Meet a member of our team...
Delia Fitzsimmons, Outreach & Engagement Lead
Delia joined Healthwatch Wandsworth in April of this year, but worked closely with us before that as an integral part of Wandsworth Care Alliance (WCA), our partner organisation. We’re excited to have Delia join us, as she brings many skills and a lot of experience to the team. So we thought you’d like to learn a bit more about her.
Delia is originally from Dundee in Scotland. She graduated in Business Studies & Human Resource Management and worked in Human Resource Management for 10 years prior to joining WCA in October 2012 as a Volunteer Coordinator. In her capacity as Volunteer Coordinator, Delia has gained an increased understanding of different service user groups’ needs in the Wandsworth area, which is an excellent starting point for her new role as Outreach & Engagement Lead.
Delia is excited about joining the Healthwatch team and is looking forward to using her skills to help make positive changes both on the ground and at commissioning level.
Welcome to the team Delia!
What's new at Healthwatch Wandsworth?
Welcome back Ambra!
Auf wiedersehen, Lauren
Following an absence of one year, Ambra is back from maternity leave after giving birth to identical twin girls! Mother and daughters are all doing well and we’re very pleased to have Ambra back with us, leading the team forward into what we’re sure will be a very exciting year for Healthwatch Wandsworth.
On a sad note, we’ve had to say goodbye to our interim manager, Lauren Ashley-Boyall, who did a great job keeping all our Healthwatch projects afloat and maintaining excellent relationships with Wandsworth council and local service providers over the past year.
So we’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to Lauren and to wish her all the best for the future.
‘No Voice Unheard, No Right Ignored’ – a Consultation
The ‘No voice unheard, no right ignored’ consultation was launched by the Department of Health back in March of this year and its aim is to improve health and social care services for people with mental health needs, learning disabilities and autism.
The consultation hopes to achieve four main objectives:
As the consultation is very broad and covers a number of different aspects of health and social care, Healthwatch has decided to focus only on point number 2 of the consultation, which is “My right to be listened to and have my wishes acted upon. My right to challenge decisions about me”. In particular, we’ll be consulting with people in Wandsworth who use the following services:
- People are able to take control of decisions about their own care as much as possible
- People are able to live independently and receive treatment in the community, close to family and friends
- Care should be centred around an individual’s needs and should be available in a variety of locations
- Clearer lines of responsibility and greater accountability for poor (or no) service
The consultation will run until the 29th of May and we’ll be sending a response on behalf of those we speak to, back to the Department of Health. We’ll also update you with the overall results of the consultation once they’re available.
- HAIL – works with people with learning disabilities
- Wandsworth Carers Centre – works with people who care for friends or relatives
- Mama Low’s Kitchen – a weekly user-led mental health drop-in service
- Share Community - works with disabled people who need extra help and support
A Glimpse into… the World of Enter & View
Following consultation with Wandsworth locals and with the Healthwatch Wandsworth Executive Board, our Enter & View team has reached a decision about the projects they will be working on over the next six months or so.
They’ll start by looking at extra care supported housing (accommodation for older people or for those with special needs); what current provision looks like, how this compares with other leading models and what an excellent supported housing scheme should include. They’ll also be looking at the quality of the services provided at your local GP surgery, including services like ‘Choose & Book’ (a government initiative that allows you to choose the time, date and hospital for specialist treatment or tests).
At the same time, the team will be investigating the possibility of assessing the quality of prison healthcare services and the local IAPT (Improving Access to Physical Therapies) service.
All the findings from our Enter & View projects are uploaded to our website in the form of reports and action plans (which service providers produce following Enter & View visits).
To have a look at some of the work the team has already carried out visit The Enter & View Reports section of our website.
Enter & View Needs You!
The Enter & View team was pleased to welcome a new member last month. Deirdre Feehan joins the team with a background in healthcare policy and legislation with the Department of Health. She also has some experience of supported living arrangements, which will be welcome when the team starts its supported housing project in the next month or so.
We’d also like to officially welcome Sian Boisseau to the team. Sian joined the Enter & View team in July 2014 and has a background in healthcare communications. Having lived in the borough of Wandsworth for over 13 years, Sian felt that she wanted to have a bigger involvement in the improvement of local healthcare services.
We still need a few more volunteers for the Enter & View team though! So if you’re organised, good with people, can take clear and coherent notes, are able to travel around within the borough of Wandsworth and feel that you could make a valid contribution to the important work that this team does, please fill out an application form. Completed applications should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Could you become a Healthwatch Researcher?
Our researchers are local people who are interested in the quality of health and social care services available in their area, and are committed to helping Healthwatch Wandsworth in their quest to improve these services for local residents.
As a Healthwatch Researcher you would undertake some of the following tasks:
If you’re interested in becoming a Healthwatch Researcher, please contact Ambra Caruso, Healthwatch Wandsworth Manager, on 020 8516 7785 or email email@example.com.
