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The role of an Authorised Representative of Healthwatch Staffordshire
At Healthwatch Staffordshire, our team of Authorised Representatives are a valuable asset, working within our Enter and View programme. Our Enter and View visits are made to a variety of services including Residential and Nursing homes, Day Opportunities services, GP surgeries and Hospitals.
During the coronavirus pandemic, we have suspended visits to services, but we trust that once the pandemic had been dealt with and life returns to normal, we will be able to resume this important activity.
Our Authorised Representatives undertake specific training to be able to make these visits, usually in teams of two, although for larger services, this could be up to four. The purpose of these visits is to provide an insight of the service from the resident or service users perspective. It gives people a voice, they are able to express what works well and highlight any areas where improvements could be considered. They also talk to the staff and management to learn more about the running of the service, which is important, as it is helpful to have a good understanding of the service, how it operates and any challenges that are faced.
Our Authorised Representatives work to a detailed questionnaire, tailored to a specific type of service in order to capture the relevant information, from the practical things such as cleanliness and catering to activities available to care home residents and the support they receive to follow their interests and hobbies. We also try to capture peoples experience and welcome all the positive things that people have to say as well as any concerns they may wish to express. The Authorised Representatives write up a report, focusing on various quality criteria, and they have an opportunity to make recommendations in respect of any areas that may benefit from improvement and in turn made a better experience of people using the services or living at the home.
The report is shared with the service management in order that that have an opportunity to make any factual amendments and respond to the report. Many services are willing to take on board any recommendations as they wish to continually improve their service.
Our report is then shared with appropriate regulatory bodies, such as the Care Quality Commission or the Local Authority and published on the Healthwatch Staffordshire website.
Your can see our Enter and View reports on our website: https://healthwatchstaffordshire.co.uk/enter-view-reports/
Healthwatch Staffordshire would like to thank our fantastic team of Authorised Representatives for all their time, knowledge and experience, as they are essential to our Enter and View programme.