Healthwatch East Sussex: 2019-20 Annual Report released
30th June 2020
Healthwatch East Sussex had a busy year in 2019-20 with our staff and volunteers working hard to champion the voice of the public and patients across the health and care sector and today marks the publication of our Annual Report.
The last 12 months saw the development of a number of strategic initiatives, such as the NHS Long-term Plan and East Sussex Health and Care Plan. Healthwatch East Sussex has sought to ensure that effective public engagement has taken place before key decisions are made about future health and care services.
We captured public views to feed into the NHS Long-term Plan, undertook a ‘Listening Tour’ in the High Weald to capture local views on health and care services, ‘Mystery shopped’ dentistry services and completed an independent review of Care Homes. The views and information gathered were fed back to commissioners and providers to inform service delivery, were shared with the public and the reports are available via our website.
We used our website and social media platforms to keep people informed about health and care services, reaching approximately 80,000 people over the year, as well as meeting over 1,200 people at community events. Direct assistance and support were provided to 363 people seeking information or responses to queries, as well as advocacy support in pursuing the NHS complaints process.
During the year Healthwatch East Sussex won the ‘Championing Diversity & Inclusion’ category at the 2019 Healthwatch England National Conference for the support we gave to homeless people being placed in emergency accommodation at Kendal Court in Newhaven.
The Executive Director of Healthwatch East Sussex, John Routledge commented:
“I’m overwhelmed by the way that Healthwatch East Sussex (HWES) staff, volunteers and board members worked so effectively to capture public views on health and care in 2019/20.
We have made good use of the feedback provided by the public to influence the shape of health and care services in East Sussex and the wider Sussex Integrated Care System.”
The Annual Report will be shared with the East Sussex Health & Wellbeing Board on 14th July, which is the cross-sector body focused at improving health and wellbeing across the county. The report will also be shared with health and care providers, local authorities, voluntary organisations and the public.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has brought into sharp focus the importance of communicating with the public as well as capturing their views and experiences of services. Healthwatch East Sussex is now working with health and care services to understand the impacts of the pandemic, whilst also looking further ahead and engaging the public and our partners in setting future priorities.