Where we are focusing our support in 2021-22

Find out more about where we are focusing our support to help us reach a high performing and sustainable Healthwatch network.
Female volunteer holding a bunch of balloons

Using the information you share with us through our Annual Survey, Satisfaction Survey, Learning Needs Survey and staff and regional networks, we have created our support offer for 2021-22.

Our support for you

Find out more about the support offered to local Healthwatch

Find out more

With our strategy launched last week, our support to you prioritises several areas to help achieve our three-year strategic objective of a high performing and sustainable Healthwatch network. 

Our priority areas are designed to strengthen our impact and, in turn, the case for support and funding of Healthwatch individually and collectively. This is increasingly important with the pressures the network is facing with reduced budgets. 

Our priority areas for supporting you

1. Demonstrating impact

The continued pressure on Healthwatch funding makes it even more imperative that you can demonstrate your value. 

With such a big remit, limited resources and the challenges of influencing, it is of little surprise that some local Healthwatch have asked for help with showing their impact.  

We will support you to plan, capture and communicate the difference you make by:  

  • Producing resources and tools to support you. 

  • Running webinars and opportunities to share examples from across the network. 

  • Providing 1-2-1 support for individual Healthwatch who request it.  

2. Equality, diversity and inclusion  

Equality, diversity and inclusion feature at the heart of our refreshed strategy for 2021-2023 and is core to our brand.  

Last year, we started work to better understand how the Healthwatch network is approaching equality, diversity and inclusion, the challenges and opportunities faced and how we can best support you, with the help of Joy Beishon, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Greenwich who we have seconded until September 2021. 

We will support you by: 

  • Helping your Healthwatch with Board diversity and its role in strategy and priority setting.  

  • Facilitating a peer network to support equality, diversity and inclusion. 

  • Offering workshops on developing an organisational culture that supports equality, diversity and inclusion and exploring what the public sector equality duty means for local Healthwatch. 

  • Providing resources to support your role of holding public bodies to account, including conducting equality impact assessments. 

  • Sharing learning and resources on how you can work with specific communities.  

3. Digital, data sharing and protection  

We rely on local Healthwatch sharing their insight to inform our work on shaping and influencing national policy. This helps meet the statutory requirement to assist us in our work.  

The work on the NHS Long-Term Plan, insight gathered during the pandemic and the recent spotlight on dentistry and access to GPs that made media headlines are all examples of the impact we can achieve together. 

We will support you by

  • Investing in new digital platforms and a central data store to make sharing your information easier. 

  • Providing access to analytical tools so you can compare your data with other areas.   

  • Enabling the network to collect data in a more consistent way, that helps us better understand who we are engaging and make analysing insight more efficient.  

  • Creating a Digital Fund to support Healthwatch with small grants to make any necessary adjustments to the digital systems we introduce.  

  • Developing new data-sharing agreements to help provide clarity about our respective roles.  

4. Healthwatch brand and reputation  

Upholding and protecting the brand is not only a requirement under the trademark licence issued by Healthwatch England but central to your reputation and demonstration of upholding the Nolan principles.   

We conducted a review of the brand, and hundreds of staff and volunteers helped develop new brand values that will be launched soon.  

Having a strong, consistent brand and the policies that underpin it is part of our work to protect Healthwatch funding and provide assurance to the public and stakeholders.  

We will support you by: 

  • Publishing new guidance and resources to help you better engage local communities, manage the brand and align the new values with those of your Healthwatch whilst recognising your independence.   
  • Updating the brand licence agreement and providing clarity on how you can and can’t use the brand. This will ensure as a network, we can better protect our reputation if our brand is used incorrectly.  

  • Providing a range of template policies and guidance materials that will help meet the requirements of the brand licence agreement. 

5. Running an effective Healthwatch 

The support we provide you covers six key areas. These areas are identified in the Quality Framework as the key ingredients for running an effective Healthwatch.  

The Quality Framework provides a consistent way for Healthwatch, local authorities and Healthwatch England to understand Healthwatch's effectiveness and support you to identify areas for improvement.  

It also helps us fulfil our legal function to have an opinion as to whether a local Healthwatch is able to carry out its legal functions properly.   

We will support you by:  

  • Working with you to find out the best way to support you by completing the Quality Framework if you haven’t already.  

  • Showcasing examples of Healthwatch who have already been through the process, what they learnt and how it’s benefited them through peer-to-peer learning. 

What we need from you 

To help us carry out our role at a national level, support you locally and make the most robust case to protect and seek funding, we need every local Healthwatch to: 

  • Share your insight and data with us 

  • Engage with network-wide initiatives to build our collective skills and improve the quality of the Healthwatch service 

  • Have the right policies in place to meet your statutory and legal obligations, and  

  • Protect and uphold the Healthwatch brand 

Refreshed Network website

We have given the network site a makeover with lots of new content. You’ll find support and resources to help you run an effective Healthwatch covering each of the areas of the Quality Framework:

  • Helping you lead and make decisions 

  • Supporting your sustainability 

  • Help to engage your communities 

  • Working together 

  • Showing your influence and impact 

  • Supporting your staff and volunteers 

You’ll also find key dates for your calendar, the latest grant opportunities and a calendar of learning and development opportunities.  

Got a question? 

We will be sharing more information on our plans for this year in the weeks to come but, if you have a question, please do get in touch with me or any member of the Network Development Team.  

Get in touch