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Essential Healthwatch (in-house)

CPD/APC Credits: 15

Healthwatch is now a well-established as part of the English health and social care network. The continually changing health environment requires Healthwatch directors, management staff and volunteers to be fully appreciative of the requirements for best practice by health bodies and Council when consulting on programmes of health and social care change

‘Essential Healthwatch’ is designed with two primary objectives. The first is to enable the Healthwatch team to scrutinise the processes public bodies undertake sufficiently to identify whether they have incorporated what they should have done, from establishing a case for change through to final decision making, in service change scenarios. Based around the ideal timeline, it examines what should happen through pre-consultation, option development and consultation, to enable a body to make a decision that is fair and legally sound. The second objective of ‘Essential Healthwatch’ is to develop the confidence of the Healthwatch team to offer yourselves as an effective partner to support consulting bodies, understanding what they need to achieve at the differing stages of a change process and how you can facilitate engagement to help meet those needs.

The two-day training programme covers the processes that public bodies should follow, the objectives they must have at each stage, the standards they should adhere to and the legal requirements they must meet. It includes legislation, guidance, law (Gunning and Brown), legitimate expectation, Equalities and health inequalities requirements, impacts assessments, how they should engage with public, service users and stakeholders, how information should be shared, accumulated and used and how decisions should be made.

The first day covers early stages and pre-consultation. The second day focuses on option development and consultation.

Who is it for

This is an ‘essential knowledge’ course designed specifically for Healthwatch directors, management and staff.

 Course Aims

By the end of the course participants will have:

  • A clear understanding of the processes health bodies and Councils should go through when conceiving and making changes to services;
  • An understanding of the legalities that must be observed, including whether consultation is required or not;
  • The ability to evaluate what sort of involvement for service users, stakeholders and general public is ideal at the differing stages of a change programme, including where and what type of co-production is beneficial;
  • The confidence to discuss and debate with representatives of health bodies and Councils what processes should be taking place on a case by case basis;
  • Learned from practical examples and actual cases.

Key learning Points

  • Practical application of the 'ideal timeline' for service change.
  • Understanding of the definitions and application of processes within pre-consultation and consultation.
  • Evaluation of whether consultation is required or not.
  • The legal framework a consultor must work to.


“We received two days training from the Consultation Institute for our staff earlier this year (2017) and it was excellent. The course covered a number of important areas such as the law of consultation and the stages of consultation, including the case for change, and options development, but it also gave us lots of opportunity to discuss with the trainer concerns we had about consultations in our area, or lack of consultation, e.g. with regards to the STP. As part of the course we reviewed a consultation document that we had brought along to the training, that was relevant to our work. The trainer was very knowledgeable, and very willing to answer our questions. The materials were clear and concise. I would very much recommend the training for Healthwatch staff.”

 Karen Ritchie CEO Healthwatch Derbyshire

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