What matters most to people?
As 2015 draws to a close, we have been looking back at the great work the Healthwatch network has done this year.
All 148 local Healthwatch have worked throughout 2015 to represent people in their local areas and make their views on health and social care services heard.
They have prioritised the issues of greatest importance to the public and championed patient involvement in the changing health and social care environment.
We took a look through each of the annual reports that local Healthwatch produced this year and found that, based on the concerns raised with them by the public, the following were the six biggest areas of focus for their work:
- GP Services
- Mental Health
- Hospital and Unsafe Discharge
- Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Care Homes
- Patient Transport
But this is just the beginning - local Healthwatch have worked on a whole breadth of issues this year
And they have made a real impact. This was the second year that local Healthwatch have documented what they have achieved and we saw some great examples of how they have used people’s voices to influence positive change to local services. For example, local Healthwatch have been instrumental in giving people from across the community who are not always represented– such as young people, older people and people with mental health conditions – a platform to speak up about what they want and need from health and social care services.
So what does 2016 hold?
We know that people expect eight things from their health and social care – each of which is set out in our consumer principles, which we developed back in 2012 when Healthwatch began.
As we move into 2016, local Healthwatch will continue to listen to local people, to speak up on their behalf, and to call for changes where these expectations are not being met.
If you have a question or a comment about your local services, get in touch with your local Healthwatch.