Worcester News – 18th April 2022

A key part of our role at Healthwatch is talking with people from different age groups, backgrounds and communities across Worcestershire, about their experiences of local health and social care services. This ranges from attending large events, to small local community groups and building relationships with individuals who can help us to hear from others within their communities.

Just before the Easter holidays we attended an information event at Bewdley School, where we spoke with over 600 students. We asked them if they feel they have enough information about looking after their emotional wellbeing and mental health, which led to discussions about how this had been covered in school and some of the topics they would like more information about.

Other engagement over the last couple of weeks has included visits to the Ecumenical Centre and the Sandycroft Centre in Redditch, Maggs Day Centre and Worcester Community Trust’s Community Connectors group in Worcester, the South Worcestershire Prostate Cancer Support Group and the Patient Participation Group at the Aylmer Lodge and Cookley GP Practice in Wyre Forest.

We also met up with one of our Community Links at St Paul’s Hostel in Worcester. Our Community Links provide us with, not only their own lived experiences, but connect with their peers to share their feedback with us. This is a fantastic connection for us into communities, such as those experiencing homelessness, who are living with health inequalities and provides us with feedback about services that we might not otherwise hear.

Just before the start of the Covid pandemic we published a report about the experiences of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) community in relation to local health and social care services. It was great last week to meet with the Chair of the LGBT+ Network at the Worcestershire Acute Hospital NHS Trust to discuss the progress they have made with the action plan they developed in response to the recommendations in our report. It was also good to hear about their current Rainbow Badge Scheme Survey for patients, looking at the LGBT+ inclusion activity within the Trust.

To share your experiences of local health and social care services or find out more about our work, please visit our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk or get in touch 01386 550264 / info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk