Local Healthwatch exists to listen to and work for our local population. We hear your experiences of local health and care and do pieces of work to improve care.
Our annual report summarises the work we did in 2021-22 to hear experiences, see services from the point of view of local people and support individuals by giving them information.
"When we are busily involved in our work we don't always notice the things we have done or reflect on the results. Doing our annual report helps us to think about this and remember that whilst sometimes change takes a long time to bring about, we are always making a difference."
Our pieces of work
Our volunteers did a 'mystery shop' of GP practice phone systems to see what they were like to use leading to a number of recommendations and changes beginning to happen. We continue to work for more.
We helped people who were finding it hard to get a COVID-19 jab by showing that some admin processes were not working. Those responsible for vaccination locally responded to our evidence of things not working well and improved how they helped people who had been missed.
We set up a new group of volunteers, our Clear Information Group, and they looked at a draft information booklet about GP practices and made it shorter and easier to understand.
We did our role of sharing feedback and concerns about local services with other bodies who are responsible for how they run.
We asked questions, scrutinised plans and worked to make sure patients and the public have a stronger voice in NHS and care services. We also worked as part of the Healthwatch network with Healthwatch England
Top 4 topics of contacts with our information helpline were:
- COVID-19 vaccination 28%
- Access to services 20%
- Concerns about quality of care 10%
- Communication issues 6%
Our priorities for 2022–23 are:
- Access to NHS services including impact of non face to face appointments
- Local people being heard and involved in plans for NHS and care services
- Better quality (relevant and understandable) information for the public about local NHS and care services