Frequently Asked Questions

We have put together some answers to the most frequently asked questions about Healthwatch North Somerset, including who we are, what powers we have and how important feedback from the public is.
Two people stood looking at a Healthwatch stand at a fair

Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?

No. Although Healthwatch England is part of the Care Quality Commission, local Healthwatch organisations have been established as fully independent bodies run by local people, for local people.


Is Healthwatch North Somerset accountable to Healthwatch England?

No. Healthwatch North Somerset will raise issues of local significance to Healthwatch England for them to use as evidence to the government. Healthwatch North Somerset is financially accountable to North Somerset Council; as well as being accountable to its members and the general public of North Somerset for its impact as their champion and watchdog of health and social care services.

What impact do you think Healthwatch North Somerset will have on local services?

Local people’s voices will go directly into shaping health and social care services in their area. Those services will meet local needs in a much better way, ensuring people are able to get the best out of them.

The more people get involved, the more impact the Healthwatch North Somerset will have.

How exactly will Healthwatch North Somerset be able to hold local health and social care services into account?

Healthwatch North Somerset has the statutory power to Enter and View any health or social care service. They will arrange a date with the service and the trained representatives will enter and view the premise and the service offered to the public. They will produce a report highlighting good practice and making recommendations for improvements. The service are given 20 days to respond before the report is made available to the public to view.

How important is local community involvement to the work of Healthwatch North Somerset?

It is key to us. Healthwatch North Somerset is driven by local people; we only take up the issues that locals tell us about. Therefore, the more people, the more issues and services can be looked into and, hopefully, improved.


How can people get involved?

There is a huge scope of opportunity for people to get involved; from signing up and receiving the Healthwatch North Somerset newsletter and reading our news page, to attending events, taking part in local and national meetings or even just sharing your views of services in the area.

There are many opportunities to volunteer with Healthwatch North Somerset. For example, becoming a fully trained and authorised Enter and View representative attending meetings on our behalf, joining in with our engagement work to get feedback from the public or helping out in the office. Visit our volunteering page for more information.

Do they have to have a background in health or social care?

No. We are all affected by the quality and provision of health and social care services, so Healthwatch North Somerset wants to hear everybody’s experience of these services, and positively encourages everybody to get actively involved in our work.

What would success look like for Healthwatch North Somerset?

  • A large number of people actively involved. 
  • People feeling like they have been able to make an impact and that they have ownership of the services they use. 
  • Healthwatch North Somerset being recognised as the place to go to find out about health and social care and to comment about the services they receive.

If you are interested in volunteering please get in touch or have a look at our volunteering pages here on our website

Learn more

If you have any questions that we have not covered here please feel free to get in touch and speak to our friendly team who will be more than happy to answer your questions

01275 851 400

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