Who are the health and care organisations that make up BSW Together? Over the coming months the Triangle is featuring a mini profile of each of our partners in every issue, giving you an overview of the work they do and an understanding of how they are part of our health and care partnership. This month, we take a look at the Healthwatch organisations in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire.
The Healthwatch groups in BSW are part of Healthwatch England, a statutory body whose purpose is to understand the needs, experiences and concerns of people who use health and social care services and to speak out on their behalf. Healthwatch organisations act as independent health and social champions for people who use health and social care services. There are over 150 local Healthwatch groups across England.
Healthwatch organisations are funded by the Department of Health and Social Care which gives money to local councils so they can commission local Healthwatch services.
Vision: A world where we can all get the health and care we need
Mission: To make sure people’s experiences help make health and care better
Values: Listening Including Analysing Acting Partnering
Healthwatch B&NES and Healthwatch Swindon: Projects Portfolio Manager: Amritpal Kaur
Healthwatch Wiltshire Interim Manager: Catharine Symington
Healthwatch operates in each of BSW ICB’s three localities – Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire. They have offices in Trowbridge, Bristol and Swindon
Healthwatch organisations in BSW have a small core team of staff but much of their work is carried out and supported by a band of volunteers, who are from all over the BSW area. Through the efforts of volunteers working in local communities, Healthwatch is better able to understand what is working and what needs improving in NHS and social care.
If you would like to find out more about volunteering for Healthwatch click here. Healthwatch Wiltshire is also currently looking for a Volunteering and Partnerships Lead to recruit, train and manage volunteers and help build strong partnerships with organisations across Wiltshire. For more information visit https://www.healthwatchwiltshire.co.uk/work-us
What does Healthwatch do?
Healthwatch in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire are independent organisations and their statutory role is to find out what people want from health and social care services.
They listen to public feedback on services to better understand the challenges facing the NHS and other care providers and make sure people’s experiences are used to improve health and care services for everyone.
They also help people to get information and advice to help them get the support they need – this could be through signposting to a service.
Healthwatch uses surveys to gather feedback on specific services and health conditions and then feedback results in the form of a report to service providers, making recommendations as to how services could be improved.
They decide on their projects and priorities based on what people are talking to them about most, and where they know we will be able to make a difference.
Healthwatch is also sometimes commissioned by a provider, such as the BaNES, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, to carry out engagement work on their behalf.
It then follows up on these projects to see what changes have been made, so they can let the public know how their feedback has led to improvements.
Healthwatch also gets out and about to events throughout the year, to listen to people’s experiences and give them signposting advice.
Why is the role of Healthwatch in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire on BSW ICS important?
“Healthwatch organisations in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire act as health and care champions for local people, gathering feedback and working to ensure their experiences are used to improve services for everyone.
As such we play a crucial role in the BSW Integrated Care system, ensuring voices and views are taken into account in a collaborative way by those running and planning services.”
Healthwatch England www.healthwatch.co.uk
Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset https://healthwatchbathnes.co.uk/
Healthwatch Swindon https://www.healthwatchswindon.org.uk/
Healthwatch Wiltshire: https://www.healthwatchwiltshire.co.uk/