Four national charities have joined forces today to encourage more people and communities to get involved and have a say on how health and social care services are run in their area. CSV, Regional Voices, NAVCA and National Voices have launched a new drive called Healthwatch-Communities Involved, to raise awareness among local people and community groups and volunteers about how they can play a greater role in shaping their services.
Local health and social care is changing rapidly. The ways in which people can participate in shaping these local services are also changing. From 1 April, a new local consumer champion – local Healthwatch, with the powers to hold local services to account, will be set up in every city and county council in the country.
Healthwatch-Communities Involved aims to increase involvement in Healthwatch and build on existing initiatives to involve people in shaping health and social care services. It wants to make it easier for people from all backgrounds and interests to hold their services to account.
The charities are inviting local groups and people to declare their support and interest by signing up online to join a map of groups and individuals in England who are interested in and ready to get involved. The charities will connect local groups with people on the map so they can be kept informed and invited to get involved with the local Healthwatch activities in their area.
Over the next three months, Healthwatch-Communities Involved will host a series of free workshops and training sessions across England. These events will inspire and give people the skills and knowledge to build their confidence to get involved in a way that best suits them.