‘Foundations of Quality Improvement should always have what patients tell us about their treatment and care, at the heart of everything as a system we plan and do. We must be able to evidence that all actions and decisions made come back to this, making certain that everyone feels respected, involved and valued at each and every part of the journey. We should all feel confident that we are either giving or receiving quality care.’
NHS England and NHS Improvement, Healthwatch Wirral, Age UK Wirral, Wirral System
After the recent successful Virtual Bridge Coffee mornings for PPG members and third sector organisations, Healthwatch Wirral are pleased to invite you again to meet.
At BRIDGE we are encouraged to think about how services here on Wirral can learn lessons, share information and lock in the benefits of things that have gone well in recent months. At our last meeting at the start of September we invited speakers from Wirral CCG and Public Health to update and provide information about the current situation with COVID-19 and plans for local flu vaccinations. We shared experiences of local residents and had the opportunity to ask specific questions about how the plans might affect the people in our community.
As a general consensus it was discussed and agreed that the third sector/voluntary organisations have been at the heart and the front line of our responses on Wirral and need more support and to be recognised for the valuable work they do. PPGs also play a very important role in supporting patients to access Primary Care and other services such as pharmacies.
Some of the experiences and issues shared were:
- Longer NHS waiting lists as a result of COVID-19
- Think First 111 Service launching in November to help people access the right health services and improve safety, waiting times and access
- An anticipated increase in COVID-19 cases during winter months as people spend less time outside and more time inside in less ventilated areas
- The importance of everyone following the guidelines around social
distancing, public gatherings and facial coverings
- Virtual consultations to continue although face to face appointments can and should be requested if people feel that this is needed
- Digital exclusion remains a topic of concern, especially for older people and marginalised groups
- Contact, access and experiences with GP services can be a ‘postcode lottery’
- Planned increase in flu vaccinations for up to 75% of the population
- The potential for community venues to be used for flu vaccinations – this was well-received and advocated for by community groups. Also suggestions of approaches such as drive-through flu clinics
- People who lack confidence to go out being able to access GP appointments and vaccines
- The need for myth busting about vaccines and false information online, including on Facebook
We have taken all the feedback from the Bridge Forums and our wider engagement with community to our local system decision makers, who are responsible for the design and planning of services as we move forward. We continue to feed back any outcomes as we receive the changes and as plans are developed.
At Healthwatch we know it is now more important than ever to share your experiences of health and social care, to help the NHS and social care staff spot issues and to make sure everyone receives good care. Our next meetings will include:
- information about Wirral’s new feedback centre for health and social care services
- asking about your experiences for Q&A publications for Wirral residents
- updates on NHS Think 111 First and the winter flu vaccine campaign
More than ever it is so important to share experiences of Health and social care!
NHS and social care staff are doing everything they can to support people through this pandemic, but they need your help to spot issues to make sure everyone receives good care.
Its important to attend forums such as this so you can cascade information shared to the people you support, family, colleagues, friends and neighbours.
Its been proven many times that clear information is what’s needed at this time and at Healthwatch that is one of our main aims.
In the meantime you can #Spare5 to tell us about your and your loved ones’ experiences of health and social care through our website.
The next Bridge Forum meetings
Wednesday 7th October 11am – 12:30pm
For anyone involved with the Third Sector (voluntary or community groups)
Thursday 8th October 11am – 12:30pm
For anyone involved in Patient Participation groups (PPGs)
We will be inviting CCG and other speakers once again to update and talk through more developments.
We will also be talking #Spare5, Keep.Wirral.Well, Wirral Champions and other ways you can be involved locally to help make a difference.
Click below to reserve a place and obtain joining instructions.
We look forward to seeing you, in the meantime please stay safe.