Healthwatch Gateshead is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. We help people of all ages and from all backgrounds have their say about social care and health services in Gateshead. This includes every part of the community, including amplifying the voice of those people who sometimes struggle to be heard.
We work to make sure that the people who plan and run social care and health services are listening to their service users. When people’s voices can be heard, we can make positive change. Together, we can create services that cater to what real people actually need and want.
Get information on social care and health services
We offer free, confidential and independent information about social care and health services in Newcastle. Call Freephone 0800 038 5116 or text 0749 850 3497. We can answer your calls between 9 and 4, Monday to Friday.
What we do
We help local social care and health services become the best they can be by:
- Working with local people and organisations to investigate issues.
- Reaching out to people and communities that struggle to be heard, because everyone’s voice matters.
- Supporting people to be involved in making decisions about the future of local services.
- Training people to become Healthwatch Champions (volunteers) to promote Healthwatch Gateshead in their communities.
Our statutory powers
Healthwatch Gateshead is one of 153 Healthwatch groups in England. Each local authority is linked to a Healthwatch for their area. We have statutory powers under the Health and Social Care Act 2022, including the ability to:
- Request information from commissioners and service providers (they have to respond within 20 days).
- Visit publicly-funded health or social care services to see how they are working (known as ‘enter and view’).
- Represent the views of the public on the Gateshead Health & Wellbeing Board.
Everything we do is driven by our values and principles:
- Selflessness – we will work in the interests of Healthwatch Gateshead only: we won’t make any financial gain or other benefits for ourselves, our family or our friends.
- Integrity – we won’t place ourselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations who might then seek to influence us in the performance of our role.
- Objectivity – we will make decisions based on merit when making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits.
- Accountability – we are accountable for our decisions and actions to the public and will ensure that our performance and finances can be scrutinised.
- Openness – we will be open about the decisions and actions that we take and we will give reasons for our decisions.
- Honesty – we will declare any private interests that are relevant to Healthwatch Gateshead and take steps to resolve any conflicts of interest.
- Leadership – we will promote and support these principles by leadership and example.