Posted tagged ‘confusion’

Watching Healthwatch

February 21, 2012

We have discussed on this blog before about the benefits of moving about and becoming part of a wider local government family, and by living this ideal I recently came across something which has not really crossed my radar too closely until now.  On a semi-regular meet up with a colleague from another borough, I discovered the weird and wonderful world that is Healthwatch.

What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of Healthwatch before?  Well, you certainly wouldn’t be alone.  This idea is part of the Health and Social Care Bill which is currently working its tortuous and controversial way through the system, and aims to replace LINks, or Local Involvement Networks.  What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of them either?

LINks have been around now for a good few years, and have aimed to help local people have more of a say about the quality of healthcare in their area.  They are networks of people, usually hosted by a separate organisation and based around the involvement of volunteers.  Healthwatch apparently looks set to take these responsibilities and add some others into the mix, adding a little more teeth and a few extra pennies into the mix for good measure.

These may be very good intentions, but what hope is there really when so few people even know of its existence? (more…)