Healthwatch England Annual Report 2018-19

Last year, the Healthwatch network supported over 336,000 people to share their story about health and social care. These views resulted in over 7,200 recommendations to services about the improvements that people would like to see.

Healthwatch England's annual report has been laid before Parliament, demonstrating the difference your voices have made to NHS and Social Care services this year, and showing how important it is that services listen to what people want. 

Healthwatch's year in numbers

  • Last year, over 336,000 people shared their views, ideas and experiences about health and social care with their local Healthwatch.
  • Healthwatch also helped over 413,000 people access advice and information online, by phone and face-to-face.
  • The Healthwatch network used this information to make over 7,200 recommendations to services about the improvements people want to see.
  • Of these recommendations, 29% are already making a tangible difference to people's experiences of care. 

Highlights from the year

Shaping the future of the NHS

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out key ambitions for the NHS over the next 10 years. Healthwatch ran a countrywide campaign to give people a say in how the plan should be implemented in their communities.

Over 40,000 people shared their ideas and experiences with us. Although people broadly support the changes the NHS wants to make, people would like a greater focus on: 

  • Improving support for issues like dementia, autism and mental health.
  • Making it easier to see a professional.
  • Involving people more in their own care and providing better information to help people look after themselves.

The evidence we gathered was shared with local NHS leaders, who will use the feedback from the public to inform changes to local services.

Action on social care

Our work has shown a demand from the public for a greater focus on improving social care. The report shows how Healthwatch uses people’s views to improve existing and future services.

Issues highlighted:

  • The length of time people have to wait for dementia care, and the need for councils to regularly review the level of support people need 
  • The challenges some carers face when it comes to getting help and the impact this can have.
  • People's desire for more information and advice to help them plan for care in old age.

Shining a light on maternal mental health

Healthwatch collected stories from women who experienced mental health problems during or after pregnancy. Our research found that:

  • Nearly half of women said that getting help for their mental health was difficult.
  • Over a third said that the mental health support they received was poor and they were not involved in decisions.
  • Professionals need to make more space to talk to new parents about mental health


Healthwatch England have also produced 'Guided by you' in Easy Read and Large Print.

If you need this report in a different format, please email or call 03000 68 3000.

Download the report

Download the easy read

Download the large print

Do health and social care services know what you really think?

Share your feedback, ideas and experiences and help services hear what works, what doesn’t, and what you want from care in the future. 

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