Healthwatch Legal Framework

Healthwatch was set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, but its activities are primarily governed by Section 221(2) of The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. This states the basic aim as “promoting and supporting the involvement of local people in the commissioning, the provision and scrutiny of local care services”.

Objectives are:

  • Enabling local people to monitor the standard of provision of local care services and whether and how local care services could and ought to be improved
  • Obtaining the views of local people regarding their needs for, and experiences of, local care services and importantly to make these views known
  • Making reports and recommendations about how local care services could or ought to be improved. These should be directed to commissioners and providers of care services, and people responsible for managing or scrutinising local care services and shared with Healthwatch England
  • Providing advice and information about access to local care services so choices can be made about local care services
  • Formulating views on the standard of provision and whether and how the local care services could and ought to be improved; and sharing these views with Healthwatch England
  • Making recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission to conduct special reviews or investigations (or, where the circumstances justify doing so, making such recommendations direct to the CQC); and making recommendations to Healthwatch England to publish reports about particular issues.
  • Providing Healthwatch England with the intelligence and insight it needs to enable it to perform effectively.