Healthwatch Sandwell is a new organisation that has been set up to enable the view and experiences of people who use services to influence and improve the way the health and social care services are provided and run. It is linked to the Care Quality Commission, whose job is to make sure that health and social care services meet government standards of quality and safety.
It operates both locally and nationally. There is a Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch organisations across the country. Healthwatch Sandwell has a statutory seat on the Sandwell Health and Wellbeing Board which brings together influential people from Sandwell Council and the NHS. We represent the needs of the community on the board.
Healthwatch Sandwell has various statutory powers and duties to make sure that services meet local needs and that local people's views have a real impact. They will build and improve on the work already done by Local Involvement Networks, which they replaced. LINks have been fully involved in setting up our local Healthwatch.
Councils had a legal responsibility to set up a local Healthwatch by April 2013. Healthwatch Sandwell is funded by the Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, however it is an organisation in its own right and independent of the council.