Making the most of the information you share with us
What happens to the information that is collected from the public?
Once local Healthwatch discover an issue, they create reports to highlight these concerns to local providers and commissioners in order to bring about change.
In the last year, we’ve looked at over 667 local Healthwatch reports, alongside other views and comments shared securely with us from our network, to see what people across England are saying about health and care issues.
As well as looking closely at the issues people are talking about, my team also see if there are any trends, for example whether a particular community group is affected, or if the concern is about a specific provider.
What do you do when you notice an issue?
Every day we review the information that comes in. On a weekly basis we consider any new or emerging issues that we may want to keep an eye on. For example, when I noticed that lots of people were commenting on dementia, I raised this at our monthly meeting where we decided if we needed more information to develop our understanding of the topic. This helps us to build a national overview of what types of health and care concerns people have across the country.
Many of the issues people share with us confirm or build on what we have already heard. Each quarter, we aim to publish an overview of these issues, which we share with our national partners, to help bring about change.
- What do people think of dementia services?
- Are people experiencing problems accessing social care support?
What health and care issues have you heard about?
We hear the good and the bad from people about health and care issues that affect their lives. From widespread issues like not being able to get a doctor's appointment to having a poor experience accessing patient transport services.
In the case of our work on dementia, we heard from over 1,000 people about their experiences of dementia care. Whilst in most cases people found care to be compassionate and considerate, there were also things that could be better. One of the top concerns was needing more information about dementia services and the support available after a patient is diagnosed. You can read more about what people told us in our dementia briefing.
At the start of the year, we published a list of the top health and care concerns that our network is working on, with mental health in the spotlight for a second year.
Why is it important for people to keep sharing their experiences?
Health and care services can only improve if people speak up about the issues they face. We need you to share your experiences so that we can continue to raise awareness of issues that affect people when they use services. Our job is to make sure that people who run and plan services really listen to what people are saying. By sharing your story it could help prevent other people from experiencing the same problems.
We're running a campaign to encourage more people to contact their local Healthwatch and #SpeakUp about their ideas and experiences. You can still share your views on social media or alternatively speak to your local Healthwatch.