FAQS

Frequently asked questions

We are here to listen but if you have a question that you think other people have already asked, have a look here first
 
 What is Healthwatch?

 
Healthwatch has been set up as the independent consumer champion for health and social care in England. The NHS and social care services are going through a dramatic time of change, but we know that not all voices are being heard and that people can be unaware of the care and support that is out there.
 
Healthwatch is about local voices improving local health and social care services and helping you get the best out of those services. We’ll be out in the community talking and listening to people, and we’ll tell services about your experiences of care and hold them to account.
 
Healthwatch has been set up in two distinct forms – local Healthwatch, at local level, and Healthwatch England, at national level.
 
For more information on what Healthwatch will do, visit the About page.
 What is Healthwatch England?
 
Healthwatch England has been set up to give a national voice to the key issues that affect people who use health and social care services. It has been established as a statutory committee of the CQC. The main functions of Healthwatch England are:

  • to provide national leadership, guidance and support by way of advice and assistance to local Healthwatch organisations.
  • to be able to escalate concerns about health and social care services raised by local Healthwatch, users of services, and members of the public to CQC.
  • to provide advice and information to the Secretary of State, NHS Commissioning Board, Monitor and local authorities.
 
 
 What powers does Healthwatch have?
 
Healthwatch has a number of legal powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012:

  • to gather people’s views on, and experiences of, the health and social care system.
  • to send trained representatives to enter and view local services to speak to patients and service users, and observe services being delivered.
  • to make reports and recommendations and to get a response from commissioners and service providers.
  • to have influence on local commissioning decisions through membership of the statutory health and wellbeing board, and involvement in preparing joint health and wellbeing strategies.
  • to alert Healthwatch England, or the Care Quality Commission (CQC), where appropriate, to concerns about specific care providers, health or social care matter
 
 
 Who Are Meeting New Horizons?
 
MNH Meeting New Horizons is a Community Interest Company (CIC) set up in 2011, with the purpose of providing services to the community across the Yorkshire and Humber region, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hull Community and Voluntary Services (Hull CVS).
 
 
 Who is Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire accountable to?
 
Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire is part of the community and is accountable to local people, and to East Riding of Yorkshire Council as commissioners of the service.
 
Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire is independent and is not part of the NHS or the local authority.
 
Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire is not accountable to Healthwatch England. Healthwatch England will provide national leadership, guidance and support by way of advice and assistance to Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire.
 
 
 Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?
 
No – Healthwatch is the new independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public. Healthwatch will play a role at both national and local level and will make sure that the views of the public and people who use services are taken into account.
 
Healthwatch has two parts: Healthwatch England which works at national level, and 152 community-focused Local Healthwatch organisations, one for each unitary authority area in England. Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire is part of this network.
 
Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire is independent of both the East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the NHS.
 
 
 How can I be kept informed of Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire’s work?
 
The best way is to fill in your details on the Register page – this ensures that you will receive our newsletters, updates and event invitations.
 
 
 How can I be kept informed of Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire’s work?
 
We are recruiting volunteers for a wide range of roles to support the Healthwatch Board and staff. We know your time is precious. You can give as much or as little of your time as you want, but any time you can give will make a difference. You could simply take 5 minutes to share your views and encourage those around you to do the same. You may already be active in your local community through charity or voluntary groups, or be a member of a patient forum. If so, help us engage your particular group or community. Or, if you have more time, you could consider applying to be a Board member.
 
For more information about volunteering with Healthwatch please visit our Volunteer page.
 
 
 How do you work with existing community and voluntary groups?
 
The East Riding has a large and diverse number of community and voluntary groups. Together, they have the ear of large sections of the East Riding population. Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire works with as many of them as possible to champion the needs of their members as best we can. We consult the community and voluntary groups who have experience in particular areas for their expert advice and for feedback from their members. We work with groups rather than duplicate the work they do.
 
 
 How do you work with existing community and voluntary groups?
 
Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire in setting its Annual Work Plan will have to prioritise the issues that it investigates– to begin with, these are likely to be issues that affect a large proportion of the population, or those which are not being addressed by other groups or organisations. It will also need to take account of the plans and priorities of the Health and Well Being Board and other bodies such as the Clinical Commissioning Groups, Care Quality Commission, to avoid duplication and to see here it can value to their work.
 
In particular, Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire wants to make sure it represents the voice of the seldom heard, the vulnerable, and those in isolated communities. But, above all else, it wants as many people as possible to get involved so we can find out which issues are important to the citizens of the East Riding, and so we can make sure that the views which we champion are fair and balanced.
 
 
 How do you work with existing community and voluntary groups?
 
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) were set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and became operational on 1st April 2013 replacing the former Primary Care Trusts. CCGs are groups of General Practitioners (GPs) who control the local NHS budget and and are responsible for planning and commissioning local health care services. All GPs must belong to a CCG.
 
In the East Riding all GP Practices other than the Pocklington Group Practices are members of the East Riding of Yorkshire CCG. The Pocklington Group Practices has elected to become part of the Vale of York CCG. Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire will develop strong links with both CCGs and work to support patient and public engagement in their work.
 
 
 What is the Health and Well Being Board?
 
Under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, local authorities are required to have in place and service a Health and Wellbeing Board.
 
The East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board has a number of delegated powers. These include the following:

  • To prepare a joint strategic needs assessment
  • To prepare a joint health and wellbeing strategy
  • To respond to consultations from clinical commissioning groups on their draft commissioning plans and amendments to those plans
  • To respond to consultations from clinical commissioning groups on their annual report
  • To respond to consultations from the National Health Service Commissioning Board in a performance assessment in relation to a clinical commissioning group
  • To assess and publish a pharmaceutical needs assessment for the East Riding

Health and Wellbeing Boards have a duty to encourage integrated commissioning between health, social care and public health by bringing together representatives of these sectors. Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire has a place by law on the Board.
 
For more information of membership and meetings of the Board visit the Council website.