Healthwatch Bucks – Collecting the Voices and Experiences of Healthcare Users

  |  Published: Nov 22nd 2013

That 2013 was a year of massive change in the NHS won’t have passed you by. Readers may have observed new health sector jargon and expressions like “Clinical Commissioning Groups” and “Health and Wellbeing Boards” on television or in newspapers. You may well wonder what they actually mean to you, when all you really want to know about is how quickly you can make an appointment with your GP, pick up a prescription or whether a 999 call will get you an ambulance as swiftly as you need.

Another piece of the jigsaw is the newly formed Healthwatch organisations – established to become the “consumer champion” for patients and social care users across the country. We have our own local one called Healthwatch Bucks and they are really keen to hear from you.

Healthwatch Bucks, a not-for-profit organisation, came into existence just six months ago.  With a voluntary board of expert trustees, partnership with a range of charities like Citizens Advice and Carers Bucks, and over 1200 volunteers and subscribers already on board, it has been working hard to understand how best to gather the views of patients and social care users in Buckinghamshire in order to influence policy and practice to achieve service improvement now, and in the future.

Responding to what they have heard so far from service users in the county, Healthwatch Bucks is already prioritising in-depth surveys in the following areas:

-      Seeking the views of Buckinghamshire residents using health and social care transportation;

-      Examining the range of experiences related to the subject of Dignity in Care;

-      Analysing feedback from users of Accident and Emergency facilities in the county.

If you have something to say about these subjects, or indeed on any health and social care related objective -whether super feedback about a recent hospital stay or a disappointing experience following a medical procedure – please don’t hesitate to contact Healthwatch Bucks and give them your opinions. They are also recruiting volunteers who are passionate about improving local health services

Healthwatch Bucks wants to receive, co-ordinate and monitor all of the views of patients and social care users across Buckinghamshire, both good and bad. Their website is the place to post your views by clicking the Speak Out button, or you can give your feedback over the phone on 0845 260 6216.  Don’t hold back, contact Healthwatch Bucks today and share your experiences: with your views on board, Healthwatch Bucks will be better equipped to champion the views of health and social services users in Buckinghamshire.

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