Find out the highlights of Healthwatch Reading’s work, during the month of November 2017:
21 November 2017: We decided the next public engagement projects we will work on, following discussion at the Healthwatch Reading board meeting held in public at central Library.
All local Healthwatch have statutory duties to ‘make a difference locally’ and empower ‘community voice and influence’ by giving people an opportunity to share their experiences of local health or social care services. We then publish our findings, which highlight good practice and/or recommend any improvements to local decision-makers who fund or run services.
At the board meeting, we agreed a range of proposals for our next round of work:
- visiting and listening to experiences of people living in care homes in Reading
- running a survey to establish public awareness about new structures that are planning and funding local services (the Accountable Care System and Sustainability and Transformaition Programme) and working with organisations to ensure the public is involved in a project to change hospital outpatient services
- working with local charities to connect with the local people they support, and to advise local charities on how to support people with queries about NHS concerns; or
- partnering with local support organisations to co-produce a survey to find out the experience of people who are lesbian, bisexual, gay, or transgender, when using local services.
Healthwatch Reading projects between July and September included asking communities what they know about TB. In October we also worked with other local Healthwatch to interview people staying as inpatients at Prospect Park Hospital. Reports on these will be made public in coming months.
A final message for 2017: We wish all the people of Reading a happy and safe Christmas and holiday period. Our office and helpline will be closed Monday 25 December 2018 through to 1 January 2018, and we will re-open again on Tuesday 2 January 2018. If you need urgent health advice you can call the NHS helpline 111 for information on self care at home, or whether you need to visit a pharmacy, GP, or A&E department. If you need help for social care issues, such as an older person needing help to stay safe in their home, telephone Reading Borough Council’s adult social services on 0118 937 3747. The Samaritans can also be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, free from any phone, on 116 123, if you need to talk about any concerns, worries, troubles, or suicidal feelings.