Healthwatch Staffordshire are an independent watchdog that has been formed to make local health and social care services better for people by ensuring that their views and experiences are taken into account by those entrusted to design and run services.
Like all local Healthwatch bodies, Healthwatch Staffordshire has a statutory seat on the local Health and Wellbeing Boards – the body that oversees health and social care in the city and county. We also have the statutory power to enter and view health and social care services using our trained volunteers. Healthwatch Staffordshire has a place on the new Quality Surveillance Groups that are being set up in the NHS to monitor provider quality.
We also have a statutory duty to report annually to Healthwatch England and publicly on engagement activities and how we have represented patients and social care users as well as the impact of these activities.
Our statutory duties:
1. Promoting and supporting the involvement of local people in the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of local care services.
2. 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.
3. Obtaining the views of local people regarding their needs for, and experiences of, local care services and importantly to make these views known.
4. 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.
5. Providing advice and information about access to local care services so choices can be made about local care services.
6. 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.
7. Making recommendations to Healthwatch England to advise the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to conduct special reviews or investigations (or where the circumstances justify doing so, making recommendations direct to the CQC) and to make recommendations to Healthwatch England to publish reports about particular issues.
8. Providing Healthwatch England with the intelligence and insight it needs to enable it to perform effectively.