At the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, we work with our partners elsewhere in the NHS, like our local Healthwatch networks which collect and represent the views of hospital patients in the areas around Barnet Hospital, Chase Farm Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital. We use the information gathered by Healthwatch to improve medical services and healthcare at our hospitals.
How does Healthwatch help improve my healthcare?
Healthwatch is a consumer champion that operates nationally and locally, with local networks gathering information on the patient experience of local healthcare. This information is then used to influence national health care policy, as well as local medical services.
Local Healthwatch organisations:
- have the power to enter hospitals and view medical services
- influence how services are set up and commissioned
- produce reports which influence the way healthcare services are designed and delivered
- provide information, advice and support about local services
- pass on information and give recommendations to Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission who monitor the quality of healthcare across England.
Healthwatch networks monitoring our healthcare services
Each borough has a local Healthwatch which represents patients and service users in their area. They provide information about health and social care services in the area and collect patients’ views about what works well and what needs to be improved. Healthwatch has formal powers to ‘enter and view’ hospitals and has a place on bodies such as the local Health and Wellbeing Board. This enables them to influence the way services are planned, commissioned and delivered.