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Healthwatch Devon is the independent champion for health and social care covering the largest local authority area in the South West of England with a population of 814,440 in 2021.

We take your experiences of using health and care services - both good and bad, and share these with those who have the power to make change happen.

What you are telling us

Share your experience here

What services have helped you with low mood, anxiety, panic, fears or depression?

Only 10% of respondents so far, have rated their experience of mental health and wellbeing services in #Devon as POSITIVE. 

Have you, or someone you know, been suffering from low mood, anxiety, panic, fears or depression? Are you getting the support you need? Has your experience of using NHS mental health and wellbeing services been good, or could it have been better?

It’s quick and easy to share your experience with us by completing this anonymous online survey

Share your experience with Healthwatch and we can let organisations like NHS England know what good care looks like because we all want to improve services and make a difference to people’s lives.

YOUR voice will make a difference.

Have your say and complete the survey here

Cost of living: People are increasingly avoiding NHS appointments and prescriptions

Healthwatch England has conducted a tracker poll with 2000 adults in England between October and December to assess the impact of the cost of living on their health and wellbeing and whether it has affected how they use health and social care services.

The report shows that people are avoiding vital care due to the fear of extra costs, for instance, people avoided getting prescription medicines, and booking NHS appointments, including dental treatment, due to the fear of extra costs in December than in October. Also, people who avoided an NHS appointment due to the cost of travel doubled to almost one in 10, 11%, in December, up from 6% in October.

Louise Ansari, our National Director, said:
“It is clear that the impact of the cost of living crisis on people’s health and wellbeing is beginning to hit home.

“We are very worried that people are increasingly avoiding getting prescription medicines, booking NHS appointments and travelling to their appointments because of the extra costs. The steps people are taking to cope with the cost of living can have serious implications on their physical and mental health. This is likely to place a further burden on the already stretched NHS."

Healthwatch has set out immediate actions the government working with health and care services can take to support people in the cost-of-living crisis and save money relating to:

  • Prescriptions

  • Travel

  • Dental care

  • Remote bookings and appointments

  • Benefits

Read the full article and report here

You said, we did

55% of respondents (68 people) said "Yes" they thought their health and safety was at risk due to caring duties.

“We are left to cope with every arising situation with little or no practical support unless we fight for it.”

Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey and give their feedback. Healthwatch would also like to thank Devon Carers, Improving Lives Plymouth, and the Torbay Carers Service for helping to design and distribute the survey.

Healthwatch has share the findings of this report directly with those responsible for commissioning Carers services for them to consider and respond to.

Read the full report here

Okehampton Town and Parish Open Space, Sport and Recreation Plan Questionnaire

Consultation with existing clubs and the community to gather into a Parish/Town OSSR Plan activities currently available and proposed projects within the town/parish for open space, sport and recreation.

The Plan will assist with targeting existing funding and resources, and to identify future projects and requirements which may result from increased housing development. In short we want to hear about your club/organisation to help identify the challenges you are facing and see what funding may be available to you.

Complete the questionnaire here

Do you or someone you care for have diabetes?

If so Diabetes UK would like to hear from you!

Last year they launched their Diabetes is Serious campaign to make sure people living with diabetes continue to receive the care they need and get vital diabetes services back on track. They looked at what aspects of care people were struggling to access and the impact this was having on people.

They have put together a new survey to follow up and see what care experiences people had in 2022. This will help them see what has changed, and which areas need to be prioritised in the coming months.

Find out more and complete the survey here

New campaign launched by NHS Devon - Treatment starts at home

A new campaign launched by NHS Devon explains how people can treat themselves for minor illnesses and injuries from the comfort of their own home.

Find out more here

News from Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust:

Industrial action update from Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation TrustWe have received confirmation that the Royal Devon will be impacted by further planned Royal College of Nursing industrial action on 6 and 7 February 2023.

As before, colleagues and union representatives are working very closely together to ensure that patient safety and staff wellbeing are maintained as much as possible.

Please keep an eye on our website for further information.

Acute Hospital at Home (AHAH)

Our Acute Hospital at Home (AHAH) service, which is nationally referred to as the ‘Virtual Ward’ programme, is a safe and efficient alternative to receiving care as an inpatient on a hospital ward.

It is currently running across our Eastern services and will be rolled out across our Northern services in a phased way over the coming weeks.

Anyone referred to our AHAH service will receive the same care, monitoring and treatment that they would from a hospital bed or from a local community service, but from the comfort of home.

Our AHAH team, which includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, paramedics, clinical support workers and occupational therapists, are in touch with patients on a regular basis throughout the day, and can be contacted 24 hours a day.

In this video, Sally shares her experience of being a patient of a virtual ward.

Visit the Royal Devon website here

Join our Healthwatch Assist Network!

Calling all community groups, are you on the map?

The map shows the locations of all of our Healthwatch Assist Network members.

Our Assist Network allows us to build links with communities so we can gather information about the health and care services they use. We simply want to know what is and is not working. This information is fed back into the community and shared with key healthcare decision makers who can learn from good practice and make improvements to local services.

Can't see your community group on the map? Join the Network today and become an Assist member to join the map with so many others!

Click here for more information

Top up your immunity this winter

Flu vaccination is important because, while flu is unpleasant for most people, it can be dangerous and even life threatening for some people, particularly those with certain health conditions.

The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to adults who:

  • are 50 and over

  • have certain health conditions

  • are pregnant

  • are in long-stay residential care

  • receive a carer's allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick

  • live with someone who is more likely to get a severe infection due to a weakened immune system

If you're eligible for the free flu vaccine, it's likely you can get the COVID-19 seasonal booster.

Book your flu vaccine and Covid-19 booster today:

Learn more about the flu vaccination here

Cost of living crisis statement by SignHealth

SignHealth are a passionate and caring Deaf-led team working towards a future where there are no barriers to good health and wellbeing for Deaf people, they partner with the NHS and service providers across the country.

Get regular updates from SIgnHealth here

Your feedback matters

Share your experience here

Posted in SHDC.