31 July marks the anniversary of the Accessible Information Standard being introduced. This has made a difference to the lives of many vulnerable people across England, including Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.
Any group that provides NHS health or social care services needs to take steps to ensure that all people can access the information they need to stay healthy. They need to:
During the Covid-19 pandemic, services have needed to change quickly and communicate these updates to the public remotely which has presented challenges for those people with additional needs. If you or someone you know needs information provided in a different format, the following organisations have information about Covid-19:
If you’ve had issues accessing information in an accessible format, you can share your feedback with your local Healthwatch or in Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission's new survey so they can help improve services. Alternatively, if you would like to make a complaint, you can find out more about the NHS complaints process on their website.
We have much to celebrate in terms of our impact this past year and the journey we have been on. Some of our key highlights include:
We’re looking forward to the year ahead and the work we have yet to undertake to bring about the cultural change with our partners, so people can receive the care and support they need most.
You can read our full report, summary version or digital version.
Coronavirus and community pharmacies: check opening times, order what you need when you need it & arrange deliveriesRead Now
As the UK responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, community pharmacies in Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight are working hard to ensure that everyone gets the medicines they need when they need them.
Check the opening times of your local pharmacy before visiting
Please remember to check the opening times of your local pharmacy. Many pharmacies will have made changes to their opening times, including being closed at lunch time to catch up with the increased demand for prescriptions. You can find your nearest pharmacy contact details here: www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy
Order what you need, don't stockpile
There is no shortage of medicines, but if there is an increased demand due to people stockpiling medicines or asking for longer prescriptions, shortages may be experienced. Order what you need, when you need it.
Arrange prescription deliveries
The government is helping pharmacies to deliver prescriptions. Prescriptions will continue to cover the same length of time as usual. If you do not currently have your prescriptions collected or delivered, you can arrange this by:
For more information on Covid-19, visit Public Health England or the NHS websites.
The results of Europe’s largest survey of patients have been published and show that more than eight out of ten people still have a good experience of their GP practice and more than nine in ten have confidence and trust in the practice staff. The results also highlight where improvements could be made, for example, people contacting practices by telephone and making appointments. However, the survey took place just after extended opening hours for practices had been introduced, so appointments should now be easier to book and more people should be aware of them.
In January 2018, Wessex Voices published their Maternity Matters report, which included the views of more than 1200 women and their birthing partners about their experience of the maternity system across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
We worked with local maternity and Health Visiting services to gather feedback to help commissioners and maternity service providers ensure that women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.
A year on the Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth Local Maternity System have produced a report highlighting many of the actions they have taken to respond to the nine
key areas for improvement that Maternity Matters recommended.
Wessex Voices welcomes the report that shows many areas of progress across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. If you have any feedback or would like more information about this please get in touch at Sue.Newell@helpandcare.org.uk.
The Wessex Cancer Alliance is advertising a Public and Patient Involvement lead role. This post will support the delivery of the Alliance's Public and Patient Involvement Plan, developed in collaboration with Wessex Voices and other Alliance partners.
This will be an operation role to help the Alliance realise its ambitions to involve people in all its workstreams. Whilst the role is part of the Alliance, Wessex Voices will work with successful candidate and the Team to continue to provide independent, strategic, advice, guidance and support.
Macmillan Cancer Support are funding this post and it will provide much needed support on patient and public engagement, not only to build the foundations of effective and sustainable involvement mechanisms, but also to build the confidence and capacity for colleagues to continue this work themselves.
This post is currently funded until the 29th November 2019. For more information visit: https://www.jobs.nhs.uk/xi/vacancy/?vac_ref=915419719
The closing date is the 4th February 2019.
It’s been another successful and productive year for Wessex Voices. We have continued to support NHS England – South (Wessex) commissioners in the Public Health and Primary Care teams and the Clinical Networks to involve people in the design and delivery of their services. We are also supporting the Hampshire and Isle of Wight (HIOW) and Dorset Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve their patient and public involvement.
We have been involved in a number of engagement activities across the Wessex region including:
‘Kick cancer out of Boscombe’ event with the Wessex Cancer Alliance. This cancer awareness raising event, reached over 600 people offering everything from health advice, mole checks, education, signposting and counselling if required. Around 300 visited an inflatable colon, where Bournemouth Hospital staff provided expert advice, information and signposting.
‘WESFIT: Patients experience of exercise and cancer’ focus groups, again with the Alliance. One key thing that will change is that patients in the WESFIT pilot will be given some support to return to exercising after their surgery.
‘Maternity Services Survey 2017 - Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth’.
This specifically commissioned engagement activity received feedback from 1215 women and 63 birthing partners.
To read more about our involvement activities and plans for the future, please read the full report below.
