Volunteer with Healthwatch East Sussex
Can you help make a difference and improve health and care for people in your area?
As the champion for public and patient voice in health and care, we gather people’s views and make sure they are heard by the people in charge. Help us make a difference.
There are many different ways for you to be involved in our work at Healthwatch East Sussex and we welcome involvement and participation from all sections of the community.
Everyone is different and we appreciate that people have varying interests, lived experiences of using health and care services and time commitments. Because of this, volunteering with Healthwatch is very flexible and is designed to fit around your life.
Why volunteer with Healthwatch East Sussex?
Volunteering with us will be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. The various roles we have on offer will give you the opportunity to:
- Make a difference to your local community by helping people to have a voice about local health and social care
- Use existing skills, knowledge and networks
- Meet new people
- Enhance your skills and knowledge
- Access training and support
- Provide you with valuable experience
Join us as a Healthwatch Volunteer Representative
One of the roles available to our volunteers is as Healthwatch Volunteer Representatives.
Our Volunteer Representatives, champion Healthwatch East Sussex and the experiences and views of the public and patients at a range of forums, groups and other meetings.
Key activities undertaken within the role include:
- Acting as an ambassador for Healthwatch East Sussex and its objectives
- Attending health and social care meetings on behalf of Healthwatch East Sussex in East Sussex and if appropriate; Sussex wide, including forums and other organisations’ board meetings
- Preparing for meetings by reading evidence, minutes and supporting papers
- Sharing the views of Healthwatch East Sussex at meetings, through liaison with staff colleagues
- Attending consultation events on service changes on behalf of Healthwatch East Sussex
- Feeding back from meetings to the Healthwatch East Sussex staff, board and volunteers with a written report (Template provided)
- Helping at Healthwatch East Sussex events, e.g. engagement events, annual meetings etc.
- Giving presentations about the role, activities and achievements of Healthwatch East Sussex and/or its projects and programmes (with appropriate support and training).
For the full Volunteer Representative Role Description visit our website here.
We are looking for volunteers with an interest and possibly lived experiences in the following services areas to support Healthwatch, but welcome all applications, so whatever your interest or experience, do get in touch:
- NHS 111
- Cancer services
- Adult mental health services
- Dental services, especially community dentistry
Some of our Healthwatch Volunteer Representatives and what they do to help shape health and care in East Sussex
Alan has been volunteering for HWES for approximately three years. His main role is as one of our Volunteer Representatives attending meetings on behalf of Healthwatch. Alan has played a significant part in the transformation of Cardiology and Ophthalmology services at the Hospital Trust over the past two and half years, where he brought his extensive lived experience of cardiac services on behalf of patients to the programme. During this time Alan also attended the East Sussex Health Overview Scrutiny Committee as they were considering the plans on these services and also gave an interview on BBC Radio Sussex with support from staff. This role is vital in ensuring the patients and the public have a voice in how services are designed and delivered.
Alan commented: “What motivates me to volunteer is my belief in the importance of patient voice. There are legal requirements on the NHS to listen to the patient voice. Healthwatch enables others and me to contribute to that voice in East Sussex. We all have our private views but contributing positively to improving health care is worthwhile and rewarding. We all have something to offer.”
Jane is our Lead Volunteer for supporting the delivery of the annual Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environments (PLACE). As a former member of the facilities team with a local NHS Trust, Jane brings lots of experience to the role. Another key role Jane undertakes for Healthwatch is as a patient/lay representative of the Hospital Trust’s Nutrition and Hydration Steering Group. This group look at ways to improve the understanding of good nutrition and hydration for patients.
A word from Jane:
“ I joined Healthwatch as I wanted to contribute some time back into the community in my retirement and use some my experience and skills in a useful way representing the local patient groups, I get a lot of satisfaction knowing what I am doing is ensuring that the patients voice is heard and represented in a constructive way. I also like working as part of a volunteer team making a difference to health and social care I have made lots of friends and met like-minded volunteers who also believe that patients need to be represented and heard to enable change in our community.”
John is one of our longest serving Healthwatch volunteers with a very knowledgeable background in Social Care. John has led a number of projects including our Social Care Task Group. During the pandemic John compiled a weekly detailed report around COVID-19 outbreaks in care homes and the community. Later he added the vaccine roll-out data into his reports and continues to draft revised weekly reports on Flu and COVID-19 Vaccine take up and COVID cases in the community, care homes and hospitals. These reports have been useful to care home providers and Healthwatch. John also attends East Sussex County Council’s monthly Care Home meetings on behalf of Healthwatch. Following on from our work with Care Home relatives during the Pandemic, remaining part of this forum is a great way for Healthwatch to stay up to date with any new developments and share our feedback from people connected to care homes.
“As I reflect on my time as a HWES volunteer over the last 10 years, I have enjoyed it immensely, meeting interesting people and trying to make an effective contribution. I am now looking forward to ‘getting out on the road’ again and, hopefully, mentoring some new volunteers.”
For more information or to apply
For an informal chat about our volunteer roles, please contact Elizabeth Mackie, Volunteer & Community Liaison Manager, 07794 097719
Email email@example.com to request more information.