Healthwatch Devon is the independent champion for health and social care services across Devon. We are part of a national network of Local Healthwatch that was set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012.
It's our job to listen to 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.
Third of people in England lack confidence they can access critical NHS services
How confident are you that you will get timely care from the NHS?
New research from Healthwatch England shows a third of people in England lack confidence they can get timely care from some of the most critical NHS services, such as GPs, A&E and mental health services.
And it’s some of the most vulnerable groups in our society, including people over 65 and those on low incomes, who have the lowest confidence that they will get the care they need in a timely way.
However, those who have recently used NHS services are more likely to have higher confidence in getting timely care.
As we’re approaching the busy winter period, healthcare leaders should ensure people are not discouraged from seeking medical attention this winter
The impact of providing unpaid care at home on carers wellbeing and feelings of isolation
In November 2022 Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth, and Torbay published a report titled ‘The impact of providing unpaid care at home’. Working in collaboration with Devon Carers, Caring for Carers Plymouth, and Torbay Carers services, we reviewed the findings and have agreed to follow up this report with further work around the impacts on carers especially around their wellbeing and feelings of isolation.
We are running a survey to find out if Carers feel their caring role has led them to feel isolated and how this has impacted their own wellbeing.
The information that we are seeking from this survey will be used anonymously to help us and carers groups in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay explore the links between:
· Carers mental /physical health and wellbeing and number of hours unpaid care provided
· How long a carer had been providing this role (longevity)
· Type of care role provided e.g. physical caring, supportive caring, dementia/cognition caring or mixture
This information will allow us to develop support for carers, develop a risk scale for carers to help medical professionals identify when a carer may be reaching a tipping point, to identify gaps in service provisions and communications and to identify research gaps for future engagement/research.
Flu and COVID autumn vaccine programmes brought forward
This year’s autumn flu and COVID-19 vaccine programmes will start earlier than planned in England as a precautionary measure following the identification of a new COVID-19 variant.
The decision means those most at risk from winter illness – including people in care homes for older people, the clinically vulnerable, those aged 65 and over, health and social care staff, and carers – will be able to access a COVID vaccine in September.
The annual flu vaccine will also be made available to these groups at the same time wherever possible, to ensure they are protected ahead of winter.
Vaccinations are now set to start on 11 September 2023, with adult care home residents and those most at risk to receive vaccines first. NHS England will announce full details of the accelerated roll-out soon, and those who fall into higher-risk groups are being encouraged to take up the jab as soon as they’re invited.
Have you recently used any health or social care services?
On Wednesday 27th September we'll be at the Teignmouth Library, from 10am to 3pm, gathering feedback from the public about local health and social care services.
Come along and speak to us and share your feedback, whether your experiences are good or bad, we can use your feedback to improve services as we have the power to make NHS leaders and other care providers listen to what you have to say.
Find out what’s happening at your local NHS trust at public event and Annual Members’ Meeting
Find out what’s happening at your local NHS trust at public event and Annual Members’ Meeting.
Local people will have the opportunity to hear about what’s happening at the Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust thanks to a public event taking place at Petroc’s Tiverton campus, on Wednesday 27 September 2023, 1pm-6pm.
At the event you’ll be able to learn about the work the Trust is doing to recover waiting lists and take part in a focus group to give your feedback on important topics and questions. During the formal Annual Members’ Meeting, the Board of Directors will present the Annual Report & Accounts 2022/23 and talk about the Trust’s performance over the previous financial year.
CQC: “Majority of patients remain positive about care they receive when in hospital”
The results of the latest annual survey of hospital inpatients published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) show patient satisfaction levels have remained largely static since 2021, but indicate a longer term decline in most areas compared to previous years. They also highlight growing frustration with waiting times and reveal that four in ten people scheduled for planned treatment said their health deteriorated while waiting to be admitted.
The 2022 adult inpatient survey captures the views and experience of more than 63,000 people who stayed in one of 133 acute and specialist NHS trusts in England for at least one night during November last year. It has been carried out annually since 2002.
The survey asked people to give their opinions on the care they received, including quality of information and communication with staff, whether they were given enough privacy, the amount of support given to help them eat and drink, and on their discharge arrangements.
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!
Out Now: Healthwatch in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay Annual Report
Our Annual Report for 2023, contains all of our statutory activities from April 2022 to March 2023, a feature on our 10 year anniversary and much more!
This year's 2022-23 Annual report highlights how:
- 2,393 people shared their experiences of health and social care with them
- 1,386 people were provided with information, advice or signposted to other services
- 348,492 people engaged with them on social media
This Annual Report also highlights how we have produced eleven reports from subjects ranging from Mental Health Support in Devon and GP Services in Plymouth to NHS Services in Torbay and the impact of providing unpaid care at home.
Choosing the right service when you are unwell or injured helps you to get the care you need as soon as possible. It also reduces pressure on emergency services, freeing them up to help those who need it most.
Only call 999 and attend the Emergency Department in a medical emergency, when someone is seriously ill or injured and their life is at risk.
For non-life-threatening emergencies you can call 111 or visit 111 online.
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.