Sir Robert Francis QC confirmed as new Chair of Healthwatch England

Sir Robert Francis QC has been appointed today as the new Chair of Healthwatch England, the independent champion for people who use health and social care.

Established in 2013, the Healthwatch network has gathered millions of people’s experiences of hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes to help services understand what they are doing well and where things need to improve.

Amanda Stratford, CEO of Healthwatch Cornwall said “The insights people share with Healthwatch Cornwall and Healthwatch England are used to shape change locally and nationally, including major policy decisions such as the Government’s impending green paper on social care and the development of the NHS Long Term Plan.”

Healthwatch Cornwall continues to build links with communities right across the county and we are successfully established as an integral part of the health and social care system.   We highlight the issues which really matter to people and by gathering experiences and evidence through our community drop ins and research work we and champion user and patient involvement in planning services.

Sir Robert joins Healthwatch at a key moment for the health and care sector, and will ensure the views and ideas shared by people will sit at the very heart of the big decisions ahead. He will formally take up the post from Monday 1 October 2018, replacing Jane Mordue who has been chair since December 2015.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

“Sir Robert will bring a wealth of experience to his new role as Chair of Healthwatch England.

“The public inquiry he led into the failings at Mid-Staffs led to improvements right across the health system in recent years, with his work on whistleblowing creating an environment where staff feel they are able to speak up where they see poor care.

Speaking about his appointment, Sir Robert Francis QC, said:

“I have always been very clear in my work to date that those who run, commission and regulate services make the best decisions when they listen to and learn from the experiences of those they care for. With the health and care sector under significant pressure, they do need a strong and independent Healthwatch to help them hear what people are saying.

“The Healthwatch network has done a fantastic job to date, in particular helping those who often struggle to be heard. This has influenced changes both big and small right across the country. 

“I am very excited about this opportunity to amplify the voices of people who use the health and care system and to turn it into insight that will make a genuine difference where it matters most.”

You can find out more about Healthwatch Cornwall at or calling 01872 273501