Healthwatch Somerset is the local consumer champion for people of all ages, taking equal account of health and social care issues.
Its work includes:
- actively consulting with, and listening to what local people think about health and social care services;
- supporting volunteers to conduct ‘Enter and View’ visits of health and care facilities; and
- creating clear and timely information about what is working well and what needs to change, to enable stakeholders to make necessary changes.
Healthwatch Somerset has a statutory place on the Health and Wellbeing Board, sharing evidence and feedback on what people think about their health and social care services, to make sure that they meet the needs of, and are shaped by, local communities.
Healthwatch can tell services about patient experiences of care and hold them to account; it can also enter and view services such as care homes and hospitals, observe what is happening and report back to commissioners.
People can feel excluded from services, so Healthwatch also has a signposting function to navigate the health and social care system. Healthwatch Somerset is independent, transparent, accountable and powerful, with the strength of the law and the national influence of Healthwatch England behind it.
The service will be re-commissioned during 2017. At the time of publication, The Care Forum is commissioned to deliver Healthwatch in Somerset. Contact them:
c/o Somerset Rural Youth Project
Unit 2 Suprema Estate