The Healthwatch Network Reveals Your Health and Care Priorities for 2017
Posted on 04/01/2017
Analysis by the national health and care consumer champion, Healthwatch England, has identified key issues the public would like to see policy makers and health professionals focus on over the next 12 months.
Mental health is at number one for the second year running
Social care rises up the list with a particular focus on care in people’s homes
Access to, and the quality of, mental health services topped the list last year and retains the top spot, with many continuing to call for this to be a core focus for improvement.
In second place on this year’s priority list is social care, with almost half of local Healthwatch picking up on concerns around the quality of some local care homes and issues regarding residents' access to other health services. We also discovered a number of concerns relating to domiciliary care such as help with washing, dressing and taking medication, with double the number of complainants compared with last year.
Spending time visiting the users of these services and their carers, Healthwatch is uniquely placed to gather and share intelligence about your experiences and make sure your concerns are addressed. We would love you to continue to share your experiences of health and/or social care services in Wandsworth throughout the coming year with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8516 7767.
SWLStG Mental Health Trust/Healthwatch Liaison Meeting - 12 December
Posted on 19/12/2016
Our last bi-monthly meeting with the local Mental Health Trust was held on the 12th of December and though we were short in numbers, a lot of ground was covered.
We were given a brief update on the reorganisation of the Trust's management structure, which is still in progress but should be fully operational by April 2017. More information on the final structure should be available at our next meeting early in 2017.
Work is ongoing to improve support for carers, and the Trust's recent self-assessment report (Triangle of Care) shows that there is still lots to be done to improve service user and carer involvement. However, a positive piece of work recently completed is the Carers’ Charter which will be presented to the Carers, Family and Friends Reference Group on the 19th of January 2017.
Please read the attached brief summary report for more information about what took place at this meeting.
SWLStG Mental Health Trust Board Meeting - 1 December
Posted on 07/12/2016
This meeting of the SWLStG Mental Health Trust Board Meeting was principally used to talk about the Trust's recent performance, following their upgraded score of 'Good' from the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
In spite of this achievement, the Trust is still very much committed to making improvements, and one area of focus for the coming months are the Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) where performance still fluctuates. The Director of Nursing and Quality Improvement, Vanessa Ford, is working on a new set of minimum standards for CMHTs to meet that will hopefully raise performance.
More from this meeting is available in the attached report.
Our Executive board meeting is held every two months, and we use the time to discuss the overall direction and development of Healthwatch, provide leadership and guidance to staff members and to make sure that Healthwatch values are being upheld in all the different facets of our work.
The Executive board is acountable to the local authority, in our case Wandsworth Council, who stipulate that our dealings should be transparent and open to scrutiny.
The minutes of our last Executive Board meeting held on the 17th of October are attached for information.
Feedback from the SWLStG Mental Health Trust Board Meeting - 6 October
Posted on 23/11/2016
At this meeting of the South West London St George's Mental Health Trust Board, the Board reviewed the Trust's corporate objectives and also the risks and challenges it currently faces.
The Trust recently underwent a CQC inspection and some areas of regulatory non-compliance were highlighted during the exercise. However, many of these issues have now been resolved and it is hoped that the restructure of service line management arrangements will help with governance in the future.
Find out more about this meeting on the attached summary report.
Healthwatch was introduced to Vanessa Ford, the Director of Nursing and Quality Improvement and the new Executive Relationship Lead for Wandsworth.
Healthwatch uses this meeting to find out what's new at the Trust and to get feedback on what things are working well, or not so well.
A recent development at the Trust that will hopefully have a positive impact on all aspects of the service, is a change to service line management. 5 service lines, or departments, will now be jointly overseen by both clinical and operational heads of service. It is hoped that these changes will promote consistency in the quality of the services received across the five South West London boroughs.
Another big area of work for the Trust is the move to more community-based services, for example Primary Care Plus which will provide GPs with access to mental health professionals when supporting people with serious mental health problems.
More from this meeting can be found on the attached brief summary report.
NHS London would like to empower the public to play an active role in the commissioning of health care services and service improvement. In order to do this well, those involved will require adequate training and the NHS hopes to be able to provide this training for volunteer members of Clinical Commissioning Groups and Trust Boards in the future.
The purpose of the focus group was to provide information on the course to those who are currently involved in this work, and to get some ideas to help build the course material.
If you would like to read the brief summary sheet from this meeting, see below.
