Healthwatch England was established in October 2012 and it is the national consumer champion in health and care. It has been given significant statutory powers to ensure the voice of the consumer is strengthened and heard by those who commission, deliver and regulate health and care services.
The health and social care reforms of 2012 set a powerful ambition to put people at the centre of health and social care. Healthwatch aims to make this happen, with a sole purpose being to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf.
Healthwatch England leads and supports the Healthwatch network, made up of community-focused local Healthwatch.
There is a local Healthwatch in every area of England. People speak to them about what they think of local services, and Healthwatch then share their views and experiences with those in charge of local care. Healthwatch also share people’s experiences with Healthwatch England, so that it can identify issues affecting people across the country and inform changes to services.