The head of Healthwatch England (HWE) has told MPs that people want to have their say, be taken seriously, and see an end to waste and duplication as they move between various parts of the NHS and social care.
Imelda Redmond, director of HWE, was giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Committee of MPs on 27 February 2018, during a hearing about how new bodies such as sustainability and transformation partnerships (STPs) and integrated care organisations (ICOs), could deliver integrated care.
Ms Redmond said that the public felt passionately about the health and care system. “They want to help the health and care system run more smoothly and to be an active part in any changes to how they’re run.” People did not want to be ‘done to’, Ms Redmond added.
Health services also seemed reluctant to go out to consult with the public “until they had an answer to consult on’, which was a mistake, Ms Redmond added. She called on organisations to use a range of different methods to get public views, and use ‘tangible’ language with local context that would help people understand any changes being proposed. Ms Redmond called for STPs to invest in communications and engagement staff to help make plans real to their communities.
Another charity representative giving evidence, also urged organisations to stop using jargon, because it was “ineffective” or “makes people suspicious”.
People can watch the evidence session at http://parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/ebca6c50-08af-4686-86e6-7628f054a831.