Here you can download a list f our new Community Investment Projects for 2016-2017. In these projects we work with local voluntary and community groups to hear the voices of diverse communities and get their feedback on their local health and care services.
Questions and Answers at the Health and Wellbeing Boards September 2015
Posted on 14 Sep 2015
Below you can download the public questions and answers from the meetings of both the Dorset and Bournemouth & Poole Health and Wellbeing Boards on 9th and 10th September 2015.
Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWBs) bring together commissioners of local health and care services and have an overall role in bringing health and social care services closer together. They are committees of the local council and, as such, have a slot set aside at the beginning of all its meetings where they can hear and answer any questions that have been submitted in advance by local residents. Healthwatch attends the HWBs and we want to encourage local people to get involved and have their voices heard.
In the week leading up to their meetings, you can tweet us questions for both the Bournemouth & Poole HWB and the Dorset HWB. Your question doesn't have to be directly related to an agenda item but it does have to be related to health and wellbeing in Bournemouth, Poole and/or Dorset. Your question will be asked and answered at the beginning of the Board meeting and we will also post the answers on our website. All the questions below were submitted to us by local people, not only on Twitter but also on Facebook. We also tweeted live from the two Board meetings. You can see those on twitter.com by searching for the hashtag #bpdhwb.
Information about the Dorset Board can be found here.
Information about the Bournemouth & Poole Board can be found here.
Healthwatch Dorset has a vacancy for a Non-Executive Director with a Diversity and Inclusion Lead.
We are looking for someone who has the skills and aptitude to operate at a Board level or the direct experience of having done so. You may have experience of governance, leadership or management in a range of formal and informal environments and be able to demonstrate a genuine commitment to engaging all sections of the community.
This is a voluntary position but reasonable expenses will be paid. Applicants must be resident in Dorset, Bournemouth or Poole.
Application will be by CV and an accompanying statement explaining your interest and motivation in applying for the role and what you believe you can contribute to Healthwatch Dorset. Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday 21st September 2015.
Interviews, conducted by an independent Appointments Panel, will be held week commencing 12th October 2015.
If you are interested in applying for a position please read the attached documents - inclduing covering letter, Code of Conduct, Person Specification and the role description.
This is a short film made by Healthwatch England, explaining what service redesign of health and care services is, why it is happening and how the voice of the public can help influence what happens.
Notes from the launch of our Annual Review.
Posted on 17 Jul 2015
On 8 July at Lighthouse Poole we launched our Annual Review - Loud and Clear: Making Your Voices Heard. In the final part of the evening, people discussed the forthcoming public conultation to be carried out by NHS Dorset CCG on the proposals set out in the Clinical Service Review. They thought particularly about how they'd like to see the CCG do the consultation and what they'd like them to take into account, and each person also thought about what pledge they could make themselves to participate in the consultation process. The attached document contains notes of what people said on that occasion.
A statement from Healthwatch Dorset on the postponement of the Public Consultation about the Clinical Services Review proposals
Posted on 17 Jul 2015
On 16th July NHS Dorset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) issued a statement announcing that the public consultation on the proposals contained in the Clinical Service Review would now be postponed from August until the early part of 2016. Healthwatch Dorset has issued the following statement in response.
We are exactly one month away from the time when the Public Consultation on the proposals for the future shape of Dorset’s health services was supposed to begin. So the news that the consultation will now not begin until next year comes as a surprise and will be a disappointment and source of frustration for many people who already have questions they want answered, experiences they want to share and views they want to express.
At the end of the day, if the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) believes that they haven’t got the proposals right yet and need to do more work on them before going out to consultation with the public, then they do need to take the time to get it right.
At the same time, there are questions that need to be asked – and answered - including:
• Exactly what has caused them to take this decision? We would like to think that it is at least in part due to the feedback and concerns they have already had from local people about what they understand of some of the proposals. But there is also mention of “new information coming through”. What is that new information?
• An enormous amount of time, energy and resource was put into developing the proposals, including spending £2.75 million on external consultants. How can that be considered “value for money” (taxpayers’ money) when it has resulted in the proposals being pulled at the last minute and more work (and presumably more expenditure) being needed?
• What has the CCG learned through this process and what will they be doing differently now?
Having listened over the past couple of months to questions and concerns about the proposals that local people have expressed to us, before setting another date for the start of the public consultation we urge the CCG to use this extra time wisely and to consider, among others, these points:
1. Mental health services do not figure in the proposals, although the Review is said to be a “whole system” review. Instead, various aspects of mental health services are the subject of separate reviews. They should be included in this Review. For too long there have been significant inequalities between physical and mental health services. They should be given equal priority and the same time, energy and resources put into improving people’s mental health as well as physical health.
2. The Review has little to say about social care services. But today many people, particularly older people living with multiple long-term conditions, are reliant on a combination of both health and social care services. For too long those services have not been joined up. They’ve not worked together as much as they could and should. They’ve stuck too much to their separate ways of doing things. Since the NHS was created in 1948 there have been fundamental differences in the way in which health and social care services have been delivered. That situation has not kept pace with social and demographic change and major shifts in the leading causes of disease and death. It is no longer fit for purpose. Running health and social care as two separate systems no longer makes sense. There should now be no long-term planning that addresses one without also addressing the other equally. Together, services need to put the person/the patient/the service user first, and stop people being trapped in hospital or being passed from pillar to post because the services they need to keep them safe and independent (whoever provides them) have not been put in place. Most often it’s not patients who are the “bed blockers” – it’s the system. This Review offers a chance to make the integration of health and social care a reality. That chance should not be missed.