- Research and reading into specialist areas relevant to the work of Healthwatch and our local people (using this to help inform Healthwatch)
- Accompany Healthwatch staff on outreach visits and assist them to gather the views of local people
- Tap into community networks to canvas views and opinions using surveys, feedback forms, focus groups and questionnaires
- Read through consultation documents and/or council papers and prepare briefings for Healthwatch members
- Share any information, learning, ideas or feedback gathered with Healthwatch staff and representatives
- Identify barriers in accessing services and gaps in service provision - feedback to Healthwatch staff and representatives
- Liaise and, if desired, work with the Enter and View Team
Welcome to our May ebulletin! The month of May is generally considered to be the unofficial start of summer, ushering in warmer weather, longer days and generally making us all feel more hopeful and positive.
Speaking of positivity, this week is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme for this year is ‘Mindfulness’, or learning to focus on the present. This is a technique that has proven to be successful at helping people suffering with illnesses like depression. A number of different events focusing on improving mental health are being held throughout the UK this week, and we hope that you’ve been able to take part in some of the events that have been happening in Wandsworth.
In this issue of our e-bulletin you can read about the work we’ve been doing to highlight services that either need improving, or are at risk. We’re also asking for your help with our work - find out more in the ‘Recruitment News’ section. And we’ve included information on the new round of bidding for Seldom Heard Grants along with updates on our Assembly and Voluntary Sector meetings, which take place in June.
If you have information that you’d like to share with us about a health or social care service in your area, or questions about something you’ve read in the e-bulletin, just email us – firstname.lastname@example.org. For enquiries about local health and social care services, email email@example.com.
We hope you enjoy reading this issue of the e-bulletin!
Best wishes from all at Healthwatch Wandsworth
In and around Wandsworth
Seldom Heard Grants
Wandsworth’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has made further funds available to help local community and ‘seldom heard’ groups participate and engage in local NHS decision-making.
Grants of up to £2,500 are available and priority will be given to groups who have not been previously involved in the scheme. The CCG will also consider new projects from organisations that successfully applied in previous years.
Healthwatch Wandsworth is responsible for administering the grants and monitoring how they are to be used. For more information on the types of grant that are available and the application process, please see the attached information sheet.
CQCs Inspection of the LAS
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent health and adult social care regulator. Their job is to check whether hospitals, care homes, GPs, dentists and other services are meeting national standards.
From the 3 of June onwards, the CQC will be inspecting the London Ambulance Service (LAS) and they would like to hear your views and experiences of the service beforehand, to help them to decide exactly which aspects of the LAS need particular scrutiny.
To give your views or to recount an experience you or a family member has had with the LAS, visit the CQC’s website and click on ‘Share your experience’.
Dying Matters Awareness Week
The Wandsworth End of Life Care Coordination Centre is a new two-year pilot, which aims to ensure that people with a progressive, life-limiting illness in Wandsworth can access the services and support that they need in one place and be cared for at home, if they wish.
The pilot is a result of the Dying Matters Awareness Week (18-24 May), which was originally started to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.
The End of Life Care Coordination Centre launch event will be held on Wednesday 20th May, between 2-5pm, at Balham Library. More details are available via the attached link.
Wandsworth Carers' Strategy Review
The Wandsworth Carers' Strategy was developed by listening to and collecting feedback from carers of all ages and professionals involved in the care industry. They then worked together to identify a set of quality markers which explained how Wandsworth Council, the NHS and other local service providers would develop services and support for carers over the next five years. That five year period has now come to an end and Wandsworth Carers' Centre is helping the council to review the Strategy and to set priorities for the next one.
With this in mind they have devised a survey specially designed to get feedback from carers on these quality markers and how far you think they have been achieved.
If you care for someone and would like to have your say on the Carers Strategy Review, you can complete the survey here.
Healthwatch Wandsworth Events
Healthwatch Wandsworth Assembly
Our next Assembly meeting will be held on Monday the 22nd of June, between 12.30-2pm, at Earlsfield Library (lunch will be available from 12pm).
Peter Jenkinson, Director of Corporate Affairs at St. George’s Hospital, will be talking us through the hospital’s current financial situation and the potential impact on patients and services. We’ll be asking for your feedback on that topic and will also fill you in on what has been happening at Healthwatch Wandsworth headquarters since the last time we met.
There will be updates from our representatives on the work they’ve recently been involved with, and there will also be an opportunity for you to tell us what’s been happening in your world and to let us know how we can be more effective in the community.
Healthwatch Wandsworth Voluntary Sector Forum
The Voluntary Sector meeting will also be held on the 22nd of June at Earlsfield Library, between 2.30-4pm (with refreshments served from 2.15pm).
You’ll have the opportunity to tell us about the concerns and priorities that your group or organisation is facing at the moment and we’ll be looking at the reports that will be submitted to Wandsworth’s Health and Wellbeing Board (a partnership between Wandsworth Council and local GPs). The board oversees plans and policies relating to matters such as sexual health, teenage pregnancy and mental health.
We’ll publicise the titles of the reports and where they can be found via email once we know which ones will definitely be submitted to the board, so look out for that nearer the time.
The last word…
We can’t fit everything we’ve done over the last couple of months into one newsletter, so if you’d like to see what else we’ve been up to, check out the ‘News’ and ‘Our Work’ sections of our website.
Are you on Facebook and Twitter? So are we! Like us on Facebook (/HWWands) or follow us on Twitter (@HWWands) to get regular updates on what we’re doing, as well as other local and national news about health and social care.
Until next time!