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Healthwatch England to reduce staff numbers and work more closely with CQC

Healthwatch England will cut staffing numbers and work more closely with the CQC, a paper at today’s CQC board meeting says.

The paper, from Susan Robinson, acting national director of Healthwatch England, says that Healthwatch England will have to reduce its staffing to remain “lean and fit for purpose” after its pay budget for this year decreased from £2.8m to £1.8m.

From 9 May, Healthwatch England moved to within the CQC’s offices on Buckingham Palace Road in London, and the new permanent national director will report to CQC chief executive David Behan.

The paper says: “A new chapter’s opening for Healthwatch England as we take our existing links with the rest of CQC to the next level. Our closer relationship will enable us to benefit from the facilities that CQC has to offer us, which will also help us make even better use of public money. Even more importantly, our new set-up is creating an increasing number of opportunities for Healthwatch insight to inform CQC’s work and for CQC to help Healthwatch achieve positive change."

It adds that one of its key priorities in the next year will be: “Reshaping the organisation, managing a reduced budget and therefore reducing staffing, so that it is lean and fit for purpose through a restructure. As the pay budget has reduced from £2.8m to £1.8m for 2016-17, the staff team size will reflect this budgetary decrease.”

Interviews for the new CQC national director, as well as a new chair to replace interim chair Jane Mordue, will take place in September and October.

The report also says that Healthwatch England will focus on working more closely with its 152 local Healthwatch groups, which are commissioned by local authorities, to help them develop relationships with the CQC and be “the most effective they can be”.

Last year it emerged that almost a third of local authorities are cutting their funding to local Healthwatch groups.

(Image c. alexskopje)

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Chris Gosling   28/06/2016 at 05:02

I joined Healthwatch from the start because it was independent. To integrate with an organisation that has a terrible reputation amongst NHS staff reduces Healthwatch's reputation and influence to zero.

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