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Your health and care: What can we do to make the biggest difference?

20/06/17

We need your views and ideas to make sure that health and social care services work for those who use them. Help us shape our new strategy, which launches in 2018.

Our National Director Imelda Redmond, and Chair Jane Mordue, explain more.

Man waiting in doctors

Next year, we want to launch a new strategy setting out how, at Healthwatch England, we will play our part in making sure that health and social care services work for people. But we need your views and ideas to help us get there.

The back story

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 set a powerful ambition to put people at the centre of health and care. To make this happen, the reforms created a local Healthwatch in every area of England, as well as Healthwatch England as a national body.

From the start our goal has been to understand the needs, ideas and experiences of every section of the community and ensure they are heard by the people making national decisions about health and care. We have also supported local Healthwatch to do this locally.

What matters to people?

As part of our first strategy we worked to understand what really mattered to the users of health and social care services.

And their expectations were clear. People want services that help them stay well, rather than just treat them when they are ill. They want support that takes all their needs into account, not just some of them. And they want the power to be an equal partner in their care.

We then focussed on developing the potential of the Healthwatch network to raise awareness of people’s concerns and to make sure that future services are built to meet people’s needs.

Progress check

We’ve come a long way in the 245 weeks since we were established. Our network is driven by 6,000 volunteers and 800 staff, who speak to people everyday to find out whether health and care is working in communities across the country.

It’s thanks to the thousands of people who have already shared their views, and the readiness of services to listen, that we’ve been able to make an impact on a host of issues. Our unique connection to every town and city in the country means we get to hear about what matters to people right now, and to work with partners to help make change happen. And now we want to go further.

There is a universal truth to running a successful service. The better you know your customer, the better service you can deliver.

With the NHS and social care having to help more people with fewer resources, it has never been more important for services to understand health and care from the public’s perspective.

The traditional approach to providing care is changing to help make services more efficient and better at delivering tailored support. But how will services know if these reforms are working if they don’t listen to the public?

People have told us that they understand the challenges services face and want to play a bigger role in looking after themselves.

To be effective our future strategy will need to take into account questions such as: What role could technology play in supporting people to stay well and manage any conditions they face? Let us know where you think we should focus our efforts and help make health and social care work for everyone.


Next steps

Find out more about our work to develop our future strategy and have your say what we should be working on in the year's to come. 

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