3. The proposals as they stand suggest that either Poole Hospital or Bournemouth Hospital should become a major emergency hospital with A&E services while the other becomes a major planned care hospital with an Urgent Care Centre (not an A&E department). People are being asked to say which hospital they think should become which. As well as spelling out in more detail exactly what the difference in services would be between the two hospitals, the CCG also needs to provide the public with some facts and figures as to the relative advantages and disadvantages of each option. For instance, in terms of outcomes for patients, cost, the effect on staffing levels and bed numbers, the relative merits in terms of access and the feasibility of carrying out the necessary infrastructure work on each site. Both the CCG and the hospitals also need to do everything they can to avoid this debate becoming some sort of version of The X Factor, with the hospitals competing with each other for the public’s vote.
4. There has already been, very understandably, concern among people who live in the west of the county that the proposals will mean them having to travel in some instances to a hospital at the other end of the county. The CCG needs to acknowledge and meet those concerns and spell out why they believe their proposals will not threaten people’s health or safety but rather improve them, if that is the case. And to explain why the proposal is not to establish two major emergency hospitals in the county – one in the west and one in the east – to better serve and provide equality of access to the entire population.
5. The reaction of many local people, particularly families with children, to reports of the possible reduction in children’s services at Dorset County Hospital points up the depth of feeling and concern that some of the proposals will provoke. It also points up how crucial it is to get the communication of the proposals right. People need to know and to understand how the proposals will affect them and their families and what difference they would make to them.
6. The proposals are unclear as to the future of our community hospitals. The feedback we have from local people shows overwhelmingly positive experiences of those hospitals. There needs to be more detail about how they will be affected by the proposals.
7. There are some significant health inequalities in Dorset. The CCG is committed to reducing those inequalities. They need to spell out how the proposals will bring about real progress in achieving that.
8. The implementation of such wide-ranging proposals will need to be done in a phased way, not all at once. The public needs to see the outline of how that will be done, and particularly how it will be ensured that services in one place are not reduced or altered (e.g. in hospitals) before services in another place (e.g. local community settings or people’s homes) have been established.
9. And finally, it is said that if nothing is done and things continue as they are, by the year 2020 in Dorset there will be a gap each year of between £167 and £200 million between what Dorset receives to meet the cost of services and what the services actually cost to deliver. People need to be able to see exactly where the CCG believes savings on that scale are going to be found in their proposals, how likely it is that those savings will actually be made and the evidence for that assertion.
This Review of Dorset’s health services affects us all. It’s vitally important that everyone knows about it, understands what the proposals would mean for them and has the opportunity to ask questions and make their views known. It’s also vitally important that the CCG is then able to show what it has learned from its engagement with local people and how what they have had to say has influenced their final decision. Healthwatch Dorset has for some time been offering advice to the CCG on how to engage with the public and we will continue to champion local people’s engagement in this Review.
(You can download this statement as a PDF below.)
UPDATE - NHS Dorset CCG has responded to our statement and you can read their response below.
We've been working with our local learning disability support groups, Bournemouth People First, Dorset People First and Poole Forum to promote the need for Changing Place toilets.
Changing Place toilets are different to standard disabled toilets with extra features and more space to meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well as other serious impairments such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis or an acquired brain injury.
None of our hospitals in Dorset currently have these accessible toilets so we wrote to Bournemouth, Dorset & Poole Hospitals asking them to consider installing Changing Places.
We have already had a positive response from the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Last year Bournemouth People First carried out a mystery shopping exercise there and one of the things they identified was the need for a Changing Places toilet. Now, following our approach, the hospital has told us that a Changing Places toilet is to be part of a building project to be carried out and due for completion by the end of this year.
Our letter and the responses from all three hospitals can be downloaded below.
These proposed standards set out Healthwatch England’s vision for complaints advocacy. They have been developed in collaboration with users, providers and commissioners of complaints advocacy services, and reflect the expertise and experience of these groups.
The purpose of the standards is to provide a vision of what a good complaints advocacy service should look like. They start by setting out the principles that must be at the heart of complaints advocacy. The standards describe what these principles look like in practice, from the perspective of service users and providers. Also included are some examples to illustrate what the standards might look like when put into practice.
These standards are not intended as a minimum baseline to be met. Rather, they provide a set of user-centred outcomes that should be central to the commissioning and provision of complaints advocacy services.
For people who use health and social care services
The standards are underpinned by ‘I’ statements that define what the outcomes of good complaints advocacy look like for service users. These make an easy-to-use guide to what people should expect from the service.
For those who provide or commission services
Every provider and commissioner who aspires to provide a better, more user-orientated service should want to use these standards. They should be used in planning, delivering and monitoring to ensure that complaints advocacy services meet service user needs and expectations.
The ‘We promise’ statements describe the commitments that providers of complaints advocacy services can make to ensure that their services meet the needs and expectations of the people who use them. The Appendix includes a set of possible indicators that commissioners and providers may find useful when thinking about how to demonstrate that they are delivering a more user-orientated complaints advocacy service.
These standards will also be of use to services such as PALS, Healthwatch and the CQC, who are not involved in the provision of complaints advocacy but work alongside these services.