The amount of funding Healthwatch has received.

In 2021/22 Healthwatch network received total funding of £25.4 million to deliver its statutory activities giving local communities a strong and influential voice in the running of health and care services.

The above graph shows how this funding has changed since the network was set up in 2013/14, when it received an initial allocation of £40.5 million.

We have seen the annual budget reductions get smaller over time:

  • 19/20 - 2.6% (actual)
  • 20/21 - 1.7% (actual)
  • 21/22 - -0.2% (projected)

However, these reductions must also be seen in the context of rising inflation rates. When inflation is factored in, the Healthwatch network’s financial resource has fallen by 48% since it was established.

Analysis by Healthwatch England suggests 75 local councils are now providing their local Healthwatch with funding below the level expected by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC). We have escalated this to the DHSC and the potential risks to the longer term sustainability of the Healthwatch network. We will continue to have conversations with Government on this matter, and how the Healthwatch network can contribute to the current reform agenda in light of these resource constraints. 

Based on the Bank of England’s inflation calculator, the original Healthwatch allocation would be now worth in today’s spending terms £49,400,000. The effect of inflation on the network’s collective spending power was highlighted in the National Audit Office’s report on Healthwatch finances published in April 2020. 

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