Welcome to HealthWatch
We are the charity that has been promoting science and integrity in healthcare since 1991.
We stand for:
- The assessment and testing of all medical and nutritional treatments, products and procedures
- Consumer protection in regard to all forms of health care
- The highest standards of education and evidence-based health care by practitioners
- Better understanding by the public and the media of the importance of application of evidence from robust clinical trials
We are against:
- Misleading advertising of health products
- The sale of unproven remedies to the vulnerable and desperate
- Unethical marketing by pharmaceutical companies
- Misconduct in clinical trials
- Media misinformation on health and nutrition
- Government promotion of health and screening programmes unsupported by evidence
Please note that we are not connected with the NHS organisation "Healthwatch England".
HealthWatch review of the first 30 years' achievements
Over 30 years HealthWatch has:
Recipients include familiar names such as:
- broadcaster and agony aunt Claire Rayner
- BMJ editor Fiona Godlee
- Bad Science author Ben Goldacre
- the BBC’s Deborah Cohen
- cardiologist Peter Wilmshurst
- journalist John Diamond
- epidemiologist Sir Richard Doll.
…and many more.
- The Direction of Medical Research: Top-Down or Bottom-Up?
- Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill
- Sugar and Tax
- Debunking False Health News & Views.
Our speakers have included:
- HRA chair, Sir Michael Rawlins
- geneticist Steve Jones
- cardiologist Aseem Malhotra.
The comedian Robin Ince has hosted a number of our debates.
At the Symposium on Evidence, Healthcare and Medical Devices & Implants, held in 2019, Professor Carl Henegan, of Oxford University’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, collaborated with a team of HealthWatch healthcare professionals to devise better regulation of medical devices.
HealthWatch committee experts have been interviewed on:
…as well as local radio news programmes and by national press and science media.
- Professional Standards Authority (2019)
- UK Universities’ Research Integrity Concordat (2019)
- European Medicines Agency Draft Regulatory Science strategy to 2025 (2019)
- MHRA’s Relationship with the public (2019)
- House of Commons Select Committee “Screening” (2014) — oral evidence was also submitted)
- Homeopathic Products (2006).
HealthWatch experts have also appeared as Expert Witnesses for UK Trading Standards in cases involving the marketing of unproven health remedies.
HealthWatch collaborated with the Stop the Saatchi Bill campaign in 2015 to prevent the passing of a Bill that could have exposed patients the harm of untested medicines without ethical protections.
It has supported and exchanged campaigning principles and causes with sister organizations including:
The organisation has published occasional peer-reviewed papers in:
- the British Medical Journal
- the Medico-Legal Journal
- Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies.
…and in addition letters on evidence in healthcare from licensing of medical devices through trading standards to mammographic screening have appeared in mainstream media including The Times and The Telegraph.
HealthWatch committee members maintain a lively social media presence.
It supported a student-led project investigating the teaching of complementary and alternative medicine as part of medical school curricula.
HealthWatch welcomes proposals for funding for further projects.
Since 2002 the objective of the competition is to cultivate evidence-evaluation in future health professionals.