Browsealoud have decided to defer resumption of their service until Thursday 15th February at 12.00 GMT .
This is later than the original planned resumption time of 12 noon GMT today. They made this
decision in order to put in place extra security measures and develop an even more secure means of implementing Browsealoud on your website. They will be publishing a technical document later today with more details on this.
Browsealoud are extremely confident that no customer data has been accessed or lost at any time during the incident.
If you have any questions or concerns, please first check this FAQ or email
email@example.com . Alternatively, contact your Account Manager on +44(0)28
9442 8105 in UK / International or 877-778-6977 in North America.
Browsealoud apologises for any inconvenience caused during this opportunistic cyber attack.
-Martin McKay, Chief Technical Officer & Data Security Officer, Texthelp
Maternity Matters - Wessex Voices report into experiences of maternity services in Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and PortsmouthRead Now
Over 1200 women share their experience of local maternity services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight (including Southampton and Portsmouth)
More than 1200 women and their birthing partners have shared their experience of the maternity system across Southampton, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Portsmouth.
The views were collected by Wessex Voices (a collaboration between local Healthwatch and NHS England) who were asked to carry out a survey, to understand the experiences of mothers and birth partners using maternity services in the last year.
Healthwatch Hampshire, on behalf of Wessex Voices, worked with local maternity and Health Visiting services to gather feedback that will help commissioners and maternity service providers ensure that women have an informed and empowered choice through their pregnancy and birth.
The survey is in support of the national Better Births report recommendations; the report of the National Maternity Review that was published in February 2016 and set out a clear vision: for maternity services across England.
The 1200 views were collected from nine child development clinics across the region and through social media. The views were summarised into the following nine key areas:
Healthwatch Hampshire’s Engagement Officer, Rachel Bullock said: “We are really pleased to have reached so many people willing to discuss their experiences of local maternity services. This range of views provides a valuable resource that will help to improve the maternity experience for future mums and their families”.
For a link to the report and more information visit:
https://www.wessexvoices.org/uploads/9/2/1/6/92161062/maternity_matters_report_2017.pdf and http://www.healthwatchhampshire.co.uk/maternity
For more information: Sue Newell, Wessex Voices Project Manager
Direct Line: 07595 424198
Members required for a NHS England patient and public reference group.
Interest Area: recent experience of general practice.
Closing date for expressions of interest: 15 December 2017.
The quality of care provided by general practice is recongised as being of a high standard. However, the needs of patients’ and their expectations of General Practice are changing and at the same time, local areas are seeking to better integrate their services around patients. A quality improvement scheme currently exists that enables General Practices in England to earn additional funding, if they meet specific quality standards of care for patients with a range of common long term conditions. NHS England has agreed with the British Medical Association to review the current scheme. In particular, they want to review how the scheme could most effectively support the delivery of good quality care, from a patient perspective.
NHS England would like to include the views of patients and the public in this review and are looking to establish three reference groups in London, Bristol and Leeds. Specifically, they would like to seek views on what makes a good quality primary care experience and consider how the current scheme could change to support and recongise this further. The role on this group will involve attending a meeting in January and possibly participating in a further meeting or group telephone call in the spring. In addition, we may request additional engagement with the groups either through WebEx or telephone.
The meetings planned for January 2018 are as follows:
London - 15 January
Bristol - 18 January
Leeds - 18 January
The role offers reimbursement of reasonable expenses in line with our policy.
If you are interested in participating in one of these reference groups or would like further information please email Anisa Varsani on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact 07730 380 387.
Earlier this year, five local Healthwatch got in touch with all 322 GP practices across Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. They did this out of concern that some people and groups have been unable to register with their GP because they were being required to show photo ID and/or proof of address. Whilst ID can be requested but are not required and registration should not be refused on this basis.
Local Healthwatch ‘mystery shoppers’ contacted the GPs to ask what ID was required from patients. They found that 286 practices (or 88.8%) asked for some sort of proof of identification or address before a patient could be registered. When our mystery shoppers replied that they didn’t have any ID and asked what they could do, the majority of practices reiterated that some sort of identification or proof of address was required.
We are concerned that by asking for identification some patients may incorrectly assume that it is compulsory to provide identification, when it is not. This could result in vulnerable individuals being excluded from receiving the care that they are entitled to and need.
We are therefore recommending practices either adopt a policy of not asking for any identification at all, or that they ensure all staff are adequately trained to explain to newly registering patients that identification is preferred but not essential. We would also recommend updating their practice information.
Martyn Webster, Healthwatch Dorset Manager, told us:
"Patient satisfaction with GP services is high, but at the same time some people find difficulty actually getting those services in the first place. This has been highlighted by our recent joint "mystery shopper" project in which Healthwatch volunteers across Wessex contacted GP surgeries to find out what it's like to try to register with a GP.
