Consumers or Citizens? Whose Voice Will Healthwatch Represent and Will It Matter?; Comment on “Challenges Facing Healthwatch, a New Consumer Champion in England”

Document Type: Commentary

Author

Department of Health Management and Policy, College of Public Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA

Abstract

Efforts to achieve effective and meaningful patient and public involvement (PPI) in healthcare have existed for nearly a century, albeit with limited success. This brief commentary discusses a recent paper by Carter and Martin exploring the “Challenges Facing Healthwatch, a New Consumer Champion in England,” and places these challenges in the context of the broader struggle to give a voice to healthcare consumers and citizens. With an overview of what can go right and—perhaps more importantly—what can go wrong, the question remains: will Healthwatch—and other PPI efforts in healthcare—represent the voice of consumers or citizens and will it matter?

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