Worcester News Article – 13th June
From the 1st July, Herefordshire and Worcestershire Integrated Care System will formally be the new partnership between the organisations that meet health and care needs across our area, to coordinate services and plan in a way that improves population health and reduces inequalities between different groups. Last Wednesday the Directors of Healthwatch Worcestershire met with the Directors of Healthwatch Herefordshire to share their knowledge and experience of the Health and Social Care Systems across the two counties and discuss some of the issues that there are in common, to ensure that we best represent the voices of people from across both counties.
Last week was Carers Week. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges unpaid carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. We understand how important this is at Healthwatch and try to ensure that all our work involves carers and seeks to gather and represent their views and experiences of local services.
During Carers Week we attended the newly established Herefordshire and Worcestershire Carer Reference Group and also enjoyed a Jubilee celebration with Carers Careline in Redditch. Talking to carers is also a key part of the engagement we have been doing in relation to Dementia and in the last two weeks we have visited Dementia cafes in Kidderminster and Redditch, to speak to people living with Dementia and their carers.
It was also Volunteers Week at the beginning of June. An opportunity to recognise the valuable contribution of those who give their time to help others. We know how vital volunteers are in supporting health and social care services and improving the health and emotional wellbeing of so many people.
We would like to say a huge thank you to our Healthwatch Worcestershire Volunteers. In particular our Co-Opted Board Members, who represent the public and their own communities, to ensure their involvement in our decision making. And also our Community Links, who help us to hear from people in their communities, such as those experiencing homelessness, about issues and experiences related to health and social care.