Frequently Asked Questions

Couldn't find the answer you're looking for? See some of our frequently asked questions's about Healthwatch Northamptonshire.
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Is Healthwatch part of the NHS?

No. Healthwatch Northamptonshire is an independent organisation that is here to represent the views of the people that use health and social care services in the local area.

Is local Healthwatch accountable to Healthwatch England?

No, Healthwatch Northamptonshire is commissioned by the local authority, Northamptonshire County Council and will be accountable to them.

What will happen to Local Involvement Networks (LINks)?

Healthwatch follows on from previous public and patient involvement arrangements, the Community Health Councils, the Public and Patient Involvement Forums and LINks.

Local Healthwatch is substantially different from LINks with a significantly broader responsibility and need for engagement.

However there has been a key focus on preparing for Healthwatch through the establishment of ‘pathfinder’ Healthwatch LINks to pilot possible ways of working.
Working with partners including LGA and NALM, best practice from the LINks has been captured and made available to all newly formed local Healthwatch organisations.
Those strong LINk organisations transitioning into local Healthwatch will be encouraged to share their practice across the 152 local authority areas through the Healthwatch England ‘Hub’ and workshops.

This will also give the opportunity to smooth the transition for LINk members who have given their valuable time and commitment to work on behalf of their communities to support the NHS and local authorities to improve health and social care services.

What do all the acronyms mean?

We have put together a useful guide to explain some of the acronyms that get used in health and social care.

  • CCG – Clinical commissioning group
  • CIC – Community Interest Company
  • CQC – Care Quality Commission
  • CVS – Council for Voluntary Service (common name for local voluntary sector infrastructure organisation providing support and representation for voluntary and community organisations)
  • DH – Department of Health
  • HWB – health and wellbeing board
  • HWE – Healthwatch England
  • JHWS – Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • JSNA – Joint Strategic Needs Assessment
  • LA – Local authority
  • LGA – Local Government Association
  • LHW – Local Healthwatch
  • LINks – Local Involvement Networks
  • NALM – National Association of LINk Managers
  • NHS – National Health Service
  • NHS Institute – NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement
  • PCT – Primary care trust
  • VCO – Voluntary or community organisation
  • VCS – Voluntary and community sector (also known as the third sector)

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