Worcester News Article – 27th July

On 15th July we held our third online Public Board Meeting. We were pleased to be joined again by local voluntary groups and members of the public via Zoom. It was an opportunity for us to give an update on the work we have been doing gathering the experiences of people in Worcestershire during Covid-19 and some of the issues we have been raising with local health and social care services. It also gave groups and members of the public the chance to share issues of concern and the experiences of the communities they represent.

At the meeting I officially signed our Time to Change Employer Pledge on behalf of Healthwatch Worcestershire, following our successful application to the scheme. The initiative requires organisations to make a commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace, by submitting an action plan showing how understanding and support around mental health will be developed within the organisation. Now more than ever we recognise the importance of prioritising mental health. We know that the impact of Covid-19 will increase the need for support around mental health and we will be raising questions to seek assurance and clarification about the capacity and planning within local mental health services for adults, children and young people.

The Worcestershire Mental Health Response Group is one of the many meetings we have participated in over the last two weeks, as well as Worcestershire’s Health and Wellbeing Board, where we were discussing the issues raised in the national Public Health England review into disparities of outcomes for people with Covid-19. In addition to local quality and performance meetings, we have been participating in a range of webinars to help us shape our engagement over coming months, including sessions looking at the future of online GP consultations, engaging with those who are not able to access the internet and engaging with specific communities such as Gypsy Roma Travellers.

Although we have now closed our Covid-19 survey, people with a learning disability and Autism can still share their experiences during Covid-19, via our Easy Read survey. Visit our website – www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk for more information or contact us to share your experiences of local services in confidence – info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk / 01386 550264.