We just wanted to say a quick hello and update you on what the team has been up to, whilst we've been working from home and responding to the Coronavirus crisis.
Although the team has been apart, we've all been busy. We've connected with the local authority, NHS and our local voluntary and community sector colleagues to support their efforts in serving our community.
We've also re-prioritised our work, in accordance with Healthwatch England guidance. This is what we've been focusing on during the COVID-19 outbreak.
1. Providing information and advice about access to local health and social care services
We've been keeping our members up to date with the latest information, advice and guidance from official sources in our regular e-bulletins, on our website and across our social media channels.
2. Listening to your views about your needs and experiences of local health and social care services
Before the lockdown, we launched an online survey to capture people's views and experiences of Coronavirus. We have received nearly 100 responses to date. Thank you to everyone who has shared their story with us so far - you are really helping to make a difference.
It's been interesting to see how views have changed as the situation progressed from early March to now. The responses have been mixed, with some people embracing the use of technology and others struggling to access the services they would ordinarily have attended in a clinical setting.
It is not too late to share your Coronavirus story with us. You can complete our survey online, and it only takes 5 minutes.
Also, for those of you who follow us on Twitter, we are running weekly polls on different topics during the COVID-19 outbreak. Take a look at this week's topic and share your thoughts with us - it only takes a few seconds.
3. Making reports and recommendations about how services could be improved
Due to the crisis, we have had to postpone our visits to Care Homes as well as our Primary School Children's Mental Health project.
However, in the coming months, we will collate your views and experiences of Coronavirus into a report, and make recommendations to relevant health and social care providers. We've also just finished collecting people's views on Primary Care Networks and changing GP services in Sutton. A huge thank you to everyone who responded.
4. Sharing your views on the standard of local services with Healthwatch England and the CQC
We will continue to share our reports with Healthwatch England and the CQC, as well as local decision makers to help improve health and social care services for you and your loved ones.
5. Promoting involvement in commissioning, provision and scrutiny of local services
During this time, it is unlikely any new key commissioning processes will be commenced.
6. Enabling you to monitor the standard of local services
NHS and social care staff are doing everything they can to keep us staying well during this crisis, but there might be things that can be improved. You can help services understand the issues that are affecting care for you and your loved ones by telling us. It's our job to listen to people's experiences and sharing their views with those who can do something about it.
If you've recently used a health service and want to share your experience with us, we're still here to listen.
7. Holding board meetings in public
We are holding our Board meetings virtually via Zoom for the forseeable future. Our next Board meeting is on Monday 11th May. If you're interested in attending the meeting as an observer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Producing an annual report by 30th June
We are in the process of putting together our Annual Report to be submitted by the above deadline. Keep an eye out!
Keep in touch
If you need to contact any member of the Healthwatch Sutton team, we can all be contacted directly by email. For general enquiries, please email email@example.com.
If you need to contact us by phone, please call Pete Flavell on 07726 543440. For PPG/PRG enquiries, please call Pam Howe on 07933 450401 (part-time, working days may vary).