Supporting Healthwatch to engage on the NHS long term plan

Healthwatch is an organisation which works to ensure the voice of patients is heard in every decision that affects them. Their sole focus is on understanding the needs, experiences and concerns of everyone who uses local services, so that they can provide the public with relevant information on how to access services. We work closely with both Healthwatch Coventry and Healthwatch Warwickshire to ensure our work takes their feedback into account, and they support us in making sure our engagement meets the needs of the population.

You can learn more about Healthwatch here: https://www.healthwatchcoventry.co.uk/ and https://www.healthwatchwarwickshire.co.uk/ 

The challenge

In 2019, the Government announced that the NHS budget will be increased by £20 billion a year. In January 2019, the NHS in England published an ambitious ten-year plan showing how this extra money will be spent.

What we did

From March to April 2019, we supported Healthwatch Coventry and Healthwatch Warwickshire, who led an engagement exercise get people’s feedback on the NHS Long Term Plan and what mattered most to them.

Healthwatch launched two surveys: a general survey, which asked how to make care better, and understanding what changes are needed to get people the support they need, and; a specific conditions survey, which asked about the health and care support that people received and what could be improved.

The surveys were available and promoted online and were also used to engage with local people face to face. Healthwatch also ran focus groups to gain insight on people’s thoughts on how to age well and the use of digital technology in supporting health and social care. The CCG assisted by promoting the survey and events to encourage participation on behalf of Healthwatch.

The findings from both surveys were supported from the discussions in the engagement work we collectively undertook and Healthwatch Warwickshire’s Wellbeing report.

Who we worked with

This engagement was led by Healthwatch Warwickshire and Healthwatch Coventry. The CCG supported by helping to promote involvement and participation.

The outcome

The General Survey illustrated that respondents in both Coventry and Warwickshire would like to see improved access to healthcare and would like to feel like they have been listened to. People continued to tell us that they have problems with transport and would like to have more choice when it comes to when and where they receive treatment.

The Specific Conditions survey told us that cancer services were good when it came to support, seeing a specialist, and getting good timely communications. Specific conditions such as autism clearly indicated that they felt waiting times were too long and that they received little or no support. A large proportion of respondents told us that waiting times continued to be a problem as well as accessing ongoing support.

Next steps

The feedback has been taken on board and helped to inform the Coventry and Warwickshire Health and Care Partnership’s new system plan, which will launch early in 2020 to outline the priorities and actions the local health and care system will take over the next 5 years to improve outcomes for our population.

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