Local health and care champion, Healthwatch Wandsworth, which is delivered by WCA, marks the difference the public have made to improve NHS and social care services.
In 2013, Healthwatch Wandsworth was launched with one simple aim, to make sure NHS leaders and other decision-makers hear the care experiences of people in Wandsworth and use your feedback to improve support. Healthwatch Wandsworth also helps people to find reliable and trustworthy information and advice.
Over the last decade, over 10,000 stories have been shared by people in Wandsworth, good and bad, with Healthwatch Wandsworth. They’ve been telling us what’s working and what isn’t regarding health and social care. With the help of local people, Healthwatch Wandsworth has been able to help improve health and social care services in Wandsworth.
To mark this important milestone, we are celebrating the contribution of our Healthwatch Heroes – our volunteers, the members of the public who have spoken up about their care and the health and social care professionals who have acted on this feedback.
The difference people in Wandsworth have made
The evidence provided by local people’s experiences has helped improve NHS and social care services nationally and locally.
Last year the Healthwatch network supported more than two million people to have their say on care and get the right advice.
Here are just some of the ways people helped make a difference in 2021-22:
- Healthwatch research exploring vaccine confidence with people from different backgrounds provided vital lessons for public health campaigns.
- Public feedback helped highlight the negative impact poor NHS admin can have and recommended five principles for services to improve people’s experiences.
- The Government updated national hospital discharge guidance to put patient safety first, thanks to the views of patients and carers.
- NHS England announced improvements to non-emergency patient transport services thanks to public feedback.
- After Healthwatch and other organisations called for an urgent response to hospital waiting lists, and better interim communication and support, the NHS set out a recovery plan to address the backlog.
- Healthwatch uncovered that only a third of NHS Trusts fully comply with their duty to help patients with sensory impairments and learning disabilities, which has helped lead to a national review of the Accessible Information Standard.
More people urged to get involved
Commenting on the anniversary, Stephen Hickey, chair of Healthwatch Wandsworth said:
“Over the last ten years, we’ve been able to help improve health and social care services for people in Wandsworth. But nothing would have changed if local people had not spoken up about their care and services had not listened. So thank you to all our volunteers, and everyone else who has played their part.
“However, we can’t stop here. With NHS and social care services facing such big challenges, your feedback is more critical than ever. By sharing your experience, you can help professionals to put themselves in your shoes, to understand your reality and the issues that need tackling to improve care.
“So next time you use a health or care service, take a moment to share your experience. It won’t take long and could make a real difference in making care better for you and your community.”