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Working with local groups

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We work with groups to make sure that the views and opinions of people are heard. Each group caters to specific areas of care and ensures better practice around the country.

In the sections below, you can find out about the different local groups that we work with.

Local Healthwatch

The local Healthwatch network gathers important information about people's views and experiences of care. We have a duty in law to take account of these. As part of our new approach to inspecting services, we want to strengthen our relationships with local Healthwatch, the Healthwatch network and Healthwatch England.

We hold advisory conferences with local Healthwatch so they can advise us on our strategy for 2013 to 2016 and how we can develop our work with them.

We've worked with Healthwatch England, with advice from local Healthwatch, to produce a briefing document that explains how we will work with the Healthwatch network. It explains our role and how we work, what local Healthwatch can expect from us and how local Healthwatch shares information with us.

CQC and the Healthwatch network: working together PDF | 1.27 MB

CQC and Healthwatch: fundamentals of the working relationship PDF | 37 KB

Healthwatch bulletins

Our bulletins for local Healthwatch groups provides managers, chairs and staff with an update about our latest activities, reports and information about the way they can work with us.

Read the latest bulletin below.

Local Healthwatch e-bulletin: December 2014 PDF | 284.08 KB

Patient Participation Groups

We work with Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) when we inspect GP practices.

PPGs offer information and views about GP services from the patients’ perspective. They meet with patients to find out about their experiences and regularly meet with the practice manager, GPs and other staff to identify improvements and sometimes contribute towards carrying out change.

PPGs also carry out research, hold health awareness and information events, support the practice in its dealings with other bodies and carry out patient surveys.

We have worked in partnership with some PPGs and the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP) to produce a guide on how CQC and PPGs can work with us.

A guide for Patient Participation Groups on working with CQC PDF | 3.29 MB

A guide for Patient Participation Groups on working with CQC (Audio)

A guide for Patient Participation Groups on working with CQC (Audio)

Overview and scrutiny committees

Overview and scrutiny committees examine health and care services on behalf of their local populations with the aim of holding services to account and recommending improvements. They gather evidence and information from a variety of sources, including the views and experiences of people using services and local communities.

We're committed to working more closely with local authority scrutiny committees as a result of the Francis report. By doing this, we can make better use of local intelligence made available from scrutiny activity, and improve the ways we share our findings with scrutiny committees.

Our series of guides aim to encourage better links between overview and scrutiny committees, local councillors and our inspection teams across England. They have been produced in partnership with the Centre for Public Scrutiny and directly involved councillors and council officers in the project.

CQC and council scrutiny - Working together - a briefing for councillors PDF | 144.81 KB

District councillors

District councillors work closely with their local communities and gather evidence about health and care services in their area. We have produced our first guide for district councillors to help them use evidence from CQC’s work, and to encourage them to share their evidence about the quality of health and social care in their district with CQC.

CQC and district councillors - working together to improve health and care services PDF | 95.16 KB

Guide for local authority councillors about CQC

We have also produced a general guide about CQC for all councillors in local government – whether in executive or scrutiny roles.

CQC and councillors - a short guide for local councillors about the CQC PDF | 86.95 KB

OSC bulletins

Our bulletins provides scrutiny committees and local councilors with an update about our latest activities, reports and information about the way they can work with us.

Foundation Trust Councils of Governors

We recognise the important role Foundation Trust Councils of Governors play in holding their trust to account on behalf of the public and trust members. We invite Councils of Governors to contribute to our new style inspections of Foundation Trusts. We are updating our guidance for Foundation Trust Councils of Governors to reflect this.

Read our report about the national development project from CQC and the Foundation Trust Governors' Association, which shares learning and examples from 10 foundation trust councils of governors who took part in the project to explore the relationship with CQC and how we can work together.

Working together: CQC and foundation trust councils of governors PDF | 1 MB

eQuality Voices

We always factor equality and human rights into everything we do.

eQuality Voices is a group that shapes and influences the detail of our equality, diversity and human rights priorities. In particular, the group identifies the important matters and needs relating to equality that affect people who use care services.

The group is supported by the Involvement and equality, diversity and human rights team at CQC.

Service User Reference Panel

One of our duties is to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act (MHA).

The Service User Reference Panel (SURP) is made up of people who are, or have been, detained under the Act. Each member is encouraged to share their views on our work and advise us about how we can involve more members of the public.

The panel gives us helpful information on conducting visits and helps to steer different projects in the right direction.

Some of the members of SURP also take part in Acting Together visits. These visits are conducted together with an MHA commissioner to monitor activities on mental health wards.

SpeakOut Network

SpeakOut is a national network of community groups supported by us and the University of Central Lancashire.

The network helps groups that are often not heard to have a stronger voice about health and social care matters that affect their communities.

Groups invite their communities to get involved in our projects to gain views on regulation and our methodologies and guidance.

You can find more information about the community groups in the Network on their website at

Newsletters from the SpeakOut network

SpeakOut newsletter: Autumn 2014 PDF | 1.68 MB

SpeakOut newsletter: Autumn 2013 PDF | 1.49 MB

Re-Ignite SpeakOut network training newsletter PDF | 4.67 MB

Ignite SpeakOut newsletter PDF | 3.3 MB

Ignite SpeakOut newsletter (Audio)

Ignite SpeakOut newsletter (Audio)

Last updated:
14 April 2015