Anna Bradley message to LINks
Healthwatch will be an important independent body that will give people in Halton some real influence over decisions about health and care services provided locally.
The aim of Healthwatch is to strengthen your voice in health and care services and become the "consumer champion". It will start on 1st April 2013 and will build on the work the Halton LINk has done over the past 4 years. Healthwatch will exist on both a national level (Healthwatch England) and a local level (Local Healthwatch).
For more information please see the links to the national and local news pages located in the side menu.
Health and Social Care Act 2012
The legal foundations of Healthwatch are set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, which reached Royal Assent on 27th March 2012. Royal Assent is the Monarch's agreement to make the Bill into an Act and thus law. The Queen's agreement to give her assent to a Bill is automatic.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012, which concluded its 15-month passage through Parliament on 20 March 2012 and received Royal Assent on 27 March 2012, now defines much of the Government’s policy in primary legislation. The Act legislates for the NHS reforms first set out in the White Paper, Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS, which was published in July 2010.
Following the legislation’s passage through Parliament, a considerable amount of regulations and further guidance is expected, providing detail on how the new Act will work in practice.
Health and Wellbeing Board
The Health and Social Care Act also sets out the establishment of Health and Wellbeing Boards. These will be forums for local commissioners across the NHS, public health and social care, elected representatives, and representatives of Healthwatch to discuss how to work together to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes of the people in their area. By involving democratically elected representatives and patient representatives, and bringing them together with local commissioners across health, public health, and social care the Boards will significantly strengthen the democratic legitimacy of commissioning decisions, as well as providing a forum for challenge, discussion, and the involvement of local people.
Halton Health & Wellbeing Board was set up in 2011 and is made up of councillors, GPs, public health and social care professionals, LINk/Healthwatch representative and representatives of patients and the public. The Board will run in shadow form until April 2013 when it becomes fully operational.
Find out more about Halton Shadow Health & Wellbeing Board