How are local Healthwatch funded?

Across England, there are 151 local Healthwatch services. Their statutory role includes to finding out what communities want from health and social care and providing people with information and advice about local services. 

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) fund our work. DHSC gives money to local councils so they can commission an effective local Healthwatch service. 

This money is essential to ensuring local Healthwatch have the resources they need to run a high-quality service for their community. 

To enable the Government to track what is happening to its investment, we ask local Healthwatch every year how much funding they expect to receive and publish this information.   

How Healthwatch funding has changed

The amount of funding Healthwatch has received.

The above graph shows the amount of funding local Healthwatch were originally allocated in 2013/14 and how much they have actually received for the past eight years. 

Whilst total funding has continued to fall over the last year, the rate of reduction has fallen again from that in 2019/20. This continues a trend we have now seen over a number of years. This is evidence that hard pressed local authorities and individual commissioners are committed to protecting funding for local Healthwatch, particularly in 20/21 where public services have all been affected by the added financial pressures resulting from the pandemic.

Reductions over the last three years are as follows:

  • 18/19 - 3.4% (actual)
  • 19/20 - 2.6% (actual)
  • 20/21 - 1.7% (projected)

However, it is important to note the cumulative impacts of cuts over the last eight years which mean the funding reaching local Healthwatch in 20/21 is now 37.4% less than the original allocation of £40.3 million set out by DHSC in 2013.

In real terms the impact is even greater, reducing Healthwatch resources by 53%.1

Based on average increase in inflation of 2.5% (as used by the Bank of England) the original Healthwatch allocation would be now worth in today’s spending terms £47,231,000. 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. 

How much funding has your Healthwatch received?

 

 

Notes

  • Barking and Dagenham - 19/20 figure updated from £113,591 reported previously.

  • Bath and North East Somerset - 19/20 figure updated from £80,000 reported previously. Final 20/21 figure pending confirmation of LRCV grant allocation.

  • Blackburn with Darwen - 19/20 figure updated from £148,000 reported previously

  • Buckinghamshire -19/20 figure updated from £170,000 reported previously.

  • Central West London -19/20 figure includes funding for three Healthwatch contracts. 20/21 figure includes funding for two Healthwatch contracts.

  • Cheshire East -Both years include funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy which cannot be split out from funding to deliver Healthwatch statutory activities.

  • Cheshire West and Chester - Both years include funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy which cannot be split out from funding to deliver Healthwatch statutory activities.

  • City of London -19/20 figure updated from £38,921 reported previously and covers funding from September 19 to March 20.

  • Cornwall - 19/20 figure updated from £304,000 reported previously.

  • Essex - 19/20 figure updated from £420,000 reported previously.

  • Hammersmith and Fulham - Separate contract from April 20 (previously reported under Healthwatch Central West London)

  • Islington -19/20 figure updated from £156,000 reported previously.

  • Kingston upon Hull -20/21 figure covers funding for Healthwatch statutory activities so cannot be compared with previous year which included funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy.

  • Manchester - 19/20 figure updated from £80,000 reported previously. 

  • Middlesbrough -19/20 figure updated from £82,700 reported previously.

  • North Somerset -19/20 figure updated from £86,713 reported previously.

  • Plymouth - 19/20 figure updated from £111,899 reported previously.

  • Redcar & Cleveland - 19/20 figure updated from £82,700 reported previously.

  • Rotherham - 20/21 figure covers funding for Healthwatch statutory activities so cannot be compared with previous year which included funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy.

  • Salford -19/20 figure updated from £166,000 reported previously.

  • Shropshire - 19/20 figure updated from £144,407 reported previously.

  • Slough -19/20 figure updated from £90,000 reported previously.

  • Southend -Both years include funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy which cannot be split out from funding to deliver Healthwatch statutory activities.

  • Stoke -19/20 figure updated from £183,508 reported previously.

  • Suffolk - 19/20 figure updated from £484,014 reported previously.

  • Surrey -19/20 figure updated from £504,120 reported previously.

  • Swindon -19/20 figure updated from £137,424 previously reported.

  • Waltham Forest -19/20 figure updated from £130,000 reported previously.

  • Warrington -19/20 figure updated from £140,00 reported previously

  • Wigan -Both years include funding for Independent Health Complaints Advocacy which cannot be split out from funding to deliver Healthwatch statutory activities.