About your Healthwatch

Healthwatch Leeds is here to help you get the best out of your local health and care services. We bring your feedback to those who plan and deliver services in Leeds.

Our Vision and Commitment

Making your voice count in health and social care services in Leeds

Leeds will be a healthy and caring city for all ages, where people who are the poorest will improve their health the fastest. The Leeds Vision is based on the Health & Wellbeing Board Strategy.

Our Purpose: Healthwatch Leeds was established in April 2013 to bring the voices and experiences of local people to influence the decisions made in their health and care. We use  citizens voices and experiences to work to influence planners, decision makers and service providers in Leeds. The government provides money for each local authority to set up a Healthwatch. Local Healthwatch organisations have the right to go to places where health and care is delivered and report on what they find.

Our Principles: The principles under which Healthwatch Leeds operates describe the way we expect everyone who volunteers or works for us to behave when doing Healthwatch Leeds business.

We are committed to being:

  • Independent
  • Inclusive
  • Open
  • Supportive
  • Collaborative
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Understanding our work and what we do

We actively gather views from local people and communities about their experiences of services.

We use these in different ways to influence change. We work together with our health and social care partners to identify how we can have the most influence and make the best use of our resources.

When services are planned or changed, we ensure that local people are being listened to. We will always check whether their views have been taken into account.

We provide an information, advice and signposting service for the public about finding and accessing health and care services.

Our ways of working

Working with local people and communities

We will enable and support local people to have their voice heard in the planning and provision of health and social care In Leeds. We will be flexible and innovative in listening to voices that are not always heard, and make sure that local people are offered as many opportunities to take part and influence as possible.

Working with volunteers: We will work together with our volunteers who bring with them a wealth of skills, connections and knowledge. We will support them to develop their talents and recognise their achievements.

Build on what works well: We are committed to building on past learning and experience. We recognise and promote good practice where we find it, working together with partners and communities.

Treat everyone fairly: be open to all: We will always work hard to reach as many people as possible, and treat everyone with respect and dignity.

Living the values: We will do what we say, and when we cannot we will be clear about that. We will hold our Board meetings in public and make the reports we write available to all. We will ask for feedback and take it into account when planning our work every year.

Taking stock: measuring what we do: We will reflect on how and where local people's voices have made a difference to how services are planned or provided, and use this learning to influence future work. We will publicise any impact we have, making sure that we share this information with those who have contributed to our work in any way.

The Law – what can Healthwatch do?

Healthwatch Leeds has a responsibility to share the views of the local community.  The NHS and Local Authority has a legal responsibility to listen and respond to those views.  

This is part of the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and is important as it means we have the power in law to influence local decision making around health and social care.

  • We can ask service providers for information which they must make available to us within 20 days.
  • We can carry out an Enter and View visit to any place where an NHS or Local Authority Adult Social Care service is provided.  Our focus is on people’s experiences which we share widely with decision makers and the Care Quality Commission.
  • We can refer a matter to the Local Authority Overview and Scrutiny Committee.  These committees must then consider any relevant information we have sent them.
  • The law allows Healthwatch to have a voting representative on our local Health and Well-Being Board
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