Guidance on maintaining the independence of local Healthwatch published

healthwatch england guidanceOn 1 April 2013, local Healthwatch organisations became responsible for promoting the patient and public voice.

Local Healthwatch is directly commissioned by local authorities with commissioners potentially having a hands-on relationship. As a result, some concerns were raised about their independence being threatened, and that the local authority could prevent Healthwatch being overly critical of their services.

In response to this, Healthwatch England and Regional Voices have worked with Compact Voice to produce a guidance note, outlining how local Healthwatch can maintain their independence.

The guidance stresses the importance of independence and local Healthwatch maintaining a 'critical friend' approach with funders, and provides an overview of the tools available to ensure independence is upheld.

Download the guidance here (PDF).

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