Annual report launch – Two years of championing Croydon’s health and social care through voicing patients’ views
Healthwatch Croydon, marks its second anniversary this week with the publication of its annual report.
Key achievements in 2014-15 include the reporting of patients’ views of Croydon University Hospital Wandle Ward 2 and 3, the Bethlem Royal Hospital Gresham Ward 1 as well as four residential and care homes within the borough.
This was achieved through the Enter and View programme where trained volunteers provided a ‘citizen’s eye’. These Healthwatch Croydon representatives, with the agreement of the care provider, visited wards or homes and asked patients, residents, carers and staff what they think of services and observed services being delivered. The aim is to find out how they are being run and make recommendations where there were areas for improvement.
Since 2014, Healthwatch Croydon has trained volunteers to undertake Enter and View visits, developing knowledge of dementia and mental health awareness and practical skills such as effective communication, record keeping and report writing.
The organisation also helped resolve a number of complaints, working with VoiceAbility to assist clients in their complaint and produced some key reports to influence local healthcare policy. Healthwatch Croydon has also worked in partnership with Mind in Croydon to undertake a survey of users of mental health services to establish why people living in Croydon are admitted to inpatient mental health services, as well as understanding their experiences.
They are planning to build on success so far. Chief Executive, Charlie Ladyman said: “We want to develop a stronger evidence base on residents’ experiences, needs and requirements. This includes gaining patients’ perspective on hospital discharge for the over 65s working with Age UK Croydon, and understanding mental health patients working with Mind in Croydon. This will be supported by further developing the Enter and View programme. We will also support commissioners and providers in developing integrated care in Croydon.”
Since its foundation in April 2013, Healthwatch Croydon has made an impact: Paula Swann, Chief Officer, NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Healthwatch Croydon plays a pivotal role to improve health services in Croydon. Healthwatch representatives regularly attend CCG Governing Body meetings and contribute to the Governing Body’s discussions, which informs the CCG’s work on the commissioning, design and delivery of services.”
John Goulston, CEO, Croydon Health Services NHS Trust said: “Healthwatch Croydon as a very important critical friend. The visits that we have had from Healthwatch have been really helpful in showing us where we are providing good quality care and or suggesting areas for improvement. We look forward to continuing to work with Healthwatch Croydon.”