Read the Healthwatch East Sussex 2023-24 Annual Report

July 8, 2024

We are delighted to share ‘The value of listening’, our Annual Report for 2023-24.

It highlights how we have listened to the voices of the public, patients and partners and used people’s feedback, experiences and preferences to help shape health and social care in East Sussex, and across Sussex.

We have undertaken a range of projects and initiatives over the last 12 months to engage with a diverse range of individuals and communities living in different areas of East Sussex, and worked hard to share these experiences and preferences on health and care services with commissioners and providers so that they focus on meeting the needs of local people.

Read our report here 

Activity and Achievements

During 2023-24 we:

  • undertook Enter and View activities at care homes in rural Rother, paediatric services at The Conquest, emergency departments at The Conquest and Eastbourne District General Hospital and Bexhill Community Diagnostic Centre
  • directly supported 578 people with enquiries through our Information & Signposting service, including users of food banks, migrants and residents in Lewes Prison
  • undertook our Listening Tour in Rye and rural Rother to gather experiences and views from local people and shared these to influence local services
  • published 36 reports detailing insight and recommendations that were shared with commissioners and providers to inform health and care service development
  • shared advice, guidance and information via our website, social media and bulletins to raise awareness of health and care issues
  • drew on 125 days of Healthwatch volunteer time in the development and delivery of projects
  • progressed our Young Healthwatch, recruiting new volunteers, and starting development of an accreditation to rate GPs in Hastings for their suitability for children and young people
  • shared our insight and key messages through a diverse range of local, regional and national partnerships and boards, including the East Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board and Sussex Health and Care Assembly
  • raised awareness of challenges people face in accessing primary care, especially GPs and NHS dentistry, as well as acute and community services, including mental health


Comment from our Chief Executive, Veronica Kirwan

“During the last 12 months, we have worked hard to capture public and patient voice, continuing to evolve and adapt our approach so that we gather and hear from as many communities and people across East Sussex as possible. 

We’ve used what we’ve heard to let commissioners and providers know where things are working well, but also where pressures exist, and changes or development may improve patient and public experiences of health and care. We understand that the last 12 months have been challenging for many services, but have striven to highlight the importance of people’s feedback, which is more important when services are stretched or changing.   

We want to thank everyone who has shared their views and experiences with us over the last year.

I would also like to thank our staff, board members and volunteers for their considerable efforts in delivering our projects and programmes, and in putting the views of the public at the heart of health and social care decision-making locally. 

We will continue to work hard in delivering our role as the independent patient champion in 2024-25.”


Priorities for 2024-25

Our comprehensive and exciting programme of work for 2024-25 is already well underway, and is focused on delivering our four annual priorities:

  1. Listen and engage with people
  2. Understand the impact of pressures on health and care services
  3. Embed a focus on equality and diversity in our projects and increase the voice of seldom heard communities
  4. Explore the effects of social determinants on health and wellbeing


Who we share our report with

Our Healthwatch annual report has been submitted to Healthwatch England, alongside reports from all local Healthwatch in England. We also share our report with East Sussex County Council as the commissioners of the local Healthwatch service, and with a wide range of our statutory and voluntary sector partners across East Sussex.

Electronic copies of the report are available via the link below, and hard copies are available on request.

For media enquiries about Healthwatch East Sussex, please contact Veronica Kirwan, Executive Director, on 07794 100 291 or via 


Tell Us Your Experiences 

Please tell us your experiences of local health and care services via our Feedback Centre and let us know how this has been for you. 

We want to hear if it has been good, bad or indifferent.


Help and support with Health and Care 

If you need help or support related to health or care, then please contact our Information & Signposting Service via 

0333 101 4007 or 


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