Local Healthwatch bodies are independent consumer champions for health and social care. Their remit covers hospitals, GPs, pharmacists, opticians, community health services, residential care, mental health and children’s services.
Healthwatch gathers information and opinions from patients, carers, service users and the wider public about health and social care services, then makes sure those views are used to improve services for all.
They also provide information and signposting services to support people in making choices about health and social care services and how to access them.
They have a statutory authority to visit locations where health and social care services are being delivered, observe what is happening, and report findings. They are keen to hear from anybody who is interested in volunteering opportunities or to become members.
Contact details can be found on the websites of Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin.
Local Authority Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees (England)
All top tier local authorities in England (e.g. Shropshire Council, Telford and Wrekin Council) have a statutory role to scrutinise local health services. For example, they will scrutinise any proposals for substantial variation to ensure they are in the best interests of the health service locally. Information about local Health Overview and Scrutiny arrangements is available from the websites of Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.
Community Health Councils (Wales)
Community Health Councils (CHCs) in Wales work to enhance and improve the quality of local health services. They are a statutory and independent voice in health services provided throughout Wales. The CHC for most of our Welsh patients is Powys CHC. CHCs for other parts of Wales can be found on the website of the Board of Community Health Councils in Wales.
Community and Support Groups (England and Wales)
There are lots of different community organisations and support groups that focus on specific illnesses, conditions or services. You can find out about local groups in Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin from the Shropshire Community Directory. You can find out about local groups in Montgomeryshire from the Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations.
Practice Participation Groups (England and Wales)
Your GP Practice may have a practice participation group so that you can have a say in the services provided by your practice and how they commission services from other organisations like us. Check with your practice for details.
Shropshire Patients’ Group
Shropshire Patients’ Group is a volunteer network that connected the practice participation groups in Shropshire. Find out more from their website.
Health and Wellbeing Boards (England)
Local authorities in England have statutory Health and Wellbeing Boards to develop, agree and implement plans to improve health & wellbeing and reduce inequalities. Information about local Health and Wellbeing Boards is available from the websites of Shropshire Council and Telford and Wrekin Council.