Agenda item

Healthwatch Update (20 mins)


8.1      Judy provided an update on Healthwatch’s recent themes. She stated that feedback had not all been negative but said that she was sharing negative feedback to highlight what they felt needed be improved. She said that access continued to be an issue for those with disabilities. Judy stated that mental health resources were limited, and only provided for a short period time. She said that a number of people had said they found it challenging to log a complaint. Judy stated she had met with the Dental Commissioner as this was a national issue whereby many individuals were not able to access NHS dental healthcare but were unable to pay for private appointments. Judy said that small changes could make a significant difference to people with access issues. She added that Healthwatch felt these changes should address inequality wherever possible.


8.2      Councillor George Lindars-Hammond asked how Healthwatch felt they might need to change in order to improve the quality of their work as the system changed, and how the system might support that change. Judy stated that Healthwatch were trying to work with their colleagues Nationally. Judy added that she felt that the more the board engaged with local people on these issues the more successful Healthwatch’s work would be.


8.3      John Macilwraith asked how the board could support the voice of the service user. Judy stated that Healthwatch found it difficult to link the voices of service users to decisions being made. She said that reports could be completed, alongside recorded lived experiences; however, linking these voices and stories to decisions were challenges.

8.4      Terry Hudsen asked how the board might also incorporate the voices of those who do not get access to services which they might require. Helen stated that COVID-19 had increased waiting lists for mental health services. She stated that she felt the board should use the intelligence provided by Judy to consider how those requiring the services can be supported.


8.5      Simon stated that many people seen by South Yorkshire Police do not know how to access these resources. He stated that as many elements of face-to-face support, for example, a GP appointment, had now been reduced. He suggested that these support markers and resources needed to be better shared with those who require the support the most.


8.6      Terry Hudsen informed attendees that Healthwatch had shared some Speak Up reports which did focus on the experiences of people with learning disabilities, autism and mental health. He recommended that attendees review these.