Healthwatch is making a difference nationally

Healthwatch’s work, highlighting people’s experiences of health and care, has formed part of a major House of Lords report on learning key lessons from the health pandemic.
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The House of Lords' Public Services Committee has used evidence from Healthwatch in its report published on Friday outlining what we should learn from delivering health and care services during Covid-19 and whether different approaches have worked or not. It asks the government to urgently address these Covid findings saying it is a landmark event similar in magnitude to the Second World War and should herald an important transformation in health and care.

Healthwatch’s insight into patient experiences was used in the report, to understand how services can be improved and inequalities exposed by Covid-19 - including its disproportionate effect on Black and Ethnic Minorities and those with learning and other disabilities - reduced going forward. The aim is for services to be designed and delivered with help from the public who used them.

People all round the country have told HW their experiences of care workers, hospital discharge, Coivd testing and Zoom appointments which have been passed on to the House of Lord’s Public Service Committee.  The committee's report suggests a long-term review of the good and bad changes to services and problems exposed by the pandemic to bring about a series of urgent and necessary improvements. This is particularly important for those most affected by the pandemic and who struggled to get online or needed advice in other languages or easy read formats.

Healthwatch gave examples of how the switch to online technology for appointments might be more efficient but didn’t always have the right outcome for patients many of who faced barriers to actually use the changed service.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BETTER HEALTH AND CARE

· Reduce the deep and ongoing health inequalities which have been exacerbated by COVID-19;

· Assess the changes that have been made to the way health and social care services are delivered to ensure that positive changes are not lost; and

· Involve users in the design and delivery of public services.

The full report is available here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/3438/documents/32865/default/

 

Speak to HW when you use a health and care service. Your views will make a difference and will be passed on to those delivering and planning services.

It appears that people don’t have a choice of opting for a face to face appointment or even a choice of phone or video appointment.  This is problematic for some people.  For example, we have heard that people who have hearing impairments have been offered phone appointments, and people with limited English not being able to opt for a face to face appointment. 
— Healthwatch's evidence to House of Lords

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