This meeting of the Healthwatch England Advisory Group was very well attended by over 50 members of local Healthwatch and Healthwatch England and was called to seek advice & feedback from senior members of local Healthwatch organisations.
One of the highlights of the September meeting was a discussion of data from local Healthwatch organisations, which has apparently been requested by other organisations and is testament to the importance of the work that local Healthwatch carries out in the community.
For more from this meeting, see the attached summary report.
This event, just one of a number of events being run by our local Mental Health Trust (MHT) during Mental Health Month, was led by Dr Emma Whicher, Medical Director of the Trust, and Dr Phil Moore, lead GP on mental health for the SW London Collaborative.
The focus of this year's mental health month is reducing stigma which can result from a lack of awareness and often increases the isolation that people affected by mental health issues can feel. If you would like to take a quiz that looks at how widespread the prevalence of mental ill health actually is, and the impact of stigma on sufferers (particularly the young) then click here.
There were also videos from the New York City mental health campaign which aims to inform citizens about mental illness, encourage conversation on the topic and ultimately produce a mental health plan for the city and its inhabitants.
As usual, the Mental Health Trust's Annual Public Meeting included updates on clinical progress as well as the financial health of the Trust. The Trust's Annual Report and its Quality Account for 2015-16 were also made available at the meeting.
Pending confirmation of the improvement of certain issues previously identified by the CQC, the Trust hopes to obtain a 'Good' rating from the independent regulator in the next few weeks. The Trust would then be among the relatively few London mental health Trusts to achieve this status.
More from this meeting can be found on the summary sheet, attached below.
Enter & View visit to Besley Street Supported Living Facility
Posted on 10/10/2016
A current strategic priority for the use of our Enter and View powers is to visit Extra Care and Supported Living housing schemes. We feel that tenants in such schemes get less chance to express their views compared with users of other health and social care services.
The first of our visits was to a supported living scheme for adults with learning disabilities, located at 120 Besley Street. This facility contains 6 bedsits and currently houses four tenants.
Our representatives were able to speak to three of the tenants about their experience of the scheme and how it meets their needs. We also spoke to their relatives to obtain their perspective on the scheme.
The report which contains details of the scheme, including our findings and recommendations, is attached below.
SWLStG Mental Health Trust Stakeholder Listening Event - 20 September
Posted on 07/10/2016
The Mental Health Trust (MHT) arranged this meeting to seek the views of stakeholders' regarding their reorganisation proposals and Healthwatch Wandsworth is very keen for service users' and carers' interests to be taken into account throughout the process.
The main driver for the reorganisation is the need to continue to improve the quality of services. However, the Trust is also looking for efficiency savings, reflect the continuing pressure to do more with fewer resources.
Whilst the proposals were broadly welcomed, there were concerns around certain aspects, for example the treatment of young and older people together.
If you would like more information from this meeting, please see the attached information sheet.
Feedback from the South West London Healthwatch/MHT Liaison Meeting
Posted on 07/10/2016
Some of the local Healthwatch organisations based in south west London meet on a quarterly basis to discuss issues pertaining to the local Mental Health Trust (MHT), in particular, those that will affect people who use their services.
The ongoing theme of available beds was again on the agenda, and the update from the Trust is that more beds have recently become available; however, demand continues to fluctuate.
Part of the discussion focused on the plans for hospital redevelopment at Springfield and Tolworth sites. Companies are currently bidding for the project which will include rebuilding both hospitals. The work is to be funded from the sale of surplus land and buildings owned by the Trust.
More from the meeting is available on the attached summary report.
Wandsworth's BME Mental Health Forum - 15 Setpember
Posted on 30/09/2016
The Forum meets every two months and picked up on some of the issues from the previous meeting, including more support for children's mental health.
Preparations are underway for the 8th annual Black Mental Health conference which will take place on the 27th of October. The purpose of the conference, key speakers and its overall impact were carefully considered.
A single point of access to mental health services will be available to the public from October 2016 onwards. This should make referrals quicker and also enable community mental health teams to carry out assessments more efficiently.
More from this meeting is available on the attached report summary sheet.
Feedback from Wandsworth CCG's Primary Care Committee - 6 September
Posted on 26/09/2016
Jamie, our experienced CCG rep, attended the new Wandsworth CCG Primary Care Committee which was last held on the 6th of September.
This committee regularly looks at all things related to services that were recently transferred to Primary Care management, including the quality of the services being provided under the new structure.
More from this meeting is available on the attached summary sheet.
