About Healthwatch Wiltshire
About Healthwatch Wiltshire
Healthwatch Wiltshire is a local independent service which exists to speak up for local people on health and care. Our role is to make sure that the health and care system in Wiltshire reflects what local people expect and need. We will listen to your opinions and experiences of health and social care services and feedback your views to the people who plan, pay for and deliver health and care services (the Commissioners and providers). We can also help you to find the information you need about a local health or care service or point you towards someone who can help you if you need support to raise a concern or make a complaint about a service. We are independent from the NHS, Local Authority and other local health and social care services so people can talk freely about whatever they like.
What we do
Healthwatch Wiltshire is one of 152 local Healthwatch organisations around the country. The Health and Social Care Act 2012 introduced local Healthwatch as well as Healthwatch England which is the national umbrella body. Together we exist to represent the consumers of health and care services.
Healthwatch Wiltshire exists to fulfil the statutory functions of a local Healthwatch. These functions can be broken down to:
- Engaging with local people about health and care services and promoting their involvement in all areas.
- Providing an information and signposting service for local people so that they can make choices about health and social care services.
- Monitoring the quality of health and care services.
- Using the voice of local people to influence commissioners and providers.
How we work
How our workstreams are identified, prioritised and reviewed.
Priorities for Healthwatch Wiltshire are identified in a number of ways:
- Local people are encouraged to identify areas of concern and bring these to the attention of Healthwatch Wiltshire by telephone, email or letter, or attendance at local events. (Where particular issues are not within Healthwatch Wiltshire’s remit, people will always be advised on the right agency to contact for help.) An example of a priority identified by local people is the Non Emergency Patient Transport service. Following a high volume of contacts, Healthwatch Wiltshire got in touch with the service provider, Arriva, to discuss the issues raised. A series of meetings was arranged, the problems discussed and practical suggestions made to improve performance. Progress is monitored regularly.
- Partnership working is key to Healthwatch Wiltshire’s philosophy, so local service user organisations suggest areas of work, and timescales for completion. This avoids duplication of effort. Examples include consultation on Support for Unpaid Carers and the Provision of Dementia Services locally.
- Commissioners in both Health and Social Care also assist Healthwatch Wiltshire in identifying any specific topic related priorities.
- Healthwatch England heads up the nationwide network of Healthwatch organisations and sets out its statutory responsibilities e.g. the right to Enter and View any publicly funded health and social care service. (View a list of the Statutory Duties of a Local Healthwatch)
- All work undertaken by Healthwatch Wiltshire, including partnership projects, is subject to evaluation, review and formal reporting to the Healthwatch Wiltshire Board. Good practice is noted, along with areas for improvement. Reports are circulated widely and published on this website. Printed copies are available on request.
How we are set up
Healthwatch Wiltshire is an independent service hosted by Evolving Communities CIC (formerly Healthwatch Wiltshire CIC), an organisation which is set up as a social enterprise, or community interest company (CIC) limited by guarantee. Like all limited companies, Evolving Communities CIC is run by a Board of Directors who are responsible for its strategy and overall management. They are Christine Graves (who is also the Chair), Paul Lefever, Shiena Bowen, Paul Mills, Anil Kuber and David Walker. They meet every other month to review progress.
Day to day management of the organisation and the staff of 12 is in the hands of the Chief Executive, Emma Cooper.
And a huge thank you to our volunteers!
Healthwatch Wiltshire would also like to recognise the contribution made by its hard working band of volunteers who get out and about all over the county, gathering the views of local people. Find out more about volunteering with us.
The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 put people at the centre of their health and social care. To help realise that ambition, a Healthwatch organisation was set up in every local authority area across England. Each one is a key part of its local community, and works in partnership with other organisations in its area. For Healthwatch Wiltshire, this includes Wiltshire Council, the NHS, local hospitals and voluntary organisations.
Healthwatch Wiltshire exists to speak up for local people on health and care. This requires the organisation to reach out across the county to listen to local people about their experiences of services – good and bad. With this information, Healthwatch Wiltshire aims to influence the people who buy and provide our health and care services. The organisation also has an important role in providing information and advice to local people.
In order to demonstrate its independence from the beginning, Healthwatch Wiltshire was set up as a Community Interest Company (now Evolving Communities CIC). This is a relatively new form of limited company, specifically designed for organisations with social objectives who want to operate for the benefit of the community and use their assets for the public good, on a not for profit basis.