Worcester News Article – 4th April

We had a packed agenda for our Public Board Meeting on 24th March. Including a presentation from the Chair of the Worcestershire Safeguarding Adults Board of their Annual Report and Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health talking about the current consultation on the new Health and Wellbeing Strategy for the county.

We had a valuable discussion about local Mental Health services, in particular waiting times for support from Healthy Minds, following concerns we had raised with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust. We were joined by the Trust’s Director of Strategy and Partnership and service leads, who presented current waiting time figures and plans to overcome the challenges facing the service. Members of the public and local voluntary organisations in attendance were able to share experiences of the impact of the delays to accessing support, ask questions and make suggestions, in particular about communicating with people while they are waiting and providing reassurance and alternative support that can be accessed in the shorter term.

At the meeting the Board agreed our Young People’s Health and Emotional Wellbeing Report for publication. Based on the responses to our recent survey, the findings showed the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on young people. 80% felt that there had been a negative impact on their emotional wellbeing, including how they have been feelings, their happiness and levels of anxiety. 60% said Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their physical health, including the amount of time they have spent doing sport, exercising and being active and their diet. Young people also felt there had been a negative impact on their learning, socialising, screen time and their family and home lives. They want more information about health and wellbeing and told us about the type of information they would like. They also shared some of the barriers to accessing support for emotional wellbeing and their own experiences of local services. We have requested a response to the 26 recommendations within the report from Worcestershire’s health and social care services.

To watch recordings of the presentations from our Public Board Meeting, read our reports or tell us about your experiences of local health and care services, please visit our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk or get in touch – info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk / 01386 550264.