Stakeholders say our influence is strong

Local organisations have rated how we're doing in speaking up for Reading people.
Photo of Healthwatch Reading chief executive Mandeep Bains

Our organisation ‘is listened to as an authoritative voice’ that can help secure changes for people experiencing health inequalities, according to local stakeholders.

Healthwatch Reading carried out a recent reflective audit which was answered by a range of organisations including Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading Borough Council, Berkshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, charity leaders and patient participation group leads.

Key findings:

  • 92% agree Healthwatch Reading is able to challenge providers on service delivery
  • 92% say their organisation's awareness of Healthwatch Reading is excellent/good
  • 83% agree Healthwatch Reading has had a positive impact on health & social care
  • 77% of respondents say our approach to communications is excellent or good

How do stakeholders think we help local people?

Respondents gave feedback on our Healthwatch role as the local statutory champion and also our extra service, Reading Voice that provides statutory advocacy.

“It gives those people that feel ‘lost’ in the NHS system support when they are at their most vulnerable.”

“Awareness and information e.g. talking to groups re vaccine hesitancy.”

“It has raised the profile of issues around disabled people.”

“Helping secure health services for underrepresented/hard to reach groups e.g. hotel-based homeless in times of Covid. Likewise helping those where English is not their first language to access health services.”

“Support given to a service user with CHC appeal resulted in a positive outcome.”

“Complaint about the lack of deaf interpreting service had resulted in improvement for the service user.”

Comments about the value of our service

“Having a Reading-based local Healthwatch is essential as they know the local issues and dynamics and the local voluntary sector and they are great networkers.”

“They work hard to make sure that people who need advocacy get it and their advocates are well-informed.”

“I am continually amazed by the level of reach Healthwatch Reading attains with such limited resources. This is due to an extremely able and dedicated team.”

What suggestions did stakeholders have for us?

  • Keep pressing for Healthwatch Reading repots to stay at the top of NHS agendas
  • Acknowledge the motivation and experiences of healthcare staff
  • Publish regular updates [we have a monthly newsletter - sign up details below].

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