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Healthwatch England’s National Director gives evidence to Health and Social Care Select Committee
Health and social care services are changing, but how effective are they at involving the public? Our National Director shared the experiences of local Healthwatch with the Health and Social Care Select Committee.
Yesterday, our National Director, Imelda Redmond, gave evidence to the House of Commons Health Committee inquiry: Integrated care: organisations, partnerships and systems.
The inquiry, which held its first oral evidence session after inviting organisations to submit written evidence, also featured Dr Charlotte Augst, Partnerships Director at The Richmond Group, Don Redding, Director of Policy at National Voices and Kate Duxbury, Research Director at Ipsos MORI.
What was the inquiry about?
The session examined:
- What health and care might look like in the future if Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) are effective
- Good examples of communication and engagement with the public
- How STPs can better work with the voluntary sector.
- How are people's views influencing health reforms?
- Do you understand how hospitals, GPs and care services are changing in your area?
What was said?
Imelda told the committee about the experiences of Healthwatch working with STPs at a local level. She highlighted that while there is variation out there, the best examples are where STPs have emerged out of pre-existing initiatives to create better integrated services.
She also highlighted examples of where STPs had worked well to engage their local communities. Imelda talked about the work that the Suffolk and North East Essex STP had done to share its plans in a way that made them meaningful to the public. She also talked about the good engagement undertaken by local Healthwatch in South West London that made the most of links between local voluntary organisations, Healthwatch and the public.
When talking about what STPs should consider doing in the future to improve the way they speak with people, Imelda outlined how good communications and engagement were imperative to take people with them in introducing changes.
Imelda used the evidence session to call for the introduction of a new metric that tracks the progress of each STP in engaging their communities. She also highlighted the need for independent STP Board Chairs to be appointed to overcome vested interests in the STP process.
Find out more
To find out more, read Healthwatch England’s written evidence submission to the inquiry or watch the session in full.