Our representative, Rebecca, went along to the CCG Comms & Engagement Steering Group which was held on Thursday 11th August.
Wandsworth is currently ranked no. 1 in terms of patient uptake of Patient Online services (an NHS programme that supports GP practices to offer online services to patients, including appointment booking and ordering of repeat prescriptions) and phase two of the service is due to be rolled out soon. Phase two will mean that patients can view their medical records online.
If you would like to read the full summary of this meeting, click below.
Healthwatch Liaison Mtg with the Mental Health Trust - 25 July
Posted on 10/08/2016
At our last regular liaison meeting with our local mental health trust, the discussion focused mainly on the results of the recent CQC inspection and the report detailing their feedback.
Although the Trust was rated overall as 'needing improvement', the report shows a significant improvement from 2014. The Trust now has an Action Plan to progress to a 'Good' rating and this plan was presented at a Quality Summit on the 27th July.
Another important step forward for the Trust is the recent establishment of Discharge Co-ordinators on each hospital ward. Work to improve inpatient discharge planning will continue under a 2 year programme and new standards for discharge from community mental health teams are also about to be introduced.
More from this meeting is available in the attached report.
How Can we Improve Support for Carers? A Consultation
Posted on 05/08/2016
Healthwatch Wandsworth wanted to play a part in the Department of Health’s development of a new strategy for carers that addresses their needs and looks at how more can be done to support them. So we launched a survey to gain insight into carers’ lives and to measure their satisfaction with the support services available now, with a view to measuring current practice against the new proposed strategy.
The consultation ran from 9th June 2016 until 22nd July 2016 and we collected a number of responses which reflect a variety of different carer situations. We found that a significant number of respondents were either not aware of available support services or were not using the services, which is very revealing.
It was also noted that carers have a real sense of personal responsibility toward the person they look after but at the same time value respite and leisure time for themselves.
Our report was sent to the Department of Health to be included in their overall response on this consultation, and is attached below.
Mental Health Workshop - Enhanced Care Pathway - 7 July
Posted on 27/07/2016
This workshop was held primarily for mental health service users and carers, to give them an opportunity to be involved in the planning of the Trust's enhanced Urgent Care Pathway, or in other words, the range of support and assessment services that will be available to people in, or close to, mental health crisis. The overall aim is to provide support to people earlier on and reduce the level of hospital admissions.
Some of the main components of these enhanced services will be:
Integration of the out of hours crisis service
A new Psychiatric Decision Unit (PDU)
What these services will entail is included in more detail in the attached report.
Healthwatch Wandsworth congratulates the Mental Health Trust on its efforts to include local people in its consultation on the enhanced urgent care pathway.
South West London Mental Health Trust Board Meeting - 7 July
Posted on 27/07/2016
Members of the public are permitted to attend the first part of the monthly South West London Mental Health Trust Board meeting. The agenda was packed as usual and among some of the topics discussed was the ongoing situation with inpatient beds (demand for which has again recently increased), along with the work being done to improve community support available for people in (or close to) crisis early on - which will hopefully have a positive impact on future hospital admissions.
There was also an update on the CAMHS Neuro-developmental Assessment Unit, which was originally designed to handle nine referrals per week but has been dealing with a lot more, leading to delays and a subsequent backlog. However, the service has also received a lot of positive feedback and the Trust is considering the lessons to be learned from this experience.
The complete report from this meeting is attached.
Healthwatch Wandsworth Monitoring Reports - Year 4, Quarter 1
Posted on 18/07/2016
It is amazing to think that we are now in our fourth year of operation!
While we have achieved so many positive things, we still have a lot to do. And even though so many things have changed, the one thing that hasn't is reporting on our performance, both quarterly and annual.
Our quarterly monitoring documents for the first quarter of our fourth year are attached.
Mental Health Crisis/Recovery Cafes Market Warming Event - 14 June
Posted on 18/07/2016
This local 'market warming' event was held to gauge local interest in a proposed new service - the mental health crisis or recovery cafe.
The Crisis Cafe concept is one of a safe, but non-clinical, space in a community setting where people in crisis can go between the hours of 6pm and 11pm to receive support and advice from mental health professionals in a relaxing atmosphere. As was highlighted at the meeting, there may be a case for prioritising the needs of BME communities who are over-represented in the acute care sector.
A workshop to get the views of service users and carers has been arranged for 7 July at the Quaker Meeting House in Wandsworth High St.
To read the report from this meeting in full, click below.