Worcester News Article – 18th October

Over the years improving mental health services for Worcestershire’s children, young people and adults has always been a big part of Healthwatch Worcestershire’s job, using feedback from patients and their carers to make recommendations about how their care could be improved. Therefore, I was delighted that at the September meeting of Worcestershire’s Health and Well Being Board the leaders from Worcestershire’s NHS and Councils made two important decisions; the first to support a new Mental Health & Well Being Strategy for Herefordshire and Worcestershire which sets out how and which mental health services will be delivered, and the second, to give the people of Worcestershire a real say in a new Joint Health and Well Being Strategy, which will focus on one overarching theme of “Better mental health and emotional wellbeing”, supported by healthy living at all stages in life, safe and healthy homes, and good jobs.

We have been continuing to gather feedback from people across the County about their experience of the increased use of online communication by health services, as we know not everyone has access to the internet or finds it easy to use. We attended the Older People’s Showcase event in Kidderminster and found many older people were keen to talk to us about this subject. We attended a Computer Café organised by Age UK Worcester and Malvern Hills, a Children and Young People’s Showcase event in Kidderminster, the Ecumenical Centre in Redditch and visited a Street Food Station in Worcester where we talked with people who experience homelessness about their experiences.

We also met with people with a learning disability, from SpeakEasy N.O.W.’s Health Checkers project, to discuss some of the specific issues for people with a learning disability, such as some of the difficulties of talking about health issues over the phone or video call and the importance of having support.

If you would like to have your say, please contact us for a paper copy of our short survey or if you prefer, you can complete it over the phone or online via our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk.

Please get in touch to share any experience of local health and social care services in confidence by phone 01386 550264 or info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk or visit the Tell Us page of our website.