We have set out our plans for the next year in our new business plan. Each year we set priority themes to guide our work and help keep us focused on what matters to local people. We’ve reviewed all the experiences people shared with us between April 2021 and March 2022 and have also looked at what will be happening in health and social care this year to see if there are opportunities for people to have a say in what happens.
The Covid19 pandemic has dominated the health and care agenda, including the work of Healthwatch, for the last 2 years. Even as the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt, we are witnessing new developments that will require us to adapt. This includes a restructuring of the health and care system into an Integrated Care System (ICS), changes to practice in many areas from Mental Health to Social Care reforms and the potential impact of the ‘cost of living’ crisis on health and social care.
While acknowledging the need to remain flexible and respond to the situation as it evolves, our business plan describes in general terms our intended activities in the coming 12 months. Our staff and volunteer representatives at meetings and those speaking to the community will undertake various activities to advance equity in health and social care.
In 2021 we completed a self-assessment of how we work using the Quality Framework designed by Healthwatch England and used this to improve how we work. We’ve completed the action plan, but some of the quality areas will be incorporated into our objectives because they are things that can always be improved upon further.
Our main objectives for 2022-3
This year we aim to focus on the following health and care topics:
1. Hospital discharges
2. Perinatal mental health
3. Dementia service provision and support for carers
4. Strengthening links with communities and groups who experience health inequalities
5. Reviewing Wandsworth Council’s Social Care Front Door approach to holistically help people to remain independent
6. Local information and co-design during the implementation of social care reforms
Most of these topics relate to work we have already started and wish to progress further.
Within the objectives above we will place particular emphasis on digital support, health inequalities, mental health and support to carers as cross cutting themes.