DH launches new consumer ‘champion’

 The new body tasked with championing standards of health and social care in England has been launched by the Department of Health.

Healthwatch England is the new national, statutory consumer body created to ensure the public’s opinion of health and social care services is reflected at a national level.

Health Minister Norman Lamb said the “consumer champion” plays a “vital part” in putting patients at the heart of health and care services.

The independent organisation has been tasked with creating a local Healthwatch network from April 2013 onwards. This will then be used to gather evidence based on real experiences to highlight national issues and trends.

Chair Anna Bradley commented: “Health and social care can be a complex world to understand, however our starting point is simple: it’s about people – their experiences, and needs.

“We will actively seek views from all sections of the community to build a national picture of what matters most to local people and make sure their views and experiences are really listened to, analysed and acted upon. Better health and social care services has to be the result.”