Healthwatch Norfolk has a legal power to visit health and social care services to try to understand patients’ and service users’ experience of them. This power to Enter and View services offers a way for Healthwatch to do the work it was set up for, and lets it find out what is working well with services, and where they could be improved.

Although Enter and View sometimes gets referred to as an ‘inspection’, it should not be described as such, since we are mainly focused on service users’ experiences.

We use what people tell us and what we know about local services to decide which services to visit.

Our first Enter and View project since lockdown ended will be called My Views Matter and you can read more about it here.

During the visit our authorised representatives* observe the nature and quality of the services and aim to collect views directly from service users, their family, and carers. These findings help us monitor and challenge health and social care services. Following the visits, we can make recommendations to the people who run services so they can make improvements.

*’Authorised representatives’ are Healthwatch Norfolk staff, volunteers or experts by experience who are trained in Enter and View Visits.

We can do either an announced visit – where the provider knows we are coming – or an unannounced visit.

Most of our enter and view visits are announced. But we are authorised to do unannounced visits if we think this is the best way to get the evidence we need.


During the visit, Healthwatch should focus on:


Our volunteers and experts by experience who are trained to make the visits are:

Staff who are trained to make ‘enter and view’ visits (pictured above) are:

After the visit

After our visit we will write and publish a report. We will share this with the people who make decisions about the service we have visited.

And work with service providers to help them make positive changes based on our recommendations.

We normally publish our report about eight weeks after a visit.


Healthwatch statutory functions