After the AGM, Anna Rarity from Healthwatch Gloucestershire gave a talk explaining what Healthwatch Gloucestershire is and what its aims are, briefly as follows:
Healthwatch Gloucestershire is the new consumer champion for health and social care in the county, giving children, young people and adults a powerful voice.
There are 148 local Healthwatch organisations nationally and they form the Healthwatch England network, working closely to make sure public and patient views are represented locally and nationally.
The aim of Healthwatch Gloucestershire is to give both individuals and local communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are commissioned and provided. It will:
• Gather local people’s views on and experiences of health and social care. These will be passed on to those who plan and deliver our services in the county and Healthwatch England, to help them identify national trends.
• Provide people with information and advice to help them make the right choice about health and social care. It also has a comprehensive information database that people can use on the Healthwatch Gloucestershire website .
• Provide access to the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service, SEAP (Support, Empower, Advocate and Promote) who can help with making a complaint about NHS Services.
Anna then asked for feedback from the Group on there experiences, both good bad, of their diabetes care from their GPs, hospitals and pharmacies. A varied number of points were made covering such areas as making appointments, treatments received and prescriptions. One common theme experienced by most however was the difficulty in making appointments with GPs.
Anna took notes of all the points raised, and whilst Healthwatch Gloucestershire would not be able to help with any individual issue, they would all go, along with all other information received from other sources, to help forming an overall picture and hopefully bringing about an improvement in services.
Click Healthwatch Gloucestershire for further information on how you can help improve health and social care services in Gloucestershire.