A survey we recently conducted of local NHS and social care organisations in Reading, and the commissioning bodies that fund and plan these services, has given positive feedback about the value of Healthwatch.
- 93% of responding organisations said they agreed or strongly agreed that ‘Healthwatch Reading is able to challenge providers on service delivery’ (this compared with 67% of respondents to a similar audit carried out after our first year of operation)
- 86% agreed or strongly agreed that ‘Healthwatch Reading has had a positive impact on Health and Social Care’ (compared with 52% previously)
- We were praised for collecting feedback from ‘seldom heard’ communities
- Voluntary sector organisations felt we had brought issues to the attention of decision-makers and councillors on the Reading Health and Wellbeing Board
- Our advocates had given a voice to those who couldn’t speak for themselves
- One suggestion for change was for us to recognise that health professionals should not be seen as ‘obstacles’, but as joint partners in wanting improvements for patients