Visiting providers of health and social care services is the most hands-on way that any Local Healthwatch has to ensure that local services are fit for purpose. It allows us to observe for ourselves how local services are being run, and to speak to staff and service users to collect their views.
What is Enter and View?
Under Healthwatch regulations, local service providers have a duty to allow Healthwatch organisations to ‘enter and view’ their premises, so that our Authorised Representatives (including volunteers) can see and hear how local people are experiencing the services provided.
Healthwatch England has provided this short document as information for service providers.
Providers must allow our representatives to observe activities and speak with patients about their experiences, provided it does not interfere with the provision of care.
The purpose of these visits is to identify and share good practice, and to help service providers address any possible areas of concern.
At Healthwatch Warwickshire, our Enter and View service has gained widespread recognition as being exceptionally strong and effective, with some local service managers even implementing some of our initial recommendations before our visits take place.
How does it work?
We can conduct Enter and View visits to any premises within Warwickshire where health and/or social care services are delivered. This includes:
- Care Homes
- Dental Surgeries
- Day Care Centres
- GP Surgeries
- Mental Health facilities
Enter and View visits may be unannounced or, depending on the circumstances we may contact the service provider in advance to let them know about our intended visit.
On the day, a team of at least two volunteers, who are DBS checked and have received specialised training as Authorised Representatives, will visit the provider to observe the service. During our visit, they will speak with staff, service users and their families and/or carers in an informal way, to gather a full picture of the standard of service.
What happens after an Enter and View visit?
Following our visit, we write up a report of our findings, in which we highlight any examples of good practice, as well as offering recommendations for improvements. We share this report with the service provider first, with whom we work closely to develop an action plan based on our recommendations.
The report may then also be shared with the Care Quality Commission (CQC), Local Authority, NHS commissioners, Healthwatch England and any other relevant partners.
You can read all of our Enter and View reports here.
How can I share my experience of a local service?
If you would like to share your experience of one of the services we have visited, or one that we have yet to visit, please get in touch via our feedback form.
Can I become an Authorised Representative?
All of our Authorised Representatives are committed volunteers, and help to provide a customer’s perspective of the services they visit. We always need more volunteers so enquiries are very welcome! Learn more about joining the team.