Healthwatch Lancashire is the public voice for health and social care in Lancashire and exists to make services work for the people who use them.
We believe that the best way to do this is by providing the people of Lancashire with opportunities to share their views and experiences.
Our focus is on understanding the needs, experiences and concerns of people of all backgrounds who use services and to speak out on their behalf. It is often those closest to the process who are best placed to give useful feedback on the way services work and how they can be improved.
As patients and relatives are the ones who experience the process or service first hand, they have a unique, highly relevant perspective. Patients and relatives input into designing services can be invaluable as seeing services from their point of view opens up real opportunities for improvement that may not have been considered before. Healthwatch Lancashire was established following the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012.
Healthwatch Lancashire also has a seat on Lancashire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, and we are the only statutory body in Lancashire looking solely at people’s experiences across health and social care.
Healthwatch Lancashire is an independent not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, originally commissioned by Lancashire County Council, though in 2017 we moved to becoming independent of the local authority. Healthwatch Lancashire is a member of a network of more than 150 independent local Healthwatch organisations in England, with a local Healthwatch in every local authority.
Healthwatch Lancashire will be the ‘go-to’ organisation for all members of the public in the county to talk about their experiences of health and social care.
Our statutory responsibilities
Healthwatch Lancashire’s statutory responsibilities are:
- To promote and support local people to be able to get involved in deciding what services should be paid for, where and when. We have to help local people examine the services for themselves.
- To help local people check the standard of care on offer and whether the services can and should be improved.
- To meet with local people and groups to gather information on your experiences of local care services and make your information known to the people who run, pay for and check these services.
- To produce reports about how local care services can and should be improved.
- To provide advice and information about how to access local care services so people in Lancashire can make your own choices.
- To express people in Lancashire’s views to Healthwatch England.
- To make recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission to conduct special reviews and investigations when there may be concerns about a service. We also request that Healthwatch England publish reports about particular issues, to raise awareness nationally.
- To provide Healthwatch England with the information and understanding it needs to perform effectively.