In its latest Annual Report, Together we’re making health and social care better, Healthwatch Wolverhampton highlights how it has listened to Wolverhampton residents and shared their feedback to help NHS and social care decision makers prioritise the issues that matter most to local people.
Healthwatch Wolverhampton published four reports last year about the improvements people would like to see to local services. Here are some of the ways patient and public feedback was used to shape health and care in Wolverhampton.
Improving access to GP services: Healthwatch Wolverhampton investigated how easy it is for people to access GP services by phone, and whether access had improved or worsened during the year. They reported to Wolverhampton’s Health Scrutiny Panel and to individual Primary Care Networks highlighting where improvements are required.
Improving the quality of residential care: As part of its partnership working with the City of Wolverhampton Council and the Care Quality Commission, Healthwatch Wolverhampton visited two care homes to support quality monitoring of residential care in the city. Their reports highlighted examples of good practice and areas for improvement.
Health and care strategy and service development for the city: Healthwatch Wolverhampton has worked with health and care partners and decision makers to make sure patient voice in central to health and care strategy and service development. For example, using feedback to inform the city’s new autism strategy; advocating for better adult mental health support to be included in the city’s Joint Strategic Needs Assessment; making sure hospitals and maternity services provide safe and dignified care by supporting the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s hospital assessments, and by working with the Maternity Voices Partnership; and by working with the new Black Country Integrated Care Board to support their Healthier Future Strategy.
Supporting young people to stay healthy and well: Healthwatch Wolverhampton worked with university students throughout the year, raising awareness of local services, including support with mental health, autism, and the rising cost of living, and they helped students advocate for better GP care.
Healthwatch Wolverhampton also announced three projects it will work on during 2023-24:
- Improving access to GP services (phone systems and websites)
- Mental health support for people with autism
- Monitoring the quality of care homes.
Announcing the annual report, Stacey Lewis, Healthwatch Wolverhampton Manager, said: “This has been a year of change, for Healthwatch Wolverhampton as we established a new local team, and for health and care services in the city as the new Black Country Integrated Care System (ICS) came into power. We have worked hard to connect and engage with our diverse communities, to champion their views and to help them access services. And we have strengthened relationships with our health and care partners, so that public feedback and collaboration are embedded in service development and improvement. I want to thank everyone who has supported our work this year; your continued engagement is vital as we strive to create a healthier future for everyone in our community.”
Read the full Healthwatch Wolverhampton’s Annual Report 2022-23 to find out more.