Although NHS England states "You should not be refused registration or appointments because you don’t have a proof of address or personal identification", we discovered that, for example out of the 97 GP surgeries in Dorset only 7 did not require ID or proof of address to register a patient. This has an impact on people generally, but also particularly on a number of potentially vulnerable people, including former armed forces members, students in temporary accommodation, older women and people who are homeless."
As a result of this exercise, Wessex Voices arranged for local Healthwatch to talk to the Wessex Local Medical Council (LMC) about training for GP practices. The LMC have offered lunch and learn sessions for GP administrative staff which clarifies that patients don’t need to show photo ID to register.
The report has also been shared with GP practices and all Clinical Commissioning Groups in the area and they have been invited to respond to their individual Healthwatch.
Here is a link to the full report.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About Wessex Voices:
Wessex Voices is an innovative partnership between NHS England and the five local Healthwatch in the Wessex area.
Funded by NHS England, our aim is to transform the sustainability and impact of public and patient involvement in health services in the area, and enable more people to be involved in the planning, commissioning and delivery of services.
We are the independent champion for people who use health and social care services. We exist to ensure that people are at the heart of care. We listen to what people like about services, and what could be improved and we share their views with those with the power to make change happen. We also help people find the information they need about services in their area.
We have the power to ensure that people's voices are heard by the government and those running services. As well as seeking the public's views ourselves, we also encourage services to involve people in decisions that affect them. Our sole purpose is to help make care better for people.
To find out more, or to arrange an interview, please contact Sue Newell, Wessex Voices, Programme Manager, Wessex Voices on 07595 424198 or email@example.com
Wessex Local Eye Health Network is carrying out an eye health needs assessment for Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. The aim is to describe what eye health services are currently provided across the region, and to assess how well they meet the local needs. Services will include those provided by hospitals, optometrists, GP’s, local authorities, school nurses and charities.
The Network are particularly interested in the experiences of local patients and users of eye health services. Which work well? Do any need improvement? Do pathways work smoothly, or are there gaps?
Would you or someone you know be willing to tell your story?
Their hope is that by illustrating the real-world implications of the services, they can influence commissioners, local authorities and practitioners to make recommended changes recommended or to take the time to examine the issue themselves.
To take part contact Rory at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0113 8253276 by the end of November 2017.
NHS England has published two policies that outline how it will work with its PPV partners. The new Patient and Public Voice Partners Policy sets out the ways in which NHS England works with PPV Partners, including different types of roles and support available. The updated expenses policy: ‘Working with our PPV Partners – reimbursing expenses and paying involvement payments’ aims to ensure that PPV Partners are not out of pocket when they get involved in NHS England’s work. It provides details on reimbursing PPV partner expenses and when involvement payments apply. If you are a PPV Partner you may like to read the policies to understand the different types of PPV Partner roles offered by NHS England and the support you should expect. Both policies can be found in the resources section of the Involvement Hub.
Would you be interested in helping NHS England develop some courses for Patient and Public volunteers
If so please read on……
NHS England are working with two companies called WSA and Just Ideas to develop three e-learning courses which are aimed at supporting Patient and Public Voice (PPV) partners who volunteer with them and NHS England staff.
The three courses are:
1. Using social media to engage effectively with patients and the public
2. Developing excellent relationships with Patient and Public Voice volunteers (title tbc)
3. High impact communication skills for meetings (online and virtual)
They think it is really important that people are able to contribute to the design and content of the courses. This will help to ensure that as they are developed, they have the input of those likely to be using them in future, and to check they are interesting, useful and using appropriate language.
NHS E would be really grateful if you could spare an hour of your time to do this by joining a ‘webinar’ (a group phone conversation where you are also looking at a presentation on a computer screen and discussing it).
They are offering two webinars, and you are welcome to join either one – the times are:
The details of how to join will be sent out to anyone interested, nearer the time. But rest assured it’s easy to participate as long as you have a phone and computer with internet access - you don’t have to have any experience of doing one before, we’ll talk you through it and it is really quite fun!
If you are interested, please email Sam, project support officer: email@example.com, she will acknowledge your email and near the date she will send you the details of how to join the webinar. If you have any queries before registering, you can call Charlotte (who will be facilitating the webinar discussions) on 07748 378913. If there is no reply please leave a message and she’ll call back. No-one will be turned away, there is room for all!
If you are interested in being involved but can’t make the webinar dates, don’t worry – there are other ways of contributing either by e mail or by being part of a pilot of the course at a later stage. If you are interested contact Angela Medd, Project Manager, NHS England, 07876 851750 firstname.lastname@example.org and she can offer you some options about how to do this.
NHS E will (with your permission of course) acknowledge your help with a Thankyou in the information about the courses.