Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion created to gather and represent the views of the public.
It exists in two distinct forms; a local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England, at a national level. The aim of local Healthwatch is to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided within their locality.
Healthwatch Dorset was launched on 1 April 2013 and is an innovative partnership of Help and Care with Citizen Advice in Dorset and the Dorset Race Equality Council, who have joined forces to ensure the health and wellbeing of Dorset's residents is championed. It is commissioned by Dorset County Council, Borough of Poole and Bournemouth Borough Council to deliver the service across the county. HealthWatch Dorset is represented on the Bournemouth and Poole Health and Wellbeing Board.
Local authorities must also make sure they have a local service for independent complaints advocacy for health services. Dorset Advocacy has been commissioned by the three local authorities to deliver this for Dorset.