Healthwatch Essex Takes Local Views To The Heart of Westminster

On Monday 21st January 2019 representatives from Healthwatch Essex travelled to London to join forces with more than 100 fellow local Healthwatch organisations to raise the real life concerns of people using health and social care services with their local MPs.

Attended by parliamentarians and key decision makers from across the health and social care, the event provided an opportunity for us to speak about the work we have been doing to shape local services on behalf of Essex residents, including:

• Raising awareness of the challenges that patients, their families and hospital staff experience when planning their care at the end of life a four-month study based on a ward in Basildon Hospital
• Highlighting the attitudes of young people in Essex to body image, smoking, drug use and mental health following three years of engagement with 2000 young people in the country
• Highlighting the continuing need for high quality information and signposting delivered by Healthwatch Essex via their telephone line supporting the public

With local health and social care services going through rapid change, with the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, it has never been more important for services to involve the people they serve in shaping the future of health and social care.

The good news is that Healthwatch is getting more people to come forward to share their views on the issues in their areas. When acted upon by commissioners, care providers and clinicians, people’s experiences and ideas are leading to safer, better quality care. In this way people are where they should be – at the centre of their service.

Dr David Sollis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said: “It was a great opportunity to attend Parliament and highlight our hard work locally to parliamentarians. The efforts of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers at helping to influence the way health and social care services are delivered in Essex were praised by all we met, particularly by Healthwatch England.”

Held in the Houses of Parliament, the reception was hosted by national body Healthwatch England to mark the launch of its sixth annual report.