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Your spotlight on health and social care services
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Health and care that works for you

Help shape our future focus

We launched in 2012. Since then, in partnership with local Healthwatch, we have worked hard to understand what people want from care services and make sure that those who run services hear these views.

We are now developing our strategy, thank you to everyone who has shared their views so far. We will be launching the second phase of our stategy consultation later this year. 

About us

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 set a powerful ambition to put people at the centre of health and social care.


To help realise that ambition, the reforms created a Healthwatch in every local authority area across England, as well as Healthwatch England, the national body.

Our goal is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use services and to ensure these views are heard by those designing and running services at a national level. We also support local Healthwatch to do this locally.

Find out more 

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The journey so far

Using the views people have shared with local Healthwatch and us, we have found out what really matters to people when it comes to health and social care.


Since starting work in 2012, we have supported the establishment of 152 local Healthwatch across England to champion better care services.

Using the views people have shared with local Healthwatch and us, we have found out what really matters to people when it comes to health and social care.

We have used this understanding to call for change that we know will be in people’s best interests. We have also used our statutory position to ensure that the public’s views are listened to and acted upon by health and care services.

Together with local Healthwatch network we have made an impact on a host of issues by ensuring the public’s voice is heard by those who plan and run health and care services.

Find out more

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Our starting point

What do people expect when it comes to managing their health and care?


Our eight principles

This is the question we asked the public in 2013. The result of what they told us is captured in eight principles.

Essential services, Access, A safe, dignified and quality service, Information and education, Choice, Being listened to, Being involved, A healthy environment

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Progress check

Take a look at some highlights from our work over the last year.


Making care better today

Last year we worked with local Healthwatch to highlight how services could be improved to better meet the needs of the people who use them. 

  • Improving people's experiences of leaving care
  • Making mental health services better for children
  • Calling for greater access to gener identity services
  • Encouraging services to learn from complaints

Find out more

Creating better services for the future

Gathering people's views of health and social care services tells us what needs to change today, and what people want in the future. As NHS reforms continue to evolve, we're making sure people's voices are at the heart of decisions about what tomorrow's care will look like.

Here are just some of the ways we've been putting people's views at the heart of future services over the last year. 

  • Improving access to community services
  • Helping communities have their say
  • Sharing people's views on the use of patient data

Find out more 

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Looking ahead

The traditional approach to meeting people’s health and care needs is changing. Our society faces big challenges when it comes to people’s health and the services that support them. There are also significant opportunities for services to better meet public expectations and for individuals to take greater control of their health, care and wellbeing.


Factors we need to take account of

  • Challenges, such as lifestyle factors and ageing populations, are contributing to a growing demand for health support and care.  All of this is happening at a time when the costs of care are increasing.
  • The NHS and social care services have to evolve from treating people with one-off episodes of illness, to helping more people who need long-term support with multiple conditions.
  • The NHS is responding by providing less care in hospital and more support closer to people’s homes. Specialist services are also being concentrated in fewer hospitals to improve clinical outcomes.       
  • Technology is creating new opportunities to improve every aspect of care, from the way services engage people about their needs, to the control people have over their own health and wellbeing.

For our future strategy to be effective, we need to take account of this changing world.

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