local public and patient opinion and represent this local opinion to their Health and Wellbeing board to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided in the area.
Local Healthwatch organisations are required to be established as “social enterprises” and there is specific legislation which defines this term in the Healthwatch context. BWB has been at the heart of the social enterprise sector for over 20 years. Combined with our experience of advising clients in the health and social care sector, we are uniquely placed to advise local Healthwatch organisations on their establishment and ongoing governance issues.
We have particular expertise and experience in setting up governance arrangements within social enterprises which combine the key characteristics of openness, transparency, accountability and independence which are required for successful Healthwatch organisations.
Click here to read a paper prepared by BWB about the types of legal form which might be appropriate for Healthwatch organisations.
Please contact Abbie Rumbold for more information.