Worcester News Article – 18th April

On 13 April I chaired the public Board meeting of Healthwatch Worcestershire in Pershore. Healthwatch is exploring how vulnerable homeless people in the county are safeguarded and how any ‘care and support needs’ they have are met. The County Council funds Caring for Communities and People, a charity, to provide outreach services for the homeless in the county. At the Board meeting we heard from the service manager how emergency night shelter is provided for the homeless during severe weather and how that service had performed during the recent winter. We will be pursuing enquires with caring for Communities and People to find out more about services that were available when it took over the service. We also heard from the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ Head of Communications and Engagement on how the Clinical Commissioning Groups are reorganising their engagement arrangements for patients. We were told how the arrangements, which will be based on three Patient Advisory Groups, in the areas of Wyre Forest, Redditch and Bromsgrove and South Worcestershire feeding into a single countywide Patient Advisory Group will work. Healthwatch had already put forward some suggestions for making the new Governance arrangements work better for patients and carers and I was pleased to see these had been included. Information about Healthwatch’s suggestions and the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ response are published on our website.

The new Patient Advisory Group meetings will be open to the public. If you want to find out who your patient representative is on a Group, what is happening to your NHS or how decisions are being made about your health services please attend the meetings. The dates and venues are on the Clinical Commissioning Groups’ web sites or contact Healthwatch.

Our next public Board meeting is at Kidderminster on 11 May. And, as always, if you require any further information on our work or have an experience of health or social care to share with us in confidence please contact us on 01386 550 264 or info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk .