The Health and Social Care Act 2012 aims to put patients at the centre of the decision-making and for commissioner priorities to be informed by engagement with local communities. Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch will be launched in October 2012 to help in ensuring that the views of the public and the people who use the services, are taken into account. Healthwatch is being developed as a statutory part of the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Its role will be to champion service users/patients/carers across health and social care, while Local Involvement Networks (LINks) will become the local Healthwatch.
Two members of HQIP's Patient Network are involved in local pathfinders for Healthwatch and will help update this section with new information from Healthwatch.