Healthwatch must prove its worth to survive in testing times

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 26 March 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f2020
  1. Caroline White
  1. 1London

An independent “consumer watchdog” for adults’ and children’s health and social care services has now been set up in each of the 152 local authorities across England, in time for the 1 April deadline, the Local Government Association has told the BMJ.

Under the terms of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 it is a statutory requirement from 1 April for local authorities to commission, fund, and performance manage the local Healthwatch bodies. They are the fourth reconfiguration in 12 years of bodies intended to represent the interests of local patients and the public.

Most will be run by voluntary groups and charities, but seven are being run with the private sector as social enterprises. All will be supported nationally by Healthwatch England.

The government has chipped in …

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