Our team report for the past month

Posted 29/09/2017

Find out what the staff team at Healthwatch Reading have been doing during the past four weeks in our team report below.

5 September 2017: We welcomed Nisha Sharma to our offices, to hear about her role as the South Reading Macmillan Cancer Educator. Her work is funded by South Reading Clinical Commissioning Group, which wants to improve the rates of early diagnosis of cancer, especially among ethnic minority people. Too often, people may only be diagnosed when they turn up to the emergency department at hospital with advanced cancer. Nisha is going out talking to different communities to find out what they know about cancer, to educate them about how to spot symptoms and when to see a GP. We think this outreach approach is a great idea.

13 September 2017: We went along to hear, and ask questions about, latest decisions about primary care, at a meeting of the Primary Care Commissioning Committee. One issue discussed was a review of how new contracts were awarded to the organisations running Circuit Lane, Priory Avenue and South Reading surgeries, which are currently rated ‘inadequate’. Lessons learned included ensuring in the future, that patients are better informed, before, during and after an organisation takes over their GP surgery.

20 September 2017: We were bowled over by the enthusiasm from students when we took part in the University of Reading Freshers week. Almost 100 students (see photo)
completed our latest public survey, which asks people what they know about tuberculosis (TB). Reading has high rates of TB and young adults can be particularly affected.

23 September 2017: We were one of many local organisations who held information stalls at Royal Berkshire Hospital’s open day for members (members of the public who want to have a say, or are interested in, how the hospital is run). We were able to speak on the hospital radio about how we work and our project on TB. We chatted to many members of the public and it became clear how many Reading people value the chance to be involved in how local health services are run.

27 September 2017: Last but not least, we also attended Reading College Freshers’ Fair and had a wonderful afternoon meeting more young people to find out their views about TB. The survey runs until the end of October.

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