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How our work helped to shape local services in 2017/18 – The Healthwatch Suffolk Annual Report

How our work helped to shape local services in 2017/18 – The Healthwatch Suffolk Annual Report

Our annual report sets out how together we’re helping to make sure your views are heard in the places that matter. You can download the report below.

This year, we are highlighting outcomes from our work including specific research projectsvisits to local services and work across all levels of health and social care. We have shared examples of where your feedback has made a difference and how we have helped people to find support for their health and wellbeing

Five things we helped to improve this year:

  1. The publication of our report into children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing (“My Health, Our Future”) has influenced improved support in the county. In addition, schools received a report with data specific to their own pupils and students. This has enabled them to benchmark the wellbeing of their pupils and consider how they can re-evaluate their approach to supporting young people better in school.
  2. In partnership with the West Suffolk Maternity Voices Partnership, we brought about a commitment from NHS leaders to redesign tongue tie services in the county and encouraged local hospitals to educate staff, which will improve diagnosis and support for new parents. You can read stories from three local mums here.
  3. We encouraged NHS England to address a gap in community dentistry provision. Click here for more information.
  4. We represented Local Healthwatch across the East of England as part of efforts to scrutinise the performance of our ambulance services.
  5. We encouraged services to take action because patients told us about problems they were facing. This included a ward within Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust (click here) and a local GP practice (click here).

You can read more examples in our full report (Click here to download) or our summary report (Click here to download).

This year has seen us continue to build relationships with local organisations and partners across the NHS and social care sector. We have supported various GP practices to get a better understanding about the experience of patients and helped to shape their service planning. Our staff have supported a number of practices to communicate and engage with patients about changes they are making to their services.

We have worked ever closer with partners by attending important forums like our local Health and Overview Scrutiny Committee to shape and challenge plans for care services. This has also included the Health and Wellbeing Board, where our input has been a key influence in making co-production with patients, carers and the public a priority at every meeting.

Our work with the Care Quality Commission has helped to inform its inspections of local care services. We have also supported Healthwatch England to respond on key national health and care policy issues such as the Governments plans for children and young peoples wellbeing support and also the future of care and support in England.

“People have a keen interest in their health and social care services and rightly so. Throughout the year, we have met thousands of people; talking to them about their experiences and using them to influence decisions about our local services. We are proud of the impact we have continued to make and, with increasing awareness of Healthwatch throughout the county, we know that our voice and influence can only increase with positive outcomes for patients, service users and carers throughout Suffolk.” – Andy Yacoub (Chief Executive)

Finally, the report highlights our plans for the year ahead and this includes things like our report about people’s experiences of home care services (click here or the banner below), the next phase of our “My Health, Our Future” project (click here), our work to influence new approaches to health and care (click here) and our work with other organisations that will inform plans for the future of mental health services in east and west Suffolk (click here).

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We are Healthwatch Suffolk and are here to listen to your experiences of health and social care services in Suffolk so that we can use your views to make services better. We also provide information and signposting to help you navigate the health and social care system and understand what to do when things go wrong. We have the strength of the law behind us. It means that the people who run and pay for health and care services must respond to our concerns explaining what action they will take, or why they are not taking action. We get your voice heard where it matters; where decisions are made.

Click here to watch a short video about Healthwatch Suffolk.