Happy 8th Birthday Healthwatch Staffordshire!
Happy Birthday to Healthwatch!
Healthwatch Staffordshire is 8 today.
Happy Birthday to all our current and former Volunteers, Advisory Board Members and Staff that have been part of the Healthwatch Staffordshire journey to date. We could not have done it without everyone in Staffordshire who share their experiences of receiving health care or adult social care or both.
In the early years Healthwatch staged public meetings to support communications on the transfer of services from Stafford to Stoke and reviewing the equality delivery system for one Trust, the dementia pathway for another, conducting a very comprehensive and widespread review of support for carers. We worked to ensure there was a strong public voice in the emerging transformation programme – the Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) being driven forward under the “Together We’re Better” banner and the setting up of a patient reference group to help Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust inform the work they were doing with Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to align services, in the end actually merging but ensuring the patient voice was heard.
Two topics that we continued to work on to ensure peoples voices continued to be heard, notably gaining agreement to an STP “Guide to Engagement and Consultation” setting out clear standards for the involvement of the public as well as setting up an Ambassadors programme, with the aim of recruiting and training up to 200 members of the public and frontline NHS and social care staff so that they could talk about the STP with their own networks, and feedback views to inform the future development of the STP.
We have looked at a range of issues including:
- Non urgent patient transport
- Day services for people with Learning Disabilities
- Discharge to Assess
- Improving Prison Engagement
- Young People, emotional wellbeing in schools
- Recruitment of 15 maternity champions as part of the Maternity Transformation Plan and the Maternity Voices Partnership
- NHS Long Term Plan engagement
- Access to GP appointments
Along the way the work of Healthwatch Staffordshire has been recognised nationally by our national body Healthwatch England receiving a number of Network Awards at the annual event for all 152 local Healthwatch organisations:
- “Most Outstanding Healthwatch Team of the Year” 2014
- “Making a difference to Social Care” 2015
- “Volunteering” 2017
- “Championing diversity and inclusion” 2018
- Along with four other ‘Highly Commended’ awards
We’ve come a long way over 8 years but the work doesn’t stop here, with your support and that of our volunteers and staff we will continue to champion the voice of people using health and social care services to seek to influence and improve services for everyone in Staffordshire.