Your Local Health & Social Care Quarterly Newsletter 27/02/17

Knowledge is Power
With Donald Trump voted in as President of the United States and Brexit taking shape, many things seem quite uncertain at the moment. Health and social care services are also in a state of flux, which can create real anxiety for those of us that need to use them.

This issue of our newsletter is therefore dedicated to separating the wheat from the chaff, finding that needle in a haystack, and telling you what you really need to know so that you can make the best decisions about your healthcare.
Find out more about the help and information Healthwatch offers.

Wandsworth Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Service
The Wandsworth Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) Service was been launched on the 9th January 2017 and is a free service that does not require referral from your GP. Both walk-in and appointment options are available. 

The WISH centre is based at the Courtyard Cinic in St George’s Hospital and local clinics are based both in Roehampton at Queen Mary’s Hospital and at the Doddington Health Centre in Battersea. Both clinics offer sexual health and contraception services, including long-acting contraception appointments and clinics dedicated to young people and gay men.

The Courtyard clinic is well equipped to manage complex sexual health issues and provides services dedicated to individuals with learning disabilities.

Call 020 8725 3353 to book an appointment or for further information. Alternatively, visit

Help Improve Local Warfarin Services
Many people in Wandsworth have a condition that means they are at risk of blood clots forming. Blood clots can cause damage in the lungs and can block the flow of blood to the brain, causing a stroke. Fortunately, there are medicines (usually warfarin) which can help prevent the formation of blood clots and prevent a stroke.

At the moment, the majority of patients taking warfarin have to go to hospital for treatment around 18 times a year. The NHS therefore wants to improve access to warfarin services by providing treatment at GP practices. They also want to develop a plan where most patients needing warfarin can be tested and treated in less than five minutes.

In order to improve these services, Wandsworth CCG is seeking the opinions of the people currently using them.

They are keen to hear your views on a number of questions, in particular:
  • What works really well about your current warfarin service?  
  • What doesn't work so well about your current warfarin service?
  • How can the warfarin service be improved?
  • How far do you have to travel to access your warfarin service?
  • How would you feel about being monitored at your GP practice rather than the hospital?
If you are a patient using local warfarin services and would like to share your views, please contact Kwan Ku, Planned Care Commissioning Manager:

Healthwatch Wandsworth Annual Survey
During the past year we’ve collected a lot of feedback from you about other organisations and how they need to improve, but now we need you to tell us what you think about our performance.

If we're to improve we'll need your honest feedback, so please take the time to tell us how you have engaged with us, what we do well, and what you think we could do better. We'll try to incorporate your feedback into our Annual Plan for 2017/18.

The more useful the feedback we receive from you, the better equipped we'll be to shape how we work in the future.

Everyone who completes our Annual Survey will automatically be entered into our prize draw and could win a £20 voucher.

Thank you for taking the time to complete the Healthwatch Wandsworth Annual Survey.



Talking Health Event

14th March
Want to know more about Sustainability & Transformation Plans (STPs) and what they will mean for you? People in Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth are being asked for their input as the local NHS continues to plan for the future of healthcare in south west London. 

During 2017, the NHS will be having ‘conversations’ across south west London via ‘Talking Healthcare’ forums. Over the next two months these forums will be held in each of the above boroughs and local people will be encouraged to have their say in a variety of ways – at meetings, on social media, directly in writing or using an online survey.
Dr Andrew Murray, GP Chair of Merton CCG, said:  "We’ve been talking with local people for many years about the significant challenges local health services are facing. We’ve taken their feedback into account in developing a Five Year Forward Plan for south west London (also known as STPs, or Sustainability & Transformation Plans)... making sure people can get high quality care wherever they access our services."

The Wandsworth 'Talking Healthcare' event will be held from 6-9pm on Tuesday the 14th of March, at South Thames College, Wandsworth Campus, Wandsworth High Street, SW18 2PP. Register to attend at, email or call 020 8251 0591.

We encourage as many as possible to attend so that you can have your say regarding the future of our health and social care services.

Proud to Be A Quitter
8 March is National No Smoking Day and free local support to help you quit is available through Wandsworth council’s Stop Smoking Service.

Although the number of smokers in Wandsworth has dropped in recent years, smoking is still the biggest cause of preventable death.

Wandsworth Stop Smoking Service offers free help, advice and access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) and other stop smoking medications, for all smokers who live or work in the Wandsworth area.

For more information, or to access the service, visit, call 0800 389 7921 (24 hr) or email and quit smoking today!


Apart from that last one, we'd probably all have trouble identifying what the above abbreviations stand for.

So in line with our crusade to deal plainly and speak truth, we thought it was high time that we attempted to de-mystify some of the terms and acronyms most commonly used, not only by the NHS, but also throughout the health and social care field.

The terms we've included below are some of the more common abbreviations we come across in our work.
  • BME - Black Minority Ethnic - One way to narrow down nationality
  • CAMHS - Children & Adolescent Mental Health Service
  • CCG - Clinical Commissioning Group - Responsible for commissioning local healthcare services
  • CMHT - Community Mental Health Team - Providing mental health care in the community
  • FFT - Friends & Family Test - A way to gain patient feedback on NHS services
  • FGM - Female Genital Mutilation - An extreme and often harmful practice popular in many African countries
  • FOI - Freedom of Information - A request for information available to the public
  • MCP - Multispecialty Community Provider - Brings the above services into our local community
  • MRSA - Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus - A highly infections disease sometimes found in hospitals
  • PALS - Patient Advice and Liaison Service - Where to go if you need advice re treatment received while in hospital
  • STP - Sustainability & Transformation Plan - Five-year plans for all NHS spending in England
For more help with health care terms and acronyms, visit the NHS website.
Assembly group
Feedback from the Assembly & Voluntary Sector Forum

8 February
We held our first public Assembly & Voluntary Sector Forum of 2017 on Wednesday the 8th February at the Yvonne Carr Centre in Battersea.

At the Voluntary Sector Forum, staff from the council's Public Health department spoke about the Prevention Framework which will be used to promote the health and well-being of residents in all the council's and CCG's activities. It will also be used to guide the way in which the council commissions voluntary services in the future.

Following on from that representatives from the Community Partnerships team at Wandsworth and Richmond Councils gave an update on the new shared staffing arrangements and how local voluntary and community organisations might be affected by the changes.

At the Assembly we acquired a little more information about MCPs, or Multispecialty Community Providers, which are designed to make sure that healthcare professionals work together to provide better coordinated care at home and in the community. A Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) lead has also been appointed to talk to locals to find out what their healthcare needs are and to make sure that the services meet them.

Throughout the proceedings we encouraged those in attendance to vote for members of our Executive Board. Four Healthwatch members were successfully elected, and two of them will be joining the Board for the first time.

If you would like to see the presentations and/or Q&A from either of the above meetings, please visit our website.

SAVE THE DATE: Our next Assembly & Voluntary Sector Forum will be held on the 24th of May - venue tbc.
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Further information can be found on the Healthwatch Wandsworth website.
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