What is Healthwatch Enter and View?

As a local Healthwatch, we have special statutory powers to 'Enter and View' local health and social care services. This means we can undertake visits to all publicly funded health and social providers such as hospitals, care homes and GP practices with the following intentions:

  • to see and hear first-hand how services are provided (gather evidence)
  • to collect the feedback and views of service users (patients/residents), staff and carers at the point of service delivery
  • to observe the nature and quality of services
  • highlight any issues about which service users feel concerned about
  • highlight good practices that can celebrated and shared (what is working well)
  • highlight areas where services could be improved (recommendations)

Where does Enter and View apply?

Legislation allows ‘Enter and View’ activity to be undertaken in the following organisations or persons:

  • NHS Trusts
  • NHS Foundation Trusts
  • Local Authorities
  • GPs
  • Dental Surgeries
  • Opticians
  • Pharmacies
  • Adult social care homes and day-care centres

These powers do not extend to Enter and View of services relating to local authorities’ social services functions for people under the age of 18.

NB: Organisations must allow an authorised representative to Enter and View and observe activities on premises controlled by the provider as long as this does not affect the provision of care or the privacy and dignity of people using services.

An overview of the Enter and View process

  • A decision will be made to visit a service, this can be based on a number of factors i.e. safeguarding concerns, patient feedback from comments/ signposting, to share best practices with others.
  • The Healthwatch team will normally contact the provider in advance and let them know about the intended visit (stating reasons for the visit) and agree dates and times.
  • A small team of Enter and View Healthwatch representatives (residents/patients) will assist with the visit. They will all have received training and will all have had a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
  • On the day of the visit, the Healthwatch team along with the trained Enter and View Representatives will meet staff, service users, and family members if present and gather feedback about their experiences of the service (their personal experiences, positives of the service and any suggestions for improvement) make observations about the service i.e. how staff engage with service users, any concerns for health and safety, any safeguarding issues, any good practices
  • After an Enter and View visit, a report will be written up and shared with the provider of the service.
    Recommendations may be included to improve services for the people who use them.
    The provider is required to responded to the report and provide an action plan for addressing any concerns highlighted and any recommendations made.
    The report will also be shared with relevant commissioners, CQC, Healthwatch England and be also be shared on our website.

More information

For a more in-depth understanding of the Enter and View process please refer to the attached guidance document:

Enter and View Guidance 

Recruiting Enter and View Representatives

We are in the process of recruiting local people to support us with undertaking Enter and View visits in the upcoming months (July onward).

If you are interested in visiting services, please register your interest in the Enter and View Representative volunteer role.

Register you interest