Summary of report content
The annual report for 2018-19 was published by Healthwatch West Berkshire which highlighted their achievements for the year and the difference their work has made on peoples’ lives.
The report states that in 2018-19, 62 people shared their health and social care story with Healthwatch West Berkshire, which was 39% more than last year; they had support of 18 volunteers who helped to carry out their work; 25,565 people accessed advice and information online or contacted them with questions about local support; they visited 17 services, 39 community events and 244 meetings to understand people’s experience of care; they suggested 57 improvements, of which 35 have been adopted by services; and 38% more people engaged with them through their website and social media.
Their work has led to wide spread coverage about homelessness and the rough sleepers on local broadcast, print and online media resulting in the local MP raising the issue with the Minister of Health and the local council receiving £212,000 extra funding from the National Government via the Rough Sleepers Initiative Fund; they have also supported the Royal Berkshire Hospital to organise a screening of a film on fibromyalgia at Newbury College and at West Berkshire Community Hospital.
Over the next year, Healthwatch West Berkshire plans to play active role in Homeless Strategy Groups Winter Plan 2019; launch the Voice of Disability Report to the public; ensure the review of Crisis Services results in meaningful change for those suffering from Mental Health challenges; and continue to raise awareness about fibromyalgia in young people.