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27.11.18

NHS England and NHSI to give Healthwatch ‘significant investment’

NHS England and NHS Improvement are to give “significant investment” to Healthwatch England in order to support local Healthwatch to “ensure the views of patients and the public are heard.”

The money will be used to consult with staff, patients and the public to determine how the NHS’s long-term plan will affect local health care systems, and how services will need to adapt.

This comes after a report earlier this month found that the Healthwatch workforce numbers have fallen by 22% in the last two years, revealed in the annual State of Support study.

The report found that local Healthwatch funding had been reduced by 4.3% between 2017-18 and 2018-19, raising the total statutory funding reduction to 35% since 2015.

The level of investment has not yet been finalised, but NHS England did say “significant investment” was on its way in its November update from the Long-Term Plan Engagement team.

The report said: “To help facilitate this ongoing engagement, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be providing significant investment, via Healthwatch England, to support local to ensure that the views of patients and the public are heard.”

It also said that: “From December onwards, staff, patients, the public and other stakeholders should have the opportunity to work with local organisations to determine what the long-term plan means for their area, and how services need to adapt and improve in the short and medium term.”

NHS England also said they will be supporting communications and engagement staff working for local NHS organisations to engage staff, patients and stakeholders and facilitate debate around Healthwatch.

 

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Image credit - sturti

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