Healthwatch carry out independent research and evaluations on different aspects of health and social care that are driven by feedback that we receive from the public.
The aim of Healthwatch Walsall is to give citizens and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided within their locality. Local Healthwatch provides, or signposts, people to information to help them make choices about health and care services.
Healthwatch is about both obtaining views and experiences about health and social care from the public and sharing information we have gathered about these services with the public. We do this by engaging with Walsall communities and especially with those whose voices are seldom heard.
Engagement can be anything from having conversations with people about their experiences of using services, to surveys, consultations, and involvement in service redesign.
We undertake engagement through our own staffing resources and also through commissioned engagement using other resources.
Here is our services intelligence report. From what you, the public, have told Healthwatch Walsall. Click Here
Please leave your health and social care service experience on our 24/7 online Experience Exchange. Click Here Or look out for us when we are out and about and chat face to face. Compliments, Concerns or Complaints.
Accident and Emergency Services (A & E)
The remit for this group is to look at issues around patient satisfaction with A & E particularly highlighting communications and waiting times in A & E. The group has made good progress in gathering data and intelligence regarding attendance at A and E since 2012 to the present, particularly looking to see if there is any correlation in relation to GP Practice areas and postcode areas.
The group has recognised that whilst there may be structural problems within the service itself (space, facilities and resources) there are wider problems caused by availability of GP appointments, bed blocking and problems with discharge processes. The group are to arrange announced and unannounced visits to A & E and meet with key staff in the service.
We are also gathering the views of people that have experienced A & E attendance in the last 6 months, the Step Down discharge service and discharge into the Community to gain information on people’s experiences. This group is expected to complete its work and publish a report around October 2015.
Satisfaction with GP services was high on the list following our Service Watch 1 survey.
The group are therefore focusing on GP satisfaction and performance and have so far gathered intelligence through the GP national patient survey. The group have recognised a need to gather evidence directly from patients at practices and have developed a survey used by Healthwatch elsewhere. This has been adapted to include softer details about how people feel as well as information about appointments etc.
The group has also asked for a Premises Audit to be carried out of all GP Practices in respect of Disability Access, child friendliness and how welcoming they are for patients. This has been commissioned by the Healthwatch Board through Walsall Disability Forum.
Our rationale for this work has been explained to NHS England (Local area Team) and Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group and more recently the GP Primary Care Provider Committee.
We have good support for carrying out the surveys at individual practices through the Patient Reference Group Network (every GP Practice should have one of these) and through trained Volunteers.
We will also be collating surveys through our engagement work over the summer months with the aim of preparing a findings report in September 2015.This is an important piece of work since it can also provide some baseline data on satisfaction which can be tested in 12 months time to see if there has been any changes as a result of the GP services commissioning process which changed in April this year.
This group is picking up on concerns raised through Service Watch 1 about the integration of services between Hospital and Community Services. The particular theme being examined is the process of discharge from hospital.
Following an extensive media campaign we have collected around 35 case studies many of which highlight a number of concerns in relation to communication, organisation and information. 112 questionnaires were also completed by the public.
The final draft has been discussed with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, Walsall Council’s Adult Social Care Service and Walsall Clinical Commissioning Group and will be publicly launched in September , Health & Wellbeing Board (October 2015) and Health & Social Care Scrutiny Panel.
HOSPITAL AND COMMUNITY INTELLIGENCE GROUP
This is a new group which is being established to gather intelligence about people’s experiences of hospital services and also how they integrate with Community services which also form part of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s responsibilities.
This intelligence will be fed into the Care Quality Commission’s Inspection of Walsall Healthcare which is to be carried out in early September.
We will be promoting further data and information gathering for this Inspection and meeting dates with the Inspectors.
This workstream has met a number of times to look at the current situation with regards to obesity in Walsall. Consideration is being given to working collectively across the Black Country as the data suggests that obesity is a concern wider than just Walsall.
The group has met with Public Health Walsall and other key players to help it understand the current situation with regards to appreciating and understanding the plans throughout the borough with regards to obesity and how they will impact on improving the situation.
Almost 500 surveys have been collected from across the Borough and it is expected that this group will be issuing it’s report in Autumn 2015.
PHARMACEUTICAL NEEDS ASSESSMENT (PNA)
Health and Wellbeing Boards are required to carry out an update review of the 2011 Pharmaceutical Needs assessment and have it published ready for Public use by 1st April 2015.
Public Health Walsall was charged with carrying out this PNA review and Healthwatch Walsall was invited to sit on that review committee.
One major omission in the PNA review process was the apparent lack of requirement to obtain and report on the opinions, concerns, and satisfaction levels of Walsall Pharmacy’s by the people of Walsall. Registering experiences about their prescription and over the counter medications and other services they receive from Pharmacies across Walsall was seen as crucial to Healthwatch Walsall.
Because of this Healthwatch Walsall carried out a Survey which in five weeks collected nearly 800 pieces of information from eleven different Post Code areas across Walsall.
Our Interim report was published with an undertaking from Public Health to use the data we submitted in their PNA report to be presented to Walsall Health and Wellbeing Board in early 2015.
A final follow up report on the PNA using more complete survey data was published in February 2015 and reported independently to Walsall Health and Wellbeing board ensuring the public’s voice in Walsall is heard and acted upon when new Pharmacy services are planned and commissioned in the future.
SOCIAL CARE INTELLIGENCE GROUP
This group has been set up to be the eyes and ears for elderly Social Care users in the Borough of Walsall in order to identify any issues / concerns that need to be addressed.
The intelligence gathered by this group will feed into the Enter & View process that Healthwatch has established.
Please do contact us if you have had good or bad experiences of these services or leave a review on this website.