The DH stated intention is that local Healthwatch will:

  • carry out statutory functions;
  • be corporate bodies, embedded in local communities;
  • act as local consumer champion representing the collective voice of patients service users, carers and the public, on statutory health and wellbeing boards;
  • play an integral role in the preparation of the statutory Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and joint health and wellbeing strategies on which local commissioning decisions will be based;
  • have real influence with commissioners, providers, regulators and Healthwatch England using their knowledge of what matters to local people.

Public involvement in research

Healthwatch Bedford Borough is new organisation, which commenced work on 1 April 2013. It will need to ensure that representation is reflective of the population of the Borough – it will have to have special regard to engaging with groups sharing the protected characteristics under the Equality Act and those who are most disadvantaged by health inequalities within the community.

The ambition for Healthwatch Bedford Borough is that the engagement of local people and giving them a voice will reap rewards in terms of efficiencies as well as improved delivery of patient care with quality outcomes and user experience.

By gathering people’s (whether current users of services or not) views on, and experiences of, the health and social care system, community views will have real influence with those who commission and provide services about what users, carers and people justifiably need within allocated resources.


Bedford Borough Council area.

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