Our future focus
We have started work on a new strategy, asking the public, our staff, volunteers and other stakeholders where we should focus our efforts to make the biggest difference. We will consult further about our strategy later this year but, from what people have told us so far, we know we will need to focus on the following priorities.
Empowering people and communities
Health and social care is going through a huge period of change. People have told us that they want to play their part by being empowered to take more control of their own health and care, as well the decisions that affect them, their families and local communities.
Our challenge is to establish how the Healthwatch network can help deliver this aspiration by raising awareness of how people can have their say and supporting more people to do so.
A stronger Healthwatch network
We have come a long way since we started and our staff and volunteers are keen to do much more to make a difference to people. The country has to tackle some big questions about how we build future health and social care services that can not only meet the rising demand for care, but also people’s individual needs.
To do this, we need to explore how we can engage more sections of the community and work together to help champion the views of the public.
Ensuring people’s views help improve care
We need to do more to make every view count. Health and social care professionals have said that they want to use our evidence to improve the efficiency and quality of care and shape services. To do this, we need to make accessing that information easier.
Communities want to play a greater role in setting health and care priorities but, for that to happen, we need a culture where people are seen by services as partners.
Above all, people want to be able to access, on an equal basis with others, high quality health and social care support that meets their needs. For us this means a greater focus on highlighting when this does not happen and encouraging policymakers and professionals to act.
The Healthwatch network has already made real progress in supporting people from every part of the community to speak up and to help ensure that health and social care works for everyone.
Next year, we will share our new strategy setting out how we will go even further – working with professionals and the public - to help make care better.