Saturday 13 July 2024
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Nottingham

Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire gets another year’s funding

Nottingham City Council has approved an expenditure of £108,000 to continue the Healthwatch service provided by Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire for up to one year from 1 April 2024.

The decision was taken to support joint commissioning across the whole health and social care system in Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County.

The Council believes that a jointly commissioned Healthwatch service has clear benefits for citizens who do not recognise local authority boundaries and also achieves the best value for money by enabling greater efficiencies and economies of scale in both budget and staff resources.

Healthwatch is a statutory body with responsibility for scrutinising health and social care services. Local authorities have a statutory duty to set up a local Healthwatch which must be structured so that it is able to carry out various statutory functions.

Previously, there were two separate Healthwatch organisations that delivered these statutory functions for Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Councils.

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In April 2018, it was agreed to merge the two organisations into a single organisation called ‘Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire’ covering the City and County, with plans to develop a joint approach to commissioning the Healthwatch service in the future.

The decision to extend the contract to 31 March 2025 was made in order to align Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council respective Healthwatch contract end dates to facilitate joint re-commissioning. The Council remains committed to jointly commissioning a Healthwatch service across both City and County from April 2025.

Other options, such as completing a full procurement exercise for a new Nottingham City Healthwatch service to commence on 1 April 2024, or allowing the Healthwatch contract to terminate on the end date of 31 March 2024 without continuing the contract or completing a procurement exercise to secure a new service, were considered and rejected.

The decision was classified as operational as it has a total value under £250,000 and the proposed expenditure is within existing adult social care policies and does not commit the Council to any new activities.

The Council has confirmed that there is a provision in the budget for 2024-2025 for the Healthwatch Contract to continue to be funded at the current rate of £108,000 per financial year.

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