Listening to the public is key to understanding their health needs - insight into Public Health's local priorities

Healthwatch will be working with the local Public Health directors to ensure more people are able to access the services they need to stay fit and well. Healthwatch is helping to inform the public of this work to mark Self Care Week (November 18-24).
matt lenny

The Director of Public Health for North Somerset, Matt Lenny, told us in a presentation at our recent AGM, that the views of local people were very important so key points about services were fed back to decision-makers.

Local councils, the BNSSG commissioning group, as well as us here at Healthwatch, have representatives on the Health and Wellbeing Board which puts together information about the area called a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). It is a continuous process of logging information about the community so a series of priorities are identified to ensure services meet people’s needs. Improving the quality of services for people and finding out what people think of them is the core part of Healthwatch’s work aiming to listening to patients' views all over Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos.

Matt Lenny told us there are key objectives in North Somerset which will help create a list of investigation topics to be developed by March 2020. The Board will consider these and then select up to three priority investigations for the 2020/21 year. Healthwatch plans to link up with the Public Health objectives in Bristol and South Glos over the coming weeks.

What does the JSNA look like? Included in this round-up of data is:-

  • Demographics of the area, and needs of people of all ages including how needs vary for people at different stages of their life.
  • How needs may be harder to meet for those in disadvantaged areas or vulnerable groups who experience inequalities, such as people who find it difficult to access services; and those with complex and multiple needs. 
  • Wider social, environmental and economic factors that impact on health and wellbeing such as access to green space, the impact of climate change, air quality, housing, community safety, transport, economic circumstances, employment.

Do health and social care services know what you really think?

Share your ideas and experiences and help services hear what works, what doesn’t, and what you want from care in the future. 

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