Description of the goods or services required
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 requires local authorities to commission Local Healthwatch Services. A Local Healthwatch Service (LHS) is required to work locally with the commissioning local authority and nationally with Healthwatch England (HE). A LHS will need to provide a service which is locally accountable, takes account of local demographics and undertakes quality assessments of health and social care provision.
A LHS is required to:
• obtain the views of the wider community about their needs and experiences of local health and social care services and make these known to the bodies involved in the commissioning, provision and scrutiny of health and social care services
• promote and support the involvement of a diverse range of residents in the monitoring, commissioning and provision of local health and social care services – it is envisaged that the Local Healthwatch will be a membership organisation of residents and service users
• produce reports and make recommendations about how services could or should be improved
• provide information and advice to the public about accessing health and social care services and choice in relation to aspects of those services
• represent the views of residents, patients, service users and the wider community on the Health & Well-being Board
• make the views and experiences of the residents and communities known to HE to assist with its role as a national champion
• make recommendations to HE to enable HE to advise the Care Quality Commission (CQC) to carry out reviews or investigations into areas of concern, or in certain circumstances such as urgency directly approach CQC with its recommendations
It is expected that the contract will be awarded to a social enterprise with a proven track record of establishing and supporting a new organisation. Other types of organisations will need to to demonstrate their ability to establish and support the LHS through a social enterprise.