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Agenda item

Healthwatch Annual Report/Work Programme


Emma Whitby, Islington Healthwatch was present for discussion of this item and made a presentation to the Committee, copy interleaved. Members noted that one of the documents in the pack was in fact a draft and she apologised for this, and it was noted that a new document would be provided for Members


During consideration of the report the following main points were made –


·         Healthwatch is part of a national network, is 5 years old, and is part funded by LBI, and funding is being sought from other sources. Funding from LBI is to fulfil the statutory functions of the Health and Social Care Act 2013

·         Healthwatch gather and report views on health and social care, and to provide people with information on services. It is a charitable company and takes a collaborative, critical friend approach

·         To date this year, 47000 people have been reached on social media, 26 volunteers helped with things like mystery shopping to blogging, and reports have tackled issues ranging from autism and accessible information, through to hospital discharge and reablement. 101 people have been spoken to about mental health day services, 42 local service have been visited and over 300 people have been given advice and information

·         Healthwatch brought commissioners and service users together, in August 2017, to discuss how to improve support for adults with ADHD. As a result, commissioners have redesigned the service to make more support available to people, before they have been clinically assessed. In particular, a psychosocial group at the point of referral is now available

·         When working with partners, Healthwatch want to share responsibility and finances fairly, and bring resources to small grass roots organisations, supporting their development, through training and skills sharing and valuing their expertise. Healthwatch works with community health voices, such as ethnic minority organisations,and the Manor Gardens Centre, and Elfrida Society. Other partnerships are being sought

·         In 2018/19 Healthwatch aims to continue to deliver its signposting service to at least 200 residents, reflecting the diversity of the borough, to have a co-signed statement in response to the Camden and Islington Estates Strategy, to start resident engagement in Day Centre Specification design and procurement, to have a programme of information stalls linked to protective characteristics and other vulnerabilities, to seek community views on health and care,and to liaise with diverse community health voices to gather BME input on primary care

·         In addition, other measures, such as patient group meetings on key topics of relevance, and a response to key consultations from NHS England and the Green paper on Social Care will be actioned. Healthwatch will also be seeking views about resident’s experiences in elderly care homes, and to assess in hospitals the implementation of the Accessible Information Standard

·         Volunteers from London Metropolitan University designed and delivered a project about social isolation, and volunteers also gathered views on community services and phoned GP surgeries to find out what support is offered to patients with autism. Healthwatch has also influenced future plans on pharmacy spending, and trained 126 older residents with health conditions to use their smartphone to access information about health services, book GP appointments 7 days a week, and find low cost opportunities for self -care, such as keep fit classes

·         Members were of the view that during the scrutiny review that they were undertaking in relation to GP surgeries, that evidence has shown that where there is a large concentration of social housing ill health is more prevalent. Members were of the view that Healthwatch should consider looking at this in a future work programme


The Chair thanked Emma Whitby for her presentation



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