About Healthwatch GloucestershireHealthwatch Gloucestershire is the county’s independent health and social care champion. It is publicly funded and exists to ensure that people are at the heart of care. We do this by speaking up for local people on health and social care, to make sure that services in the county reflect the needs of the people and communities they serve. We are independent from the NHS, Local Authority and other local health and social care services, so people can talk to us confidently and freely about their views and experiences.
Dedicated teams of staff and volunteers listen to what people like about local health and care services, and what could be improved. This is done through public engagement events e.g. having stands at the Big Health Check (Gloucester) and Health and Wellbeing event (Cirencester), on-going project work which volunteers support by speaking to the public about their experiences and generally raising awareness of Healthwatch Gloucestershire within networks. These views are then shared with the decision-making organisations, so together a real difference can be made.
In addition we are also responsible for undertaking Enter and View visits across publicly funded health and social care premises to speak to people about their experiences of using the service; this information is collated into a report, with key messages and recommendations, and shared with the provider of the service, the Care Quality Commission, Gloucestershire County Council and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, Healthwatch England and any other relevant partners. . We are keen to recruit more volunteers to help us with this and further information about this can be found on our website.
Healthwatch was introduced as a result of The Health and Social Care Act of 2012 which put people at the centre of their health and social care. A Healthwatch organisation was set up in every local authority area across England. Each one is a key part of its local community, and works in partnership with other organisations in its area. For Healthwatch Gloucestershire, this includes Gloucestershire County Council, the NHS, local hospitals and voluntary organisations and covers the districts and boroughs of Cheltenham, Cotswolds, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury.