From April 2013, local HealthWatch replaced the local involvement networks (LINks) as the new consumer champion for both health and social care.
The Health and Social Care Act 2012 sets out two distinct bodies: local Healthwatch, at local level, and Healthwatch England, at national level.
Healthwatch England was established in October 2012. It is a national body that enables the collective views of the people who use NHS and social care services to influence national policy, advice and guidance. It provides leadership, guidance and support to local Healthwatch organisations.
The aim of local Healthwatch is to give citizens and communities a stronger voice in influencing and challenging how health and social care services are provided in their areas.
Local Healthwatch organisations will ensure that views and feedback from people who use services are an integral part of local commissioning across health and social care.
One of the key differences between LINk and local Healthwatch is that they will help people find services.
To find out more about Healthwatch for our hospitals, please visit:
Healthwatch - Kensington and Chelsea
Unit 25, Shaftesbury Centre
85 Barlby Road
London W10 6BN
Tel: 020 8968 7049 / 6771
Healthwatch - Hillingdon
25 Market Square
Middlesex UB8 1LN
Tel: 01895 272997