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Healthwatch Devon logoHealthwatch 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.

What you are telling us...

Share your experience here

Juniors doctors to strike again over five days in February

Junior doctors in England will strike on five days from 24 to 28 February, in an ongoing dispute with the government about pay.

Many routine hospital services are likely to be disrupted or cancelled.

It will follow a six-day strike by junior doctors in January, the longest in the history of the NHS, which saw about 100,000 appointments cancelled.

You will be contacted if your appointment needs to be changed. please continue to come forward for the care you need.

Find out more here

Work Ongoing to Improve Access to Dental Services for Local People

Pressures on NHS primary care dental teams is severe, with workforce shortages, high demand and a backlog of demand for appointments.

In the South West, NHS Devon are working in partnership with the NHS South West Collaborative Commissioning Hub (CCH), local dentists and other Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) to develop their South West Dental Recovery Plan to try and address these issues and improve access to dental services for local people.

NHS Devon are reviewing their plans in light of the newly published national Dental Recovery Plan on 7 February 2024, and welcome the new focus this has placed on NHS dentistry. They will continue to develop their local plans, aligning to the national priorities, and ensuring the needs of our local communities are being prioritised.

Click here to find out more

Healthwatch Quarterly Impact Report – Quarter 3: October to December 2023

Our Quarterly Impact Report is out now!

This report details our key activities for the last quarter, including how we have engaged with the public, a summary of the feedback we have collected, our reports, recommendations and any outcomes or impact made.

For more information click here

Share for Better Care

Share for Better Care’, a new campaign launched by Healthwatch and the Care Quality Commission, addresses health inequalities across England.

'Share for Better Care' aims to help more people give feedback about their care, especially if their community experiences poor health outcomes.

Your feedback will help us make NHS decision-makers aware of what needs to change to improve access to care, for everyone.

Share your experiences today

NHS to roll out ‘Martha’s Rule’

NHS England has announced the rollout of ‘Martha’s Rule’ in hospitals across England from April, enabling patients and families to seek an urgent review if their condition deteriorates.

The patient safety initiative, known as ‘Martha’s Rule’, is set to be rolled out to at least 100 NHS sites from April. It will give patients and their families round-the-clock access to a rapid review from an independent critical care team if they are worried about their or a loved one’s condition.

This escalation process will be available 24/7 to patients, families and NHS staff, and will be advertised throughout hospitals, making it quickly and easily accessible.

Click here to find out more

Using digital technology to support wellbeing

NHS England South West have commissioned an independent organisation to conduct some research into attitudes, experiences and usage of digital technology to support wellbeing.

NHS England South West is leading the Digital Neighbourhoods Programme with a vision of:

  • Digitally enabled, data-driven neighbourhood teams delivering personalised, proactive care, for every citizen in the South West.

As part of the programme, they want to know more about people’s experience of care, including:

  • Personalised care – where care is tailored to personal circumstances and what is important to people.

  • Proactive care – where people know what services and support are available to them early on to help prevent their health and wellbeing getting worse, and to proactively manage their condition.

  • The use of digital tools and technology.

NHS England South West want to capture your lived experiences to understand what works well and what could be improved to deliver better care around what is important to you.

Complete the short survey here

Virtual HOPE programme for Carers

Spaces are still available on the Virtual HOPE Programme for Carers (family, friends and neighbours of someone who cannot manage without them) which is due to start on Friday 1st March on Microsoft Teams. This programme is available to anyone living in Devon, over the age of 18.

This is a six week programme that will be taking place on a Friday on the following dates from 10am - 12pm:

  • Friday 1st March

  • Friday 8th March

  • Friday 15th March

  • Friday 22nd March

  • Friday 29th March

  • Friday 5th April

For further information, please contact the HOPE Team: / 01803 320600.

Sign up to the HOPE Programme here

Seasonal vaccinations and winter health

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 65 and over (including those who will be 65 by 31 March 2024)

  • 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, such as someone living with HIV, someone who has had a transplant, or is having certain treatments for cancer, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis

Find out more about the vaccine here

Cost of living 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 of a local service by clicking here
If you would like to share your story of using local health and social care services in a more general way please click here to fill out our ‘Have Your Say’ form.

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Click here to read our latest Healthwatch Annual Report
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