Healthwatch England’s ‘It Starts With You’Campaign wants to hear from you

Healthwatch Sefton, the local health and social care consumer champion, has been supporting Healthwatch England’s It Starts With You campaign with a number of initiatives within the borough.

Today (Wednesday) the Healthwatch Sefton team is at Strand House in Bootle to engage with those within the 123 flats and to capture any feedback on the health services they use.

Over the last year, more than 3,000 local residents have shared their stories with Healthwatch Sefton to help identify where things weren’t working and let doctors, nurses and care workers know when they were getting it right. The aim is for Wednesday’s visit to add to this picture by listening to what the residents have to say with all responses being anonymous.

This follows a co-ordinated Listening Event earlier in July when eight local Healthwatch visited Accident & Emergency departments throughout Cheshire and Merseyside at the same time, on the same day, and asking people the same questions from a pre-arranged survey.

Two members of Healthwatch Sefton spent the afternoon at Southport and Formby District General Hospital A+E department where they captured feedback from 24 people.

This information will be included in a wider Healthwatch report intended to gain insight as to why people attend A+E and where pressures elsewhere in the system may affect demand on the emergency department. It is hoped a follow-up survey will also add to the picture of A+E demand.

In another initiative to coincide with the It Starts With You campaign, Betty Boner, Healthwatch Sefton Engagement and Participation Officer, linked in with Southport and Ormskirk NHS Hospital Trust’s recent launch of their Experience of Care Strategy. Betty gathered people’s feedback at Southport Hospital on the different services provided at the site and shared comments such as: “I received fantastic aftercare” and “I meet up with other people who were (at the clinic) at the same time. We now support each other”.

The Healthwatch network exists to make it straightforward for people to give feedback about health and social care services. Healthwatch Sefton has made this easy by providing a specific Feedback Centre on its website (www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk) where people can also rate their GP practice, dental surgery or hospital clinic – all anonymously.