Healthwatch Cumbria Healthwatch Cumbria Healthwatch Cumbria Healthwatch Cumbria

What We Do & How We Work

Healthwatch Cumbria gathers the views of people about their needs and experiences of Health and Social Care services in a number of ways:

Public Engagement:

  • We have a strong visual presence in the community and to make it easy for people to contact us when they have experiences to report.
  • Our trained team of staff and representatives work with individuals, groups and communities, plus health and social care professionals and service volunteers.
  • We attend public and community events and events staged by other organisations
  • We go out into communities, working with established groups and charities, to hold meetings and events, gather evidence and ask for opinions on specific issues.
  • We talk to individual members of the public through an extensive programme of outreach events in local supermarkets and markets.
  • We can take up issues brought to us by local people.
  • We undertake large scale survey based projects.
  • We publish regular information about our projects, how to get involved and our achievements on our Website and in our Newsletter.

Our phonelines are open Monday – Friday  9am-5pm (answerphone at other times) on 03003 038 567.  Alternatively email us at: and we will reply to you as soon as possible.


  • We provide information and advice about accessing health and social care services and exercising choice in relation to those services.
  • We help people to navigate their way through the system – giving advice and information.
  • We provide information to support groups and other providers about the availability of local health and social care services.

Enter and View:

  • We can use our powers to visit, announced or unannounced, places that provide health and social care services.
  • Places include: hospitals, GP practices, dentists, pharmacists, residential homes, nursing homes and home care services.
  • Our representatives are trained to talk with patients and users of services and observe the quality of care.
  • We report and publicise what we find.


  • Healthwatch Cumbria makes reports and recommendations about how local care services could or ought to be improved.
  • We provide reports to commissioners and providers of care services, and people responsible for managing or scrutinising local care services and shared with Healthwatch England.
  • We submit well evidenced reports of a high standard to Healthwatch England.
  • We support local organisations to publish reports that enable people who would otherwise find it really hard to get their views on services heard.

Healthwatch Cumbria participates in strategic planning and makes views known to commissioners and providers:

  • Representatives of Healthwatch Cumbria are credible. They are able to demonstrate that their statements are based on evidence of community needs and views.
  • We play a role in the preparation of the statutory Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategies on which local commissioning decisions will be made
  • Healthwatch Cumbria has a presence on strategically important committees and bodies.
  • Our information about services is used to provide evidence based criteria to influence commissioning and policy.
  • We report patient experience to commissioners and providers and work with services to promote positive change.
  • We make reports and recommendations about how care could or should be improved.
  • We provide feedback to the hospitals, doctors and social care providers responsible for service delivery.
  • Our reports and recommendations lead to meaningful changes for those who use health and social care in Cumbria

Healthwatch Cumbria works strategically alongside the Care Quality Commission, Healthwatch England and the Local Healthwatch Network:

  • We can recommend investigation or special review of services directly to the Care Quality Commission.
  • We work closely with the Care Quality Commission nationally regarding their inspecting and reporting methods and collaborate at a local level to ensure effective monitoring of health and social care standards.
  • We can recommend investigation or special review of services to Healthwatch England.
  • We participate in the strategic forward planning of Healthwatch England at a national level.
  • We liaise with Healthwatch England and the network of local Healthwatch organisations to share information, experiences and reports and ensure that Cumbria is effectively represented at a national level.