What does Healthwatch Kirklees do?
Healthwatch Kirklees 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.
We influence local services, give voice to the community, represent that voice locally. We also:
- Participate in decision-making via the local authority Health and Wellbeing Board
- Support individuals and the community to have a voice, through providing advice, information and signposting
- Represent that voice both locally and nationally through Healthwatch England
You can find out more about what we do by looking at ‘our work’ page, which shows the work we have done.
Who provides the Healthwatch Kirklees service?
Healthwatch Kirklees in an independent charity – it’s not provided by any one organisation, but it is managed by a consortium of different charitable organisation in Kirklees. These are Kirklees Citizens Advice, Mencap in Kirklees, Cloverleaf Advocacy, Age UK Calderdale and Kirklees, Barnardo’s, Huddersfield Mission and Voluntary Action Kirklees.
Representatives from each of these organisations take a seat on the Healthwatch Kirklees Trustee Board, alongside Community Representatives. For more details of our staff team, our board and volunteers, check out the Meet the Team page.
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 Kirklees 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 power 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 Kirklees 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 Kirklees?
You can contact Healthwatch Kirklees if you would like to speak to someone about your personal experience or have feedback about a local health and social care service. Your feedback and experience will be collated by Healthwatch Kirklees and passed onto the relevant providers and Healthwatch England to help identify trends so that any issues can be addressed.
Healthwatch Kirklees can also help you to find your way around the complex health and social care system. For example, if you want to know why you haven’t received a hospital appointment or 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 Kirklees.
How do I get involved with Healthwatch Kirklees?
You can apply to become a volunteer for Healthwatch Kirklees. Please visit our ‘get involved’ page for more details on how to do this.
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 Kirklees, there are two CCG’s: North Kirklees Clinical Commissioning Group and Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissiong Group
Common acronyms 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
JSA – Joint Strategic Assessment
LA – Local authority
LGA – Local Government Association
LHW – Local Healthwatch
NHS – National Health Service
NHS Institute – NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
NICE – National Institute of Clinical Excellence
PALS – Patient Advice and Liaison Service
PPG – Patient Participation Group
VCO – Voluntary or Community Organisation
VCS – Voluntary and Community Sector (also known as the third sector)
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Where can I find a copy of your annual reports?
Our annual reports can be found here: Annual Reports