• GPs, dentists and other primary care services most common issue to be explored
  • Needs of children and young people to feature strongly
  • Mental health and social care appear in the top five for third year in a row


To mark the start of 2019, Healthwatch England is today publishing our annual network priorities list – setting out the key health and care topics our local teams will be working on over the year ahead.

Over the last year Healthwatch engaged with over 400,000 people about their experiences of care.

Drawing on the wealth of qualitative data they collect, and through additional activities such as high-street surveys and townhall events, each local Healthwatch works with their community to set out a number of priorities for their area.

Healthwatch England has analysed 139 of these local plans and compiled a national list of the top issues.

The top five priorities for 2019 are:

  • Primary care (including access to GPs) – 64
  • Children and young people – 57
  • Mental health – 50
  • Services working better together – 49
  • Adult social care, including residential care homes or care at home – 41

The projects undertaken by Healthwatch will build on the day-to-day activities of the network visiting hospital, GPs and care homes etc. and engaging with local people at events and in public spaces to gather their views.

At a national level we will look to use the combined findings to provide insight for decision makers across the NHS, social care sector and Whitehall about the sorts of improvements people want to see.

To do this we need the support of local people. We need more willing individuals to join our 5,000 volunteers and help us smash last year’s recording breaking efforts – which saw us increase the number of experiences we collected by an impressive 19%.

We also need more people to come forward and share their experiences and ideas with us, and help us reach our goal of hearing from more than one million people a year.

To share your experiences about a health or care service with Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire, please click here