Healthwatch Somerset has statutory powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to ‘Enter and View’ publicly funded health and social care premises to speak to people about their experiences of using the service.
We will usually let the service know that we intend to carry out an Enter and View visit and what the purpose of the visit might be. If we receive concerns from members of the public or through our quality monitoring we may decide to carry out an unannounced visit.
Enter and View is the opportunity for representatives approved and trained by Healthwatch Somerset to:
- Go into health and social care premises to see directly how services are delivered.
- Collect the views of service users (patients and residents) who are using these services.
- Collect the views of carers and relatives of service users and speak to staff where necessary.
- Look at the environment and quality of services.
- Identify areas for improvement and share areas of best practice.
- Collect together the evidence gathered on the visit and produce a report which will include recommendations or key messages based on what people said.
This report, once checked for accuracy, will be shared with:
- The provider of the service
- The Care Quality Commission
- Somerset County Council and NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group
- Healthwatch England and any other relevant partners.
Where does it apply?
Healthwatch Somerset will carry out Enter and View visits:
- As part of wide engagement projects around topics of interest to Healthwatch Somerset, for example hospital discharge, dementia services, better care plan work streams
- In response to concerns raised about a service or service provider. These concerns may come from members of the public, staff, the CQC or intelligence gathered from quality surveillance monitoring groups.
There are certain circumstances where Healthwatch Somerset will consider invoking a responsive Enter and View visit.
These could be announced or unannounced visits, and could include:
- If Healthwatch Somerset receive a referral from Somerset County Council’s Quality Surveillance Board;
- If the Care Quality Commission ask Healthwatch Somerset to look at a specific area to assist their inspection regime;
- If through Healthwatch Somerset’s quality monitoring we identify a trend or pattern of concern;
- If Healthwatch Somerset are alerted to concerns from a number of local people;
- As a result of observations made whilst carrying out engagement.
Healthwatch Somerset's Position
Enter & View can only be carried out by Healthwatch Somerset Board Members, Officers and Volunteers who meet the following criteria:
- Have been recruited through the process as stated in Evolving Communities Safer Recruitment Policy
- Have undertaken Healthwatch Somerset’s Enter and View training to become an Authorised Representative
- Have undergone a criminal record check by the Disclosure and Barring Service.