Local patient voice short changed £10m
Healthwatch England analysis shows around a quarter of the £43.5 million made available by the Department of Health to fund local Healthwatch has failed to materialise in local Healthwatch accounts.
Collectively the 148 local Healthwatch organisations have received £10 million less than was outlined in the budget by the Health Secretary, before the network has even got off the ground.
If local Healthwatch are to succeed in giving people a stronger voice in health and care, what they need is a commitment from central and local government to invest in the network and multi-year settlements to provide consistency for long-term planning.
Healthwatch England is therefore calling for those involved to provide clarity about where the money has gone and ensure the network is able to achieve what it was set up to do - to give local people a strong voice and help put patients at the heart of the health and social care sector.
Anna Bradley, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: More