An open letter to NHS England to improve the Accessible Information Standard
Our national partner Healthwatch England (HWE) have published an open letter to NHS England to express disappointment at the lack of progress in reviewing the legally-binding Accessible Information Standard (AIS).
It’s been nearly a year since HWE launched the Your Care, Your Way campaign to highlight that everyone should receive healthcare in a format they need, be it British Sign Language, easy read or electronic.
Here are a few highlights of the campaign so far:
HWE formed a coalition of UK’s leading charities and organisations that work with people with additional communication needs.
HWE shared experiences from more than 7,000 people who struggled to access healthcare because they didn’t get health and social care information they can understand and communications support if they need it.
HWE’s Freedom of Information request to NHS trusts concluded that many health services fail to comply with the AIS, which the Government established to protect people’s rights to accessible healthcare.
HWE called on NHS England to improve the AIS to make sure everyone, especially people who have sensory impairments and learning disabilities, gets healthcare information in the way they need it.
55% of respondents 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.
Loneliness is an issue that can affect us all, young or old, at any point in our lives. We might live in a busy city or a rural location, on our own or with others and still feel isolated.
We all experience feeling lonely in different ways. This means there are a range of ways we can try to overcome loneliness, and we need to identify the help and support that works for us. It's really important to remember that loneliness and difficult feelings can pass.
Know someone who might be feeling lonely?
There are some simple things you can do that could give them a lift. Like inviting them for a walk, catching up over coffee or sending a text. And as over half of us have felt lonely at some point, it may help you feel less lonely too.
In the past, Healthwatch Devon conducted an independent inquiry to help public understanding of the causes of loneliness and through joint working find out how public services and community organisations can help those feeling lonely. Read the report here.
Place2Be's Children's Mental Health Week 2023 will take place from 6-12 February 2023. This year's theme is Let's Connect.
Let’s Connect is about making meaningful connections for all, during Children’s Mental Health Week – and beyond. People thrive in communities, and this connection is vital for our wellbeing.
When we have healthy connections – to family, friends and others – this can support our mental health and our sense of wellbeing. And when our need for rewarding social connections is not met, we can sometimes feel isolated and lonely – which can have a negative impact on our mental health.
For Children’s Mental Health Week 2023, Place2Be are encouraging people to connect with others in healthy, rewarding and meaningful ways.
North Devon County Council's dedicated 'warm spaces' webpage is live.
This webpage includes a list of places throughout the district that people can go to, to keep warm during colder times.
Working with voluntary and community groups across North Devon, the 'warm spaces' currently include libraries, church halls and community centres. As more venues join the initiative, they will be added to the webpage.
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!
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.