No, we are completely independent of all statutory services including the NHS
Q1. Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?
Q2. Is local Healthwatch accountable to Healthwatch England?
Healthwatch Lincolnshire is only accountable to Lincolnshire County Council with regard to any contracted grant arrangements. Lincolnshire County Council have a statutory duty to provide an independent Healthwatch function in the county, this provision includes paying for such a service. As part of the grant contract the local authority is required to monitor how Healthwatch Lincolnshire is spending the grant against service level agreement requirements. This arrangement does not alter or deter Healthwatch Lincolnshire raising concerns or challenging any services delivered by or for Lincolnshire County Council. Healthwatch Lincolnshire will raise issues of local significance to Healthwatch England for them to use as influencing evidence at government level.
Q3. Local Healthwatch are being described as consumer champions. What impact do you think local Healthwatch will have on local services?
Local people’s voices will go directly into shaping health and social care services in their area. Those services will meet local needs in a much better way, ensuring people are able to get the best out of them. The more people get involved, the more impact the local Healthwatch will have.
Q4. How do HWL ensure local people are represented at decision making level?
Healthwatch Lincolnshire have been invited to provide representation on behalf of the public to attend Health and Care Boards and Committees, eg 4 Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Groups, Lincolnshire Health Scrutiny Committee and United Lincolnshire Hospital Trust. We do have a statutory seat on the Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board. In fact we are attending well over 50 different committees and boards across Lincolnshire and the region. The purpose of this representation is to make sure the information we are receiving from patients, carers and service users is shared with the people paying for and delivering the services and making decisions about future service needs as well as picking up other important information that will help us influence where services need to change.
Q5. How can we feel secure that information we provide is kept confidential?
We have a strict policy regarding all information given to Healthwatch is treated as confidential. This includes both electronic information and all written correspondence and we in fact registered under Data Protection. At no point do we sell or share any personal information with anyone unless specifically instructed to do so by the person.
Q6. I would like to join as a member, can I?
Yes we have 2 membership options.
- Full Member - with voting rights.
- Associate Member - receives information and is invited to take part in surveys and consultations.
Q7. How do I apply to become a trustee/director of the Healthwatch Lincolnshire board?
Trustees must be a Full Member of Healthwatch Lincolnshire. If you are interested in this role then the first step is to contact Chief Executive Officer.
Q8. Where does your annual income come from?
Funding is through the Department of Health from two pots of money the Local Reform and Community Voices and Fundamental Budget Review Grants. This money is paid locally to Lincolnshire County Council to pay for a Healthwatch service locally (this is a statutory requirement of each local authority in England) and we are accountable financially to Lincolnshire County Council.
Q9. What services can you help signpost me to?
All statutory, community and private health and care services that receive statutory funding to run their service. Most of the signposting will be locally but can be regionally or nationally for some